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New "Ag Trail" map promotes agriculture and agri-tourism in Riverside County

Published On: Feb 20 2013 08:30:03 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 20 2013 11:26:55 AM CST

http://www.riversidecfb.com/

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -

A map featuring more than 100 farms, vegetable stands, wineries and other locations throughout Riverside County that boast a host of fresh homegrown products for purchase will be unveiled Friday during two receptions.

The "Ag Trail" includes stops in the Temecula Valley Wine Country, the
Riverside citrus groves, Cherry Valley and the desert.

"The county's goal is to promote agriculture and agri-tourism," county
Foreign Trade Commissioner Tom Freeman said. "This helps
market these 100-plus locations and will definitely help in driving attendance
to festivals and fairs and will likely help sell our ag products, from fresh-
cut Christmas trees to pumpkins to the whole variety of produce grown across the county."

The Ag Trail map will be the highlight of receptions Friday at 10 a.m.
at Madison Street Produce in Indio, and at 1:30 p.m. at Peltzer Farms in
Temecula. County Supervisors John Benoit and Jeff Stone are scheduled to be on hand for each event.

The Ag Trail website will go live following the Temecula reception,Freeman said.

The online chart allows users to choose from several different categories, depending on their interests. A visitor will get a snapshot of farmers' markets, where to look for wineries and details and schedules on the
county's popular festivals and fairs, including the National Date Festival in
Indio and the Beaumont Cherry Festival.

There will also be information on so-called "holiday farms," which do business seasonally.

All of the attractions are accessible by car and cover a roughly 400-mile route that zigzags across the county, from its southwestern pocket to the Arizona state line.   

Benoit and Stone introduced the Ag Trail concept last July as a means to
promote tourism and support area agricultural interests.

According to Freeman, the county's agricultural trade is valued at $3 billion, with exports to 67 countries. He said Japan and China were the top export destinations of agricultural products generated locally in 2011. 

The county's agricultural base supports more than 30,000 jobs, according to Freeman. 

Stone touted the potential of the Temecula Valley Wine Country to boost the regional economy as it undergoes an expansion encompassing 22,000 acres, populated by growers, vintners and related businesses. 

The county is home to around 1,700 dairies, farms, ranches, wineries, historical and cultural sites.  

Several agencies, including the Departments of Environmental Health and
Information Technology, partnered with the Riverside County Farm Bureau
and California Women for Agriculture to design the website and other
promotional materials, Freeman said.