University of Wisconsin–Madison

Agriculture & Environment

Stories

  • A group photo showing a gathering of men behind an American and a Swiss flag

    The Swiss Roots of America’s “Dairyland”

    When the wheat crop failures of the late nineteenth century jeopardized the incomes of many of Wisconsin’s immigrant farmers, the region’s Swiss population transitioned to a trade that they knew from the Old World: dairying …

  • When Lake Koshkonong was a Marsh

    Maintaining practices like an annual visit to Lake Koshkanong to hunt and harvest food is an important way for indigenous knowledge and culture to be passed-on to the next generation.

  • Migrant Workers and the Bond Pickle Company

    The Bond Pickle Company of Oconto, Wisconsin was founded in 1915 by five brothers. The Bond brothers quickly developed the firm, by 1917 acquiring 10 “salting stations” where the cucumbers were received from local farmers and a …

  • a black and white photo of poorly maintained migrant workers cabins from 1962

    Wisconsin’s Migrant Housing Laws

    Before World War II, most of the migrant workers in Wisconsin’s pickle fields were single young men, and pickle companies provided housing for workers in large dormitories. After World War II, however, farmers began to …

  • Oliver, Sheldon, and Glen Fardig help in the Fardig Orchard in Ephraim, WI, c. 1930. Photograph courtesy of the Ephraim Historical Foundation.

    Migrant Labor and Door County Cherries

    Early Door County cherry orchards relied heavily on local workers, and all members of the family were expected to contribute. From the planting process, spraying of fungicides, pruning, and finally cherry picking, each cherry tree …

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Image courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society (Image ID 8534)