Chickens, goats and the governor were all down on the farm, near Onalaska on Tuesday.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers — back in Onalaska for the second time in a week — and state Tourism Secretary Anne Sayers led a group of government visitors to the Rainbow Ridge Farm, which draws plenty of people wanting to milk cows or learn other kinds of farm activities and chores.
Evers said that’s becoming an important part of tourist entertainment around Wisconsin, as farmers “encourage people to understand what’s going on with their economy in the farms that they’re running.”
“But also,” Evers said, “they’re making a lot of people happy and that’s a good part of being in the tourism industry.”
Agriculture-related tourism accounts for a large portion of the $300-million-a-year in visitor spending reported in La Crosse County, which once again ranks among the Top 10 counties for tourism revenue around Wisconsin.
Sayers said the appeal of hands-on farm experiences is growing all over the state.
“They’re looking for these experiential opportunities, just like we heard here,” Sayers said. “The consumer wants to have a chance to feed the baby goats and select the eggs and be a part of the process.”
Last week, Evers was in Onalaska doing another kind of chore — trying his hand at filling potholes.