Crops soak up the sun at an Essex County, ON farm on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. (Ricardo Veneza / CTV Windsor)

The Town of Essex is looking to hear from local farmers and food and beverage producers to help grow agritourism in the town.

The town is holding a virtual industry forum on Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and local producers and agricultural businesses are invited to learn about agritourism and offer feedback as part of the development of an agritourism strategy.

“The Town of Essex already has a rich agricultural history and a number of thriving agri-tourism businesses, from award-winning wineries to on-farm accommodations and experiences,” Nelson Silveira, economic development officer, said in a news release. “This project will help the municipality plan to grow that sector of the economy and provide business owners the tools they need to expand their agritourism offerings.”

A news release from the town says it is working with the non-profit Culinary Tourism Alliance which is dedicated to bringing farming, food and drink and tourism together to help create a local strategy.

For any local food and beverage makers who are already engaged in agritourism, or are considering it as a business opportunity the town wants to hear from you.

Forum participants will hear from guest speaker Caroline Millar, an industry expert who operates a 650-acre mixed farm and five-star Hideaways accommodations with her family.

To RSVP for the virtual event, fill out the online form or email with your full name, email, telephone number, business name and address, type of business, and whether the business currently offers agritourism experiences.