2020 Certified Farm Market Passport program launches March 16
We all have to eat. It’s biology, right?
While you are meeting that requirement through the rest of 2020, Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) has a recommendation to enhance the experience: Visit a Certified Farm Market (CFM) near you.
Starting March 16 GFB launches the second year of its CFM Passport program. The best part? You can make it your custom without going through customs! Just hit the road in Georgia, and chances are you’re within an hour of straight-from-the-farm goodness, whether it’s strawberries or peaches in the spring, fresh vegetables during the summer, apples in the fall or Christmas trees at year’s end.
The passport guides travelers across Georgia to farms that offer food items for virtually any taste. Travel with the passport to live out your love of exploring Georgia, supporting local farms and eating fresh. Passport holders will discover where their food comes from, meet the people who grow it, and see our state’s agricultural diversity firsthand!
In 2019, farm passport travelers made more than 2,400 visits to CFMs. Two of them – Warner Robins couple Skip Mills and Dennie Douglas - visited 63 of the 67 markets across the state.
“For me, it was a chance to get to see a part of Georgia that I had never really seen, to go to these small farms, these family-run farms,” Douglas said. “Even though I was born and raised in Georgia, there are lots of these areas that I’ve never actually been to. It was neat to see the seasons change. We started in May, and then July, and then it was November when we stopped. It really made me appreciate Georgia and everything we have here. All the different places and things you can do. It was nice to interact with all these different folks. They were so nice and welcoming, and appreciative. They were generous.”
In 2020, there are more markets for passport participants to visit, and they can earn some fun prizes. Turn in your passport with stamps from five or more CFMs and you get a special CFM t-shirt. Stamps from 10 or more farms nets the t-shirt and assorted ag swag items like sunglasses, bumper stickers, hand sanitizer and more. Travelers who get stamps from 15 or more CFMs get all that plus their choice of selected CFM products. Get 20 or more stamps and receive a farm-to-table dinner and farm tour along with all the other prizes.
“I think the beauty of the program is it advertises what is already around you and available that people may not be aware of because a lot of the farmers, they don’t have billboards up, but they’re out there,” Mills said. “Some of them are just feeding the members of their local community. They’re feeding them the squash and the okra and the tomatoes or the pork or the beef. For those that like to get out, that like agritourism, there’s your motivation. Go beyond your locale and visit some of these people. They’d love to have you.”
The Georgia Farm Passport is available at county Farm Bureau offices and at the 78 farms participating in the GFB Certified Farm Markets (CFM) program. To find participating farms, visit www.gfb.ag/farmpassport. The deadline to submit your passport for prizes is Jan. 8, 2021.
The GFB Certified Farm Markets are listed in the passport. These markets grow a majority of what they sell on their farm or they offer farm tours. Some farms have corn mazes and farm games, offer educational opportunities, or host special events.
One passport allowed per person. One stamp allowed per farm per person. As you visit, share your journey with #farmpassport #gafarmbureau. While no purchase is required to participate, please be kind and make one since these farms are their owners’ livelihoods. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.