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Dec
1
2011
New crop of agritourism offerings now ripe for picking

Farmer to Farmer technical tour debuts Dec. 13

YUMA, ARIZONA - Because many think of Arizona as a big, dusty desert, people are surprised to learn Yuma is the nation's winter vegetable capital. In fact, agriculture is the leading industry here, with its $3.2 billion annual output accounting for more than a third of Arizona's total.

The agritourism program developed by Yuma Visitors Bureau showcases this bounty, from "Field to Feast" tours where visitors harvest the veggies that go into their lunch, to hands-on cooking classes combining local produce with border sabor (flavor).

New this season, YVB also is offering "Farmer to Farmer" technical tours for those with a background in agriculture, and "Taco Trail" culinary tours for those whose interest focuses what's on the fork rather than what's in the field.

Tickets are now on sale for the 2011-12 season, for the following dates:

  • Farmer to Farmer Tours -- Dec. 13, Jan. 10 and Feb. 14
  • Field to Feast Tours -- Jan. 18, 19, 25, 26; Feb. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29; March 1
  • Taco Trail Tours - Jan. 6 & 20, Feb. 3 & 17 and March 1 & 16

Like the winter vegetable season itself, Yuma's agritourism efforts culminate in the annual Lettuce Days (March 10-11, 2012) celebration, a homegrown festival with culinary flair that earned the Governor's Tourism Award for Best Special Event in 2011.
Held at the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, Lettuce Days features celebrity chefs, cooking demon-strations and contests, red-hot ice carvers, a farmers' market and salad bar and a tasting event showcasing local restaurants.

Putting the focus on food is a crowd-pleaser, says Kristan Sheppeard, YVB's agritourism coordinator and the festival's main organizer. "Not everyone is interested in horticultural details about how to grow spinach, but most folks love to eat. And if we get them in with that as an 'appetizer,' they'll also end up digesting a lot of information about our local agriculture industry and how important Yuma County is to feeding the nation."

With rich soil, good water and more than 350 days of sunshine a year, Yuma enjoys the country's longest growing season and is:

  • #1 in the state and #3 in the nation for vegetable production
  • Source of 90 percent of the nation's leafy vegetables from November-March
  • The world's top producer of gourmet Medjool dates
  • A top exporter of wheat to Italy (for premium pasta)
  • Arizona's top producer of lemons, tangelos, tangerines, watermelon and canteloupe

Detailed information about Lettuce Days, including schedules and featured chefs and events will be posted as it is available at www.yumalettucedays.com .

In addition, local date groves offer group tours by advance arrangement, for more info, call 800-293-0071 or download or browse our Visitors Guide at www.visityuma.com .
 
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Yuma Visitors Bureau markets the Yuma area within the travel and tourism industry and to the general public. Direct travel spending in Yuma County totaled more than $566 million in 2010, supported nearly 5,800 jobs and generated $36.3 million in state and local tax revenues.

A longtime favorite with sun-seeking snowbirds, Yuma's population nearly doubles in the winter months, thanks to more than 23,000 spots in RV parks and resorts. The community also offers nearly 4,000 hotel rooms, conference and meeting facilities, and three casinos. For more details about Yuma's year-round attractions, special events - and the rarely "cloudy with a chance of tacos" forecast* - visit www.visityuma.com or call 800-293-0071.
 
* Yuma hotel guests will eat free every day the sun doesn't shine from Aug. 1, 2011 until July 31, 2012! For more information on our Centennial "free board" promotion, call us.
 
CONTACT:
Ann Walker, 928-376-0100 (office), 928-210-9044 (cell), ann@visityuma.com YVB Visitor Information Center: 1-800-293-0071
Online at www.visityuma.com

The Yuma Visitors Bureau is always happy to assist members of print, digital and broadcast media, either on assignment or pitching an idea with a Yuma angle.

Media Relations Specialist Ann Walker can suggest itineraries and facilitate visits, or provide you with the inspired details to help nail down an assignment.  We pride ourselves on always going "above and beyond."

You can download background and "anytime" materials below; dated press releases appear "most recent first" at left. Call or email us for photos and B-roll video.

YVB periodically hosts group and individual press trips, and is glad to partner with other Arizona or California DMOs to coordinate a visit to several regions.

For more information, contact Ann Walker at 928-376-0100 (office), 928-210-9044 (cell) or email ann@visityuma.com. Thanks for your interest in the Yuma area.

'Anytime' releases:


Around & about - a quick Yuma overview


Brilliant! Yuma wears 'sunniest' label with pride


Last link in river restoration under way


 

Background info:


Fast Facts About YVB


 Fast Facts About Yuma 


Yuma history - narrative


Yuma historic timeline



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