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.

Outdoor dinner

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.

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.



  • 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 ProductExamplesAgency with OversightPermits/Licenses that Apply


Milk, cheeseVermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, Dairy Section

Phone: 802-828-2421

Frozen Dessert

Ice cream, sorbetVermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, Dairy Section

Phone: 802-828-2421

Baked Goods

Pastries, bread, cake

Vermont Department of Health, Bakery Section

Phone 802-863-7221


Sliced deli meat, sausages, whole meat cutsVermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets

Phone: 802-828-2426

Processed Food

Candy, popcorn, jellies, ciders

Vermont Department of Health

Phone: 802-863-7221

Canned Goods

Fruits, meatVermont Department of Health for fruit and vegetables and Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets for meat

Phone (Department of Health): 802-863-7221

Phone (VAAFM): 802-828-2426

Malt and Vinous Beverages

Wine, beer, spirits, cider, meadDepartment of liquor control enforcement and licensing division

Contact: 802-828-2345

Maple Syrup

Syrup, sugarVermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, Maple section

Phone: 802-828-2430

General Produce

Tomatoes, corn, squashVermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets

Phone: 802-461-5128

  • The Vermont Produce Program can provide you with additional resources and support to ensure you are meeting all regulations and requirements.


 Vermont Statutes

Phone: 802-828-2430


 Vermont Statutes

Phone: 802-828-2430


 Vermont Statutes

Phone: 802-828-2430


 Vermont Statutes

Phone: 802-828-2430