VAFMA’s Executive Director, Kim Hutchinson, and Board Chair, CeCe Dodd, were thrilled to be guests of Rachel Salatin’s Fields of Gold Meet and Greet at Sarah Showalter’s family orchard in Timberville tonight. Showalter’s Orchard is an amazing example of agritourism with a cider house, Air B and B and an orchard on 40 acres with breath-taking views of the Valley.

They enjoyed Showalter’s cider as well as refreshments from Swover Creek Farm and Wood Edge Farm Stand while learning more about Fields of Gold membership.

Fields of Gold is a regional agritourism program designed to collectively market and promote the Shenandoah Valley’s agritourism sites and activities. The purpose of Fields of Gold is to promote the Shenandoah Valley as an agritourism destination, create and retain jobs on the farm, expand tourism jobs off the farm, and nurture an environment for entrepreneurism.

In addition to marketing the Fields of Gold Farm Trail, the program supports the start-up and growth of ag-related businesses by offering educational workshops and providing business tools and resources to its members.

The eight counties and five cities in the Fields of Gold region share a strong agricultural heritage. Four of the top five ag-producing counties in Virginia are part of the Fields of Gold region. The region generates over $1 billion in agricultural products.