Note: Any establishment with food service activities that are more than "occasional" — defined as less than once a month — requires a license from the Vermont Department of Health. The Temporary Food Stand license ("fair stand") is applicable to weekly farmers market vending as well as occasional farm dinners. If other physical facilities are proposed to be regularly used instead of the temporary food stand (a kitchen space on the farm, for example), contact the Department of Health: (802) 863-7221.
Getting Started: On-Farm Events
Each farm event will be different and unique to your farm! Use the checklist below to determine what meets the needs of your event. Regardless of the type of event, everyone should familiarize themselves with Act 143 and Act 31, and follow all applicable regulations and permitting.
Land Use Regulations
- Read through the zoning regulations for your municipality and familiarize yourself with Act 143. To determine if your agritourism addition meets the specifications of Act 143, you can use the guide above.
- Obtain a zoning permit, if necessary.
- Determine if your municipality requires a site plan review.
- Submit an application and site plan review to your municipality, if necessary.
- Meet with a regional permit specialist.
- If proposing construction/renovations for a commercial purpose or otherwise, contact a Natural Resources Board (NRB) district coordinator to determine whether an Act 250 land use permit application is required .
- If adding permanent bathrooms or an additional space, obtain a wastewater permit, or make sure the current permit is up to date.
- Read through Act 31.
- Post signs at agritourism activities that meet the specifications of Act 31.
- Include the warning notice language in every written contract between an agritourism host and a participant.
- Check with your insurance agent to make sure this type of event is covered in your policy.
- Determine if food will be served at your establishment.
- Obtain a temporary food service establishment license, if necessary.
- Research the coinciding food regulations and obtain permits and licenses as necessary.
- For licensing, operators are expected to demonstrate knowledge of food safety. The ServSafe (or other) certification is not specifically required, however, it is recommended that operators participate in some kind of food safety training to increase knowledge of safe food handling.
The following table can help you navigate the regulations and licenses required for various types of foods and products that you may be selling or serving.
- If you are selling wholesale, follow the regulations listed below.
- If you are producing and serving food regularly, then you may need licensing from the agency for food processing, as well as separate licensing for food service from the Department of Health.
- If you are using products from your farm to make any of these products (for example, jams) then you should follow any regulations listed below for those products.
|Food Product||Examples||Agency with Oversight||Permits/Licenses that Apply|
|Milk, cheese||Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, Dairy Section|
|Ice cream, sorbet||Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, Dairy Section|
|Pastries, bread, cake|
Vermont Department of Health, Bakery Section
|Sliced deli meat, sausages, whole meat cuts||Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets|
|Candy, popcorn, jellies, ciders|
Vermont Department of Health
|Fruits, meat||Vermont Department of Health for fruit and vegetables and Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets for meat|
Phone (Department of Health): 802-863-7221Phone (VAAFM): 802-828-2426
Malt and Vinous Beverages
|Wine, beer, spirits, cider, mead||Department of liquor control enforcement and licensing division|
|Syrup, sugar||Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, Maple section|
|Tomatoes, corn, squash||Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets|