Five counties in Northeast Oregon will benefit from USDA funding awarded to help businesses and tourism partners develop and market culinary and agricultural tourism in the region.

The project will hire an experienced and qualified consultant to coordinate activities and assist partners as part of a collaborative effort involving Northeast Oregon Economic Development District (NEOEDD), Eastern Oregon Visitors Association, Travel Oregon, and businesses and tourism groups from Union, Baker, Wallowa, Umatilla, and Morrow counties.

NEOEDD applied for the USDA Rural Business Development Grant to hire the consultant and complete project activities including:

• Inventory of agritourism products available or under development in the five-county area.

• Engagement with agritourism working groups in two tourism sub-regions (Northeast Oregon and Oregon’s Rugged Country).

• Hosting of agritourism development workshops in each of the two sub-regions.

• Development of marketing goals and action plans.

Completion date for the project is Nov. 30, 2016.

“Each subregion has its own character and strengths, and we want to make sure that travelers can find and enjoy agricultural experiences and products as part of their visit to Northeast Oregon,” says Sara Miller, NEOEDD economic development specialist. “Anyone interested in starting or improving an agritourism business is welcome to get involved.”

Miller is currently accepting proposals from consultants interested in working on the project, with a budget of $44,000. For more information contact saramiller@neoedd.org or 541-426-3598. Consultant proposals are due Sept. 4, 2015.

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