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Creating Dairyland: How caring for cows saved our soil, created our landscape, brought prosperity to our state, and still shapes our way of life in Wisconsin Paperback

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Creating Dairyland: How caring for cows saved our soil, created our landscape, brought prosperity to our state, and still shapes our way of life in Wisconsin + Apple Pie and Enchiladas: Latino Newcomers in the Rural Midwest + Lost Mountain: A Year in the Vanishing Wilderness Radical Strip Mining andthe Devastation ofAppalachia
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Wisconsin Historical Society Press; 1 edition (June 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870204637
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870204630
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #635,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Never before has one book encompassed the complete tale of Wisconsin's dairy industry in such a mesmerizing and musing way. From its powerful 'big bang' beginning, to the present day renaissance of artisan and farmstead cheeses, this story of how Wisconsin came to be called America's Dairyland is a must-read for the current generation. Author Ed Janus aptly captures the 'can-do' spirit of the state's dairy farmers and cheesemakers, all the while preaching 'the gospel of the cow' like no else before him. Anyone who thinks they know the complete story of how Wisconsin came to be will come away with a new perspective and appreciation for the state's heritage."  (Jeanne Carpenter, Wisconsin Cheese Originals)

"Starting with an excellent history of dairy farming in Wisconsin, Ed Janus also includes nine stories of cheesemakers and dairy farmers in their own voices in this important book about the Wisconsin dairy industry then and now." (Jerry Apps, author, historian and storyteller)

"Anyone who grew up on a dairy farm or has any connection to the dairy industry would enjoy reading this book. . . . The dairy farmers Ed writes about illustrate the diversity of Wisconsin dairy farms, some with a few cows, some with a lot of cows and some who make their own cheese, but all share the love of cows and the land." (Bob Cropp, professor emeritus and dairy economist, University of Wisconsin–Madison)

"Just in time for June Dairy Month comes a book that details the surprising history of the Wisconsin dairy industry and tells the forgotten story of the redemptive power the dairy cow had on an ailing Wisconsin landscape, which helped usher in an era of enlightenment that exists on many dairy farms to this day." (Jim Lundstrom, Scene Newspaper)

"Creating Dairyland is the most eloquent statement I’ve read yet of a truth seldom expressed because it rubs some farmers the wrong way. Dairying is one of the few kinds of farming that can be both ecologically and economically profitable at the same time. The business of producing milk demands both good husbandry and good agronomy. Clovers and grasses form the bulk of what goes into a cow’s mouth, and the manure and urine coming out the other end provide enough fertilizer, along with the green manure value of rotated hay crops, to make farming truly sustainable. . . . Along with the dedication of dairy farmers like the ones Mr. Janus profiles, manure just might be the poop that saves the whole world in the future." (Gene Logsdon, author of Holy Shit: Managing Manure To Save Mankind)

"Janus has done more than write regional history – he has put together a cogent argument for the good done by public universities and the power of enlightened association in the name of economic fairness and stability. Although its stated topic is cows and cheese, the actual subject matter of Creating Dairyland is the creation of a great American state. It’s a story that any Wisconsinite (or, heck, even an enlightened Minnesotan or Iowan) should seek out and enjoy, chased by a tall glass of milk." (James Norton, The Heavy Table)

About the Author

Ed Janus spent two years as a dairy farmer in Crawford County, Wisconsin, where he fell in love with cows, fields, barns, and farmers. Since then he has interviewed hundreds of people as an audio journalist, writer, and oral historian and has created radio programs for public radio, the Voice of America, and publishers in the United States and Germany. In 2007 Ed created a series of audio profiles of today’s dairy farmers and cheesemakers for the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. He lives in Madison.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Kramer on November 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
What fun this was to read! I learned a lot about the genesis of large scale dairy farming in Wisconsin and found it fascinating reading how the different farm families adapted to the changing economics and issues of scale as the dairy industry evolved.

I loved the story of Hannah and how she is developing an expertise in breeding.

I was looking for the story of an organic farmer and was rewarded by the story of Bob Molini and how he chooses not to milk all winter because he wants time for other things in his life, he keeps his herd small and stays with the traditional way of raising cows. He and similar farmers are served by the Organic Valley Cooperative which helps them to buck the get bigger trend and farm the way that fits their life choices.

One of the sessions at the Wisconsin Book Festival this fall featured one of the farmers featured in this book, Mike Gingrich spoke about his journey to the creation of the award winning Pleasant Ridge Reserve cheese. He shared some samples also. Three cheers for the farmers of Wisconsin!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Edubya on December 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is book is very well-written. For those of you interested in dairy farming and how it all began in Wisconsin, this is a "must read" book! The author does a great job covering many facets of dairy farming in Wisconsin. I highly recommend it!
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