Learning Visits & Tours
Each year we receive many visitors who are excited about food, local food systems, agriculture, community development, education and business. We offer two types of tours, both of which must be scheduled in advance. If you would like to arrange your OWN TOURS we highly recommend using Northeast Kingdom Travel and Tourism to identify lodging, restaurants, and other wonderful places to visit. We also suggest that a trip to Newport, to visit the NEK Tasting Center will allow you to bring home your pick of our finest regional products.
The Vt Food Venture Center is an exciting shared-use building, and we have many folks who are interested in this particular food hub model, and how it works with various partners in a rural economy. We are happy to sit with you and your group to talk through the food business incubation services, the financing and more, but these tours must be scheduled in advance and we do charge a fee of $50 for our staff time and the walk-thru of the facility.
In addition to visiting the Vt Food Venture Center, there are other wonderful examples of our thriving food systems. For the past few decades, our farm and food entrepreneurs have been building innovative infrastructure, stewarding farmland, and creating innovative solutions to real-world agricultural and economic challenges. We have hosted groups such as Heifer International, Natural Resources Defense Council, Middlebury College, University of Vermont, as well as visitors from other states, on Learning Visits, where they have the chance to hear and learn from leaders in our agricultural community. Learning Visits are designed for groups of no more than 12-15 people, can be for 2-3 days, and generally include:
- an introduction to the local food system, and the history of the 'ag renaissance' in Hardwick
- tours of the Vt Food Venture Center, and other food businesses in Hardwick's industrial park, such as Vermont Soy or Caledonia Spirits
- visits to local farm operators, such as Pete's Greens, Laggis Brothers Dairy, or North Hardwick Dairy
- visits to value-added farm operations, such as the Cellars at Jasper Hill or Bonnieview Farm
- visits to food system operations, such as High Mowing Organic Seeds, or Black Dirt Farm and compost, or Sterling College's Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems
Generally Learning Visits must be arranged up to 2 months in advance, and the schedule will vary based on the availability of our local farm and food operators. The price also varies, based on the services your group might be interested in us arranging (such as local food product tastings, or lodging, etc). Each visit includes host site stipends, and a fee for CAE services as guide and organizer - depending on the range of services, the number of days/events, and the SIZE of your group the prices can range from $500-$5,000.
- TOURS can be scheduled Year-Round.
- LEARNING VISITS must be scheduled at least two months in advance.
- If you are a public school group, please contact us for discounted rates!