Georgia is hoping to spread the word about a piece of legislation that was passed almost 10 years ago. Cindy Norton, agritourism director for the Georgia Department of Agriculture, says farm signage legislation was enacted in 2009.
The department makes the public more aware of the farms around the state by placing signs on busy roadways that point toward the direction of the farms. The signage program is a joint effort between the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Transportation (DoT).
“It’s a program to help you find farms that are open to the public,” Norton says. These types of farms usually include you-pick farms, historical locations, pumpkin patches or farms in which products can be bought by the public on site.
If a farm would like to become involved in the signage program, there is an application process. According to Norton, the farm must pay an application fee and agree to pay for the signage. The application includes a list of qualifications that the farm has to meet. “It must be open to the public, it must have set hours, and there must be a website,” Norton explains.
If the application looks good, Norton does a site visit to ensure all the qualifications are met. If approved, she then goes to the DoT to figure out where the signage can be placed. “The DoT is the ultimate decision-maker on the signage and its placement,” she explains.
Currently, there are about 127 farms in the program. To see a map of the farms involved or to find out more about the program, visit the Georgia Department of Agriculture agritourism page.
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