Locavores, get excited! Berks Agricultural Resource Network (B.A.R.N.) is back this summer with another round of B.A.R.N.opoly, a sort of scavenger hunt that encourages the community to get out and support local agricultural producers. This fun event runs from June 19, 2023 through August 19, 2023, with participants encouraged to visit and shop at as many participating locations as they can during those two months. The businesses include local wineries, cafes, markets, farms, farm stands, farmers markets and more!
Here’s how it works:
- Register to play here.
- Each visit to a participating business earns you a stamp on your game board. Game boards can be found at participating locations.
- You can earn bonus points by sharing posts to social media, using the hashtag #barnopoly in your posts.
- If you’re not on social, email B.A.R.N. your photos with a little bit about your experiences and they’ll post it to their Facebook page.
- To earn even more points, check in, tag and give shouts to your favorite locations; write about fun experiences, stories or something you learned about local ag from your B.A.R.N.opoly adventures; or share a recipe or meal that you made with local ingredients.
- After August 19, submit your board, either at the Wrap up Celebration on Saturday, August 19, or by scanning it or taking a photo and emailing the completed board to [email protected]. Be sure to submit it by Sunday, August 27 to be entered to win ag-related prizes, like local products and gift cards. Prizes will be awarded based on the number of stamps collected, plus the number of social media posts and completed challenges. There’s even a special award for the most creative social media posts!
B.A.R.N.opoly started in 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic by B.A.R.N. as a way to keep the community engaged with local agriculture despite social distancing protocols.
“When Covid hit, we weren’t able to do a lot of our regular programming, so we want to create different opportunities for farmers and producers, and ways for the community to make connections with them,” says Courtney Shober, B.A.R.N.’s Ag Project Coordinator. “Some people felt more comfortable going to a farm store where it’s usually much less crowded than a grocery store, and the game helped a lot of people discover farms right near their homes they never knew were there!”
That first summer, over 500 people registered, with some getting really into the competition, and others just using the B.A.R.N.oply game board as a resource to learn more about producers in the region. Shober says the goal for 2023 was to make it even more interactive, with plenty of ways to earn points and extra awards for creativity.
B.A.R.N.opoly is just one way that B.A.R.N. fulfills its mission to serves Berks County’s agricultural and related-food industries. Other efforts include supporting economic development efforts, marketing, policy development and education across the entire food industry chain, from farmer to consumer. With a robust member list and volunteer board, B.A.R.N. serves as an over-arching coordinator between farm organization and advocacy groups the county, working to improve the economic viability of agriculture, including marketing opportunities, tours and workshop and individual technical assistance. Other events that B.A.R.N. helps organize include farm-to-table dinners, essay contests and a holiday market guide.
For more information, and to sign up for B.A.R.N.opoly, visit the B.A.R.N. website!
- Photos and game board image: Courtesy of B.A.R.N.