Recognized for its outstanding contribution to the hospitality and travel industry in Wisconsin, Wormfarm’s Farm/Art DTour last fall brought 18,000+ visitors to Sauk County.
REEDSBURG, WI⸺Wormfarm Institute was presented with the Governor’s Tourism Award for its outstanding contributions to the state’s hospitality and travel industry during the 2021 Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism (WIGCOT) held virtually earlier this month. As one of only six individuals, organizations, or businesses to receive an award, Wormfarm was recognized in the category of Arts, Culture and Heritage for its popular Farm/Art DTour event⸺a self-guided drive through the scenic working farmland of Sauk County punctuated by site-responsive art, roadside poetry, local food, pasture performances, and more. With social distancing already built-in, the DTour was uniquely positioned to allow visitors to support the many artists, farm stands, and small businesses in the area last fall, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sponsored by the Governor’s Council on Tourism, the Awards recognize individuals, organizations, and businesses for their excellence, dedication, and impact on Wisconsin’s travel and hospitality industry. The Council recognized the DTour as a model for creative tourism experiences that educate, entertain and engage from the ground up.
Wormfarm Executive Director, Donna Neuwirth stated: “We’re surprised and delighted to win the Governor’s Tourism Award. In a year when so many events were canceled, we were thrilled to offer out-of-town visitors and Sauk County residents alike a fun, multifaceted meander through the farmlands that support us all.”
In the eight years since it began, the Farm/Art DTour has gained national and international attention and accolades as a key part of Wormfarm’s Fermentation Fest: A Live Culture Convergence. More than 18,000 people traveled the 50-mile DTour route between Plain and Sauk City over the course of the ten-day event in the fall of 2020. Attendees came from throughout the Midwest and beyond to enjoy this agri/cultural excursion which provided an economic boost to area businesses. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the DTour still supported over 100 artists and performers and connected local farm stands, shops, restaurants, and cottage food entrepreneurs to new customers.
While the Farm/Art DTour is presented on a biennial basis, audiences can still take advantage of outdoor events this growing season through Wormfarm’s experimental program series titled Test Plots. Taking its name from the designated parts of a field used to trial new crops and growing techniques, Test Plots will present a variety of projects throughout Sauk County including disc golf, public art commissions, agricultural workshops, and musical performances. Test Plots will function as a means to experiment with new ideas and partnerships leading up to the next Farm/Art DTour planned for fall 2022. More information on the Test Plots series will be announced soon. Visit wormfarminstitute.org for event details and further updates.
For more information on the 2021 recipients of the Governor’s Tourism Awards, read the press release at travelwisconsin.com
About Wormfarm Institute
Wormfarm Institute is a nonprofit organization in Sauk County, Wisconsin working to build a sustainable future for agriculture and the arts by fostering links between people and the land. An evolving laboratory of the arts and ecology and fertile ground for creative work, Wormfarm explores the links between rural and urban communities within and beyond the food chain, creating opportunities for cross-sector collaboration. For more information, visit wormfarminstitute.org