Riverside County Supervisors John Benoit and Jeff Stone outlined a proposed "Ag Trail" website this week during a Board of Supervisors meeting.
The Ag Trail website would depict many of the 1,700 dairies, farms, ranches, wineries, and farmers markets within the county.
“The establishment of the Riverside County "Ag Trail" will promote California's 12th largest agricultural industry ... by allowing consumers and tourists to visit participating farming operations, take educational tours and make purchases at the point of production,'' the supervisors wrote.
Jeff Wiens, an owner at Wiens Winery told Patch that, “I am sure all or most of the wineries will want to be involved and give input towards the development of the Ag Trail.”
According to documents submitted by the supervisors, the effort will require convening a working group composed of county officials and representatives from the Riverside County Farm Bureau, the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association and California Women for Agriculture.
"The agricultural industry ranks as one of the county's top employers and has an economic impact exceeding $3 billion annually,'' the supervisors wrote in a report. "Demanded worldwide, Riverside County agricultural and ranching products are exported to 67 nations.''
Executive Director at Riverside County Farm Bureau, Steve Pastor, who sits on the task force board, said it has lots of work to do before the site can be launched in February 2013.
“There is nothing locked in place. The public, farmers and vintners can still get involved and give input and share ideas,” said Pastor.
“We are putting the puzzle together and anyone who wants to help can,” said Pastor.
According to Tom Freeman of the Economic Development Agency, most of the costs will be shouldered by the EDA.
Darin Schemmer, communications director for Benoit, said some of the costs for the site will be labor and web design but the exact amount the Ag Trail will cost tax payers has not been determined.
Wiens said he supports the use of tax dollars to develop and run the site because the wine industry brings in a large amount of tax dollars and jobs to the county.
In addition to an online map, the Ag Trail will be drawn up in color pamphlets for distribution by mail and at events.