Fields of dreams in beautiful southwest Wisconsin
Driving in and around the tri-state area is a feast for the eyes. Although you won’t be ogling towering mountains here, the rolling hills filled with farmland and dairies offers a scenery only the heartland of Amerian can provide. Sometimes you cruise along the county roads for miles without meeting another car – there is no traffic here. Wisconsin’s picturesque dairy farms, pastures and rolling hills lured me to get out and snap some pictures. Caution: multiple images of farmland ahead!
Wisconsin is known as America’s Dairyland for good reason. It’s home to 1,271,000 dairy cows, each one producing about 7 gallons of milk per per day and generating $21,000 per year in economic activity (Source: Wisconsin Agricultural Statistics Service (WASS), August 1, 2014).
Holsteins, the cows with black and white markings, account for 90% of the dairy cattle population, for they produce more milk than other breeds. Not surprisingly, Wisconsin’s #1 agricultural product is cheese, with milk production coming in #2.
The picturesque dairy farms are still 99% family-owned, many operated by descendants of the families who began raising dairy cows six generations ago. There are about 10,200 licensed herds as of August, 2014 (Source: Wisconsin Agricultural Statistics Service (WASS), August 1, 2014).
Along with 11 other states, Wisconsin is in the “corn belt,” a region of the U.S. where corn is a predominant crop. Much of it is grown for grain and silage as livestock feed.
Some of these farmers have a sense of humor – this one allows dinosaurs to graze on his land…
…and this one is friendly enough to allow aliens to camp out on his. It doesn’t look like he provides water or power, though.
After taking a long drive to enjoy the beautiful countryside, the sun made a welcome appearance. It was finally nice enough out that we could start a campfire and wind down for the rest of the day.