Agri Tourism: Saving Wisconsin Farms
For those following along, I have been writing about agri tourism destinations or farms in the United States that offer on farm fun for visitors of all ages.
Not only does it provide visitors with fresh food and entertainment, but it also provides farmers with income, helping them stay on the land and preserving farmland.
While I started with my home state, California, over the past couple of weeks I have been looking at states that Care2 readers have requested via comments on these posts.
So, up next, is Wisconsin, as requested. Wisconsin is famous for its cheese, and it seems like the perfect place to start when thinking about agri tourism destinations.
The Wisconsin Dairy Artisan Network is not an agri-tourism site, per se, but a site listing not only dairy farms, but, other places to find these hand-crafted cheeses and other dairy products. There is a great Artisan and Farmstand directory and even tips on cheese. As they note on the site, some products are only available seasonally, so make sure you check before venturing out to a specific place.
For those looking for a large choice of agri tourism destinations, the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems a sustainable agriculture research center at UW-Madison created the Southern Wisconsin Farm Fresh Atlas. This publication lists more than 150 farms, farmers’ markets and other places that sell fruits, vegetables, meats, cheese, milk, eggs and other locally grown food. An online version of the atlas is available on the REAP website.
Aside from the Southern Wisconsin Atlas, there are Farm Fresh Atlases for most regions of Wisconsin, and the rest of them can be accessed from the Wisconsin Farm Fresh Atlases web site.
Lastly, the Wisconsin Agricultural Tourism Association “promotes and preserves the rural lifestyle, fosters partnership opportunities within the ag-tourism community, and provides tools which encourage sustainable economic growth while creating awareness of Wisconsin agriculture.” Their site has a searchable menu by location, attraction, or commodity and there’s even an event calendar listing all farm-related activities by month.