Photo by Samantha Nesovanovic
If there’s one thing Wisconsin is known for, it is agriculture. From the state’s license plates proclaiming Wisconsin as “America’s Dairyland” to the foam cheeseheads dotting Lambeau Field to the rolling cornfields of Green, Portage and Polk Counties, growing things is just what many Wisconsinites do.
But the industry is changing and farming today is vastly different than what the practice resembled 30 years ago. And the future of the vital industry is in doubt, affecting the food students eat in the dining halls, at Madison’s many farm-to-table restaurants and, for many young people, the industry they will graduate and work in.
The Daily Cardinal has elected to dedicate its second, themed Action Project issue to this vital subject, recognizing that agriculture is often missing from the stories we tell in our paper yet is crucial to both powering our lives and the future of this university.
We wanted to look at the many unseen ways in which agriculture touches all of our lives, from the beer and dairy that are staples of this state’s economy to farm-bred athletes who compete on the playing fields at UW to the effects the industry has on the future of the environment.
The responsibility we have to reconnect with our land and Wisconsin’s rich agricultural history reaches far beyond choosing local or organic food to eat. We ask that in engaging with this project, the campus community will delve deeper into the ways that farming has grown and the ways it has endured, despite the momentous challenges of the job. We hope the next time you bite into a burger or drive past a dairy barn, you think about the processes behind it and the stories of the people who make that food possible.