First-Gen Specialty Crop Growers Take Flight With Apiary

Welcome back as we introduce you to the bounty of specialty crops that Wisconsin has to offer and the families who produce them.

Today we’re heading to Mayberry Farms in Dodge County. That’s where you’ll find first-generation specialty crop grower Danielle Clark. Her family of six started this ag-venture in 2017.

You may know Mayberry Farms in Mayville for its 12 acres of strawberries. The farm also raises honeybees, dairy goats, chickens, and row crops. Danielle and her husband Tim grew up in farm families, but specialty crops were new territory for them. In addition to farming, the Clark family welcomes students and customers to the farm for Farm Camp, strawberry picking, and shopping.

“I had never picked strawberries in my life,” Clark jokes. “But we found a farm for sale and we were both itching to get a piece of land for ourselves that we could call our own and raise a family. We really wanted something that would connect us directly to consumers.”

Keeping bees was also an unexpected joy.

“My husband came home from the Wisconsin Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Conference, and he said ‘We should add honeybees to help improve the pollination of the strawberries’,” Clark recalls. “Beekeeping was never on my radar in my life, and now it’s become something that I absolutely love. It’s a passion of mine.”

Clark says the apiary has improved strawberry production through pollination. The honey has also drawn in customers across the country seeking raw honey or natural skincare products using the honey.

She adds agricultural tourism has been a benefit to the farm, as well.

“The response we’ve had from our community when we’ve added these other ventures, like the farm camp and the raw honey and then the soap and skincare products… has just been phenomenal,” she says. “Our community continues to come out and support us in those ventures. The farm camp has just been a great opportunity for us to connect with those kids who may never get the chance to see how food is grown.”

She says through the Wisconsin Agricultural Tourism Association, you can find a network of specialty crop farmers to help you start or expand your own farm ag-venture. Learn more about how to engage with Wisconsin’s agricultural tourism industry at

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This podcast series is courtesy of Specialty Crop Block Grant 23-10.