Famous Chefs Bring the Spotlight to Small Farms

— Written By Kristen Rice-Gira and last updated by
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Warren and Vivian meet in kitchen

Farmer Warren Brothers and chef and TV star Vivian Howard discuss the latest produce in the Lenoir County Fork to Farmer short film. (Photo by Kristen Rice-Gira)

With the Fork to Farmer initiative, small-scale farms are getting attention with partnerships with well-known chefs, and increasing tourism in the process.

Excerpt from new Journal of Extension article:

The concept for the Fork2Farmer project emerged from the cross-pollination of ideas from economic development, local foods, and tourism Extension specialists. Widespread public interest in local foods is undeniable, but the proportion of the population who visit farms for leisure is very small.

Accordingly, we developed the Fork2Farmer project to leverage the visibility of celebrated chefs and their collaborative relationships with local small farms to generate public interest in visiting farms. Another aim of the project is to help us understand and facilitate the needs of small-scale farmers embracing farm visits as a means of revenue diversification.

Our tourism Extension work with small farms across the state has revealed that many small-scale farmers report high interest in receiving visitors as a strategy for earning additional income from the visits, selling farm products to the visitors, enhancing customer relationships, and even involving guests in some helpful farm work.

Thus, the Fork2Farmer project was born to enhance farmer-consumer connections and increase farm viability through potential new income.

Read the full manuscript:

Fork2Farmer: Enabling Success of Small Farms Through Partnerships with Well-Known Chefs and the Tourism Sector