WATA Kicks Off Specialty Crop Series

The Wisconsin Agricultural Tourism Association has launched a new podcast series that features farm destinations across Wisconsin and the bounty of specialty crops these farms produce.

Over the next several months, WATA will take you to strawberry patches, vineyards, cranberry bogs, fields of flowers, and more. Executive Director Sheila Everhart says Wisconsin is a powerhouse in producing specialty crops from fruits to vegetables and from evergreens to peonies. These producers have an opportunity to open their farms up to the public to provide a food, recreation, relaxation, or education experience.

Listen to the first episode:

The podcast series is brought to you courtesy of Specialty Crop Block Grant 23-10. WATA, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, was awarded a specialty crop block grant from USDA to promote increased demand for the sales of specialty crops and agricultural tourism experiences through the ‘Wisconsin, America’s Agricultural Tourism Destination’ campaign.

“Today, agricultural tourism is a growing economic engine in Wisconsin and all across the country. It meets both consumer and farmer demands,” says Everhart. “In every season, and every day of the week, we work to help consumers and farmers find one another in agricultural settings that are fun, educational, relaxing, and delicious.”

Wisconsin is home to 64,000 farms which care for and produce on 14.2 million acres. Many of these family farms struggle to gain economic security. Agricultural tourism is a significant strategy for working farms to create financial viability. This is critical for the farm family and for the rural community.

This grant will allow WATA to significantly increase the educational resources for family farms interested in
entering or expanding agricultural tourism efforts. 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 Everhart.

Learn more about how to engage with Wisconsin’s agricultural tourism industry: https://gowiagtourism.com/