Assessing Opportunities for Agriculture and Agritourism at Montpelier
Orange County, with a planning grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID), administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), engaged the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development (VTOED) to explore sustainable agriculture and agritourism opportunities for land parcels owned by the Montpelier Foundation. As partners, Orange County and the Montpelier Foundation wished to assess opportunities for utilizing certain parcels of Montpelier’s 2,650 acres of land to support and add value to the county’s agriculture industry. The project inventoried and assessed development opportunities that would be a fit for Montpelier’s mission and the rural character of its Orange County surroundings, while offering potential to generate jobs, spur enterprise development, increase visitation, and enhance income in Orange County and the surrounding region. VTOED established a project working group, interviewed dozens of key informants and collected and analyzed agriculture and tourism data. Hundreds of opportunities were generated and pre-assessed.