Sandy Stuart Perry, Communications Mgr., New Jersey Conservation Foundation, 908-234-1225
David Lee, County Agricultural Agent, Rutgers Cooperative Ext. of Salem County, 856-769-0090
Christine DeGraff, Partner, Websketching, 856-769-5600
New website launched to promote Salem County agritourism
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WOODSTOWN, NJ - Want to know where to go in Salem County to pick your own fresh fruits and vegetables? Looking for a harvest festival the whole family can enjoy? Would you like to visit a local vineyard and sample their wines?
Exploring Salem County's farms just got easier with the launch of a new website, www.SalemCountyAgritourism.com.
With agricultural tourism, or agritourism, quickly becoming a major economic force in the Garden State, New Jersey Conservation Foundation has teamed up with the Salem County Board of Agriculture and DiscoverSalemCounty.com to help promote the county's diverse farm destinations. New Jersey Conservation Foundation was able to fund SalemCountyAgritourism.com thanks to a generous grant from the William Penn Foundation.
The website will help promote agritourism in Salem County by providing visitors with a comprehensive directory of community farmers markets, roadside farm stands, u-pick farms, wineries, fairs and festivals, nurseries and garden centers, organic farms, and other places of interest.
"Salem County is statewide leader in the production of many crops, and we want to make it easy for people find our fresh local fruits, vegetables, flowers, wines and other farm products," said Brian Porch, president of the Salem County Board of Agriculture. "We appreciate that the New Jersey Conservation Foundation has recognized the need for this service and stepped up to help sponsor this website."
New Jersey Conservation Foundation is a statewide, non-profit land trust, established in 1960, that has helped preserve some 3,000 acres of land throughout Salem County.
In 2005, the foundation established the Tri-County Agricultural Retention Partnership to help promote the preservation of both farmland and agriculture in southwestern New Jersey.
"One of the most important and effective ways that we can keep farming economically viable is to encourage people to support local farms," said Michele S. Byers, executive director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation. "Buying local is a great way to ensure that you're getting fresh, healthy food and supporting your local economy and community."
A recent study by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture shows that statewide agritourism generated $57.5 million in 2006. In addition, for every dollar spent at agritourism attractions, another 58 cents is spent on other local businesses such as restaurants and shops - to the tune of $33 million in 2006.
Web surfers can access SalemCountyAgritourism.com directly, or through a link on DiscoverSalemCounty.com, which provides visitors and residents with a comprehensive resource for discovering the vast array of natural, cultural, historic, educational and recreational assets offered throughout the county. The website provides information on events, activities and life in Salem County.
The new website was developed by Websketching.com, a Woodstown-based website design and marketing company. It has created a collection of websites promoting Salem County shopping, restaurants and other services. The DiscoverSalemCounty.com website has also been lauded for its efforts to promote local artists.