Term: dairy industry in Wisconsin
International Harvester Co. poster, 1921 (WHi-9841)
Although many pioneers kept a family cow, the first generations of farmers in Wisconsin considered wheat their main crop. Only after the Civil War, when soil exhaustion, insect infestation, and cheaper wheat from states further west threatened their livelihoods, did most Wisconsin farmers consider dairying. This transformation was championed by William Dempster Hoard (q.v.) and facilitated by the cheese-making traditions of Swiss and German immigrants, the invention of the silo, and the development of refrigerated railroad cars. By 1915 Wisconsin was producing more butter and cheese than any other state. View more information elsewhere at wisconsinhistory.org.
View pictures related to dairying at Wisconsin Historical Images.
View pictures related to cheesemaking at Wisconsin Historical Images.
[Source: Turning Points in Wisconsin History]