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Road Trippin': Viroqua and it's growing food movement

VIROQUA- FOX continues its Road Tripping series, this time 2 hours west of Madison to Viroqua. It's a town that enjoys its place on the national and state registry of historic places.


It really enjoys the several things it's quite famous for, things you may not know about this quaint little town. Viroqua takes its place as the county seat of Vernon County nestled in what's known as the Driftless Region.


It's home to just a few thousand people, but those that call Viroqua home know they live among some special things.


The local food movement is growing by the day. It's place just a few miles from Organic Valley positions it as prime locale for the freshest of foods. Vernon County is home to the highest concentration of organic farms in the US.


The Viroqua Food Co-op is the center of the local food movement in the area.


"We really focus on local and organic food, said Bjorn Bergman, manager, Viroqua Food Co-op. "We have so many great local organic farmers around here and we really try to prioritize and showcase all of their products."


Tourists from all around the midwest make Viroqua a food destination.


"We're seeing more and more local farmers as a result of it, said Bergman. "So, we're hoping us being able to be a retail location for their products and also the CSA movement, the community supported agriculture, there are a lot of those farmer's markets in town, it's just kinda all come together to form a really great local food economy here."


The trails, scenery, rivers are also big tourist draws. Viroqua is home to world-class fly fishing, thanks to its position at the center of the Driftless region supplying limestone creeks.


"It has the right chemistry, it has the right water temperature, it has constant flows, which are great for aquatic insects, which are great for aquatic vegetation, which also means that it's great for trout, so we have an abundance of trout in this unique area here, said Matt Wagner, co-owner of the Driftless Angler.

Fly fishing pulls tourists from all around the world.


"We have people come from as far away as japan and South Africa, Italy, England, etc, etc, specifically to fish this water because it's so rare and unique."

And if you're looking to add a little culture to your weekend check-out the restored Temple Theatre.


It's fully staffed by volunteers. The temple was restored to its classical revival style and re-opened 12 years ago. It makes a large economic impact on the town by running 5 show seasons, which starts back in September.


"Nowadays, people come here because it's something special, said Paula Menn, President A.R.R.T. "Maybe it's just to see your child or grandchild in a ballet recital, or dance performance. The most important thing is that people have a sense of community, it doesn't belong to any one person or a corporation, it belongs to the community. The volunteer base, the sponsorship base and the patron base all come together to enjoy what happens here."

Road Trippin': Viroqua and it's growing food movement

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