Farms are truly the heart and soul of Wisconsin. Farmers work around the clock to generate valuable goods for people across the nation, even around the world. When you think of farms, you likely envision rolling stretches of land, tall crops growing in long rows, animals grazing in the pasture, barns, silos — you get the picture.
While all these elements are typical of farming, there’s much more that farms entail than some may not realize. Many farms look to diversify their income and opportunities and choose to use their property for educational and entertainment purposes that are open to the public.
What is agritourism?
Agritourism, where agriculture and tourism meet to turn farms into destinations, has become a booming industry over the years.
If visiting a local farm is on your family’s agenda, there are many options to choose from. Each has something special to offer guests from far and wide.
Fun Ways to Support Wisconsin Farmers
You may have heard the phrase “farm-to-table” to describe a restaurant or café menu. But what, exactly, does farm-to-table mean? The answer is pretty straightforward: Fresh, locally grown food — including meats, fruits, vegetables, and other harvested ingredients are used in an establishment’s recipes. Oftentimes, these restaurants are located on actual farms!
Some well-loved, highly recommended farm-to-table restaurants in Wisconsin include:
Looking for something “grape” to do with friends and family? If you are of legal drinking age and enjoy trying new beverages, visiting wineries always makes for worthy entertainment. Wineries are popular destinations for relaxing weekend getaways, bachelor and bachelorette parties, anniversaries, girls weekends — you name it. Tours typically involve learning more about the different varieties of grapes, understanding how grapes are fermented into wine, and of course, sipping on fresh, locally made vino!
Wisconsin has over 100 wineries throughout the state. Here are just a few renowned wineries:
Pick Your Own Fruit
There are few things better than baking an apple, strawberry rhubarb, or blueberry pie from scratch or making homemade jam with fruit that you picked yourself. The same goes for salads with perfectly ripe tomatoes from the vine. Farms across the state allow visitors to hand-pick a variety of incredibly delicious fruits, a wonderful family experience or adventure with a group of friends.
Pick the cream of the crop at these Wisconsin fruit farms:
Ice cream parlors
Ice cream is the perfect pick-me-up treat, no matter the occasion or time of year. You can taste the difference when you savor ice cream made with real Wisconsin milk. Luckily, many dairy farms churn deliciously sweet ice cream for customers who are looking to satisfy their sweet tooth.
Get some of the best tasting scoops from these Wisconsin farm creameries:
Cheese and dairy stores
Say cheese! Wisconsin is lovingly known as America’s Dairyland — for obvious reasons. Dairy farms across the state produce some of the best cheeses in the nation (we’re a little biased) and sell fresh dairy products to customers in on-site shops. When visiting a dairy store or cheese factory, you can often view the process of bottling milk, making cheese curds and other dairy production.
Wisconsin is home to more than 126 cheese plants, more than any other state in the country. While there are many options to get your fromage fix, here are a few well known cheese factories and dairy stores:
Corn mazes are a fun activity for kids and adults of all ages. Get lost, and ideally found, in a labyrinth made from tall corn stalks. Most corn mazes are popular in the fall to kick off harvest season and celebrate Halloween.
Here are some fun Wisconsin corn mazes to check out:
Animal lovers of all ages can get up close and personal with furry and feathered friends at petting farms across the state. When you meet pigs, goats, sheep, horses, llamas, cows, and so many more, you will gain a stronger love and deeper appreciation for these beautiful animals.
Some Wisconsin petting farms to say hello to these animals include:
While some couples opt for a traditional church wedding, others dream of saying, “I do” in an airy, rustic barn on a beautiful piece of farmland. Barn weddings have become increasingly popular over the years. Many farmers have refurbished old barns and lent their land to wedding parties to celebrate their special day.
Just a few of the state’s farm-based wedding venues include:
Supporting Wisconsin farms is a mutually rewarding activity. Many farms rely on agritourism to grow their businesses and connect with their surrounding communities. In addition to protecting farms throughout Wisconsin, Rural Mutual provides a full line of insurance products, including auto, business, home, renters and life. To learn more about how we can help keep your family, business, and assets covered, contact your local agent today.