Medicinal Plant Workshops & Tours Allow Farm To Transition

Welcome back as we feature specialty crops across Wisconsin! We feature the producers who both grow the crops and welcome you to the farm for an agricultural experience.

Today, we take a walk through the rolling pastures of Bull Brook Keep in Clear Lake, Wisconsin.

In the pasture, you’ll come across what looks like, at first glance, weeds. In reality, these plants can prevent sickness, cure ailments, or benefit your overall health and wellness, says Sylvia Burgos-Toftness. Burgos-Toftness considers herself a medicinal herbal student. She’s been undergoing formal education for eight years to become an herbalist.

Her farm hosts pasture walks and workshops for people with similar interests. This is how the farm sustains itself after transitioning from a labor-intensive grazed cattle operation.

Listen to the second episode:

Burgos-Toftness says the Wisconsin Agricultural Tourism Association is a resource for farmers who look to transition the farm to a new commodity or add value through a new revenue stream.

WATA, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, earned a specialty crop block grant from USDA. This grant allows the association to promote increased demand for the sales of specialty crops and agricultural tourism experiences. WATA is meeting this goal through the ‘Wisconsin, America’s Agricultural Tourism Destination’ campaign.

With the money, WATA is significantly increasing the educational resources for family farms interested in entering or expanding agricultural tourism. This includes a mentorship program, video resources, and building on key collaborations across the state and nationwide. Another goal of this grant project is to make it easier for people to find farm-based adventures throughout the state.

“This support allows us to promote and market specialty crops and agricultural tourism on family farms all across the state,” explains WATA Executive Director Sheila Everhart.

Listen to a previous podcast with Everhart:

The podcast series is brought to you courtesy of Specialty Crop Block Grant 23-10. Learn more about how to engage with Wisconsin’s agricultural tourism industry: