• Located in Driftless Area of the Midwest• Major crops include; corn, soybeans, alfalfa, cattle and hogs• Part of the Upper Mississippi River Valley Viticultural Area – the world’s largest designated appellation• Part of the Mississippi Flyway, bringing birds north in the spring & south in the autumn• Major industries are agriculture and tourism
• Launched in 2010 as a comprehensive agritourism education and economic development program for Jo Daviess County, IL• Program developed using NO government funds• Strong acceptance from businesses and farmers• Developed an inclusive Strategic Plan• Provides an experiential getaway for the visitor
• Represents farm enterprises and providers in 20 counties from NW IL, SW WI and NE IA• The online farmers market adds new vendors weekly• The website DiscoverTheTriStates.com ranks on Google for over 200 keywords• Program is promoted through local Farm Bureaus, Convention & Visitor Bureaus and Chambers of Commerce
• Educates – Educates consumers about modern agriculture – Educates farmers on what consumers expect from their food and from their experiences.• Connects Consumers with Local Farmers – Builds engagement & opens lines-of-communication• Promotes Regional Rural Economic Development on the Global Digital Stage• Also provides countless ancillary benefits; from event & attraction promotion, to tactile participation in the rural lifestyle.
• The region’s first digital farmers market• Free listing for all providers who participate in physical farmers markets• Links consumer directly to provider through phone, email and/or website• Site organized into familiar categories similar to a traditional farmers market• Makes locally grown food more accessible to residents whose schedules don’t coincide with market hours
• Growth and expansion continues• Building a new, virtual farmers market platform in IL to be introduced in 2013• Researching the expansion of Discover the Flavors as a national network of regional agritourism & digital farmers market initiatives• Expanding the educational resources for farmers and consumers