Discover the rich and diverse history of farming in Wisconsin – from the story of cranberry growers and Christmas tree farmers to the harvesters of honey and hops – with celebrated rural historian Jerry Apps in his new Wisconsin Historical Society Press book Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.
Wisconsin has been a farming state from its very beginnings. Though it’s long been known as “The Dairy State,” this book shows that the Badger state produces much more than cows, milk and cheese. Along with expected topics, such as artisan cheesemaking and the cranberry industry, Wisconsin Agriculture explores beef cattle and dairy goats, fur farming, Christmas trees, maple syrup, honey, and other specialty crops, including ginseng, hemp, cherries, sugar beets, mint, sphagnum moss, flax and hops.
The first history of Wisconsin agriculture in nearly a century, this long-awaited volume digs into a cornucopia of agricultural topics, from the fundamental influences of landscape and weather to complex matters of ethnic and pioneer settlement patterns, changing technology, agricultural research and education, and government regulations and policies.
Apps also explores new and rediscovered farming endeavors, from aquaculture to urban farming to beekeeping, as well as recent political developments, such as the 2014 Farm Bill and its ramifications. And he looks to the future of farming, contemplating questions of ethical growing practices, food safety, sustainability, and the potential effects of climate change.
Featuring first-person accounts from the settlement era to today, and more than 200 captivating photos, Wisconsin Agriculture breathes life into the facts and figures of 150 years of farming history and provides compelling insights into the state’s past, present, and future. Click here for more information.