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 nsilveira@essex.ca with your full name, email, telephone number, business name and address, type of business, and whether the business currently offers agritourism experiences.