By Edward Janus
Audio Production by Chris Bocast for Divergent Arts
The story of dairying in Wisconsin is the story of how our very landscape and way of life were created. By making cows the center of our farm life and learning how to care for them, our ancestors launched a revolution that changed much more than the way farmers earned their livings - it changed us.
In Creating Dairyland, journalist, oral historian, and former dairyman Ed Janus opens the pages of the fascinating story of Wisconsin dairy farming. He explores the profound idea that led to the remarkable "big bang" of dairying here a century and a half ago. He helps us understand why there are cows in Wisconsin, how farmers became responsible stewards of our resources, and how cows have paid them back for their efforts. And he introduces us to dairy farmers and cheesemakers of today: men and women who want to tell us why they love what they do.
Ed Janus offers a sort of field guide to Dairyland, showing us how to "read" our landscape with fresh eyes, explaining what we see today by describing how and why it came to be. Creating Dairyland pays tribute to the many thousands of Wisconsin farmers who have found a way to stay on their land with their cows. Their remarkable effort of labor, intelligence, and faith is one of the great stories of Wisconsin - a story still being written.