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Vacationer Supported Agriculture Summer 2019

By: Bruno Simoes Ferreira, Duarte Morais, Becky Bowen, Susan Jakes, Hannah Dankbar, Mark Blevins, Victoria Patterson, Britt Davis Local Foods

Vacationer Supported Agriculture (VSA) is a project led by NC State’s P1tLab and NC State Extension (Local Foods, Community Development, and Tourism Extension) aiming to connect small farmers with new opportunities to increase farm revenue through direct sales of fresh produce. VSA meets discerning vacationers’ desires to: a) have convenient access to fresh local produce, b) connect with the place they are visiting by buying from local farms, and c) leave positive impacts in the destinations they visit, by coordinating the sale and delivery of produce bags from local farmers. VSA enables vacation home realties to showcase their commitment to the sustainable and equitable development of their local communities by recommending the produce bags to their guests. In each county, the Extension Center and Tourism Authority play the critical role of recruiting and supporting local farmer groups and vacation home rentals. In turn they receive records of the impact this initiative had on farmer revenue and destination competitiveness.