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View from the Cab: Wisconsin thoughts

The Casson view while taking a Wisconsin duck ride / CIFN photo.

My family spent some time in America’s Dairyland last week. No, we didn’t tour any dairy farms but saw plenty of them as we traveled to and from the Wisconsin Dells.

The unofficial water park capital of the world provided a few days of fun and relaxation for our clan. All three kids enjoyed time in the water and didn’t want the fun to stop. It is ironic we played in the water because we seem to be lacking this resource in our part of the world.

Numerous dry days in Central Illinois have led to brown grass and wilting crops. A nice downpour greeted us as we arrived in the Dells but too bad our fields around here didn’t get any of that rain. Maybe it is not too late for that million dollar shower on our corn and soybeans. The later planted crops can still benefit from adequate moisture in August but the earlier planted ones need something soon.

The nice thing about the dryness is not having to mow quite as much, although the grass always looks better when it is greener. I went well over a week without having to mow our yard which was a treat after returning from vacation and trying to catch up on my work.

Here is some Wisconsin dairy information to get you thinking this week. The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board reports dairy contributes $43.4 billion to that state’s economy. According to USDA and the Wisconsin Department of Ag, the state has 9,520 licensed dairy farms and 1,279,000 dairy cows. Wisconsin produces 2,739 gallons of milk per cow each year and a total of 3,167,495,000 pounds of cheese. This accounts for over 26 percent of the U.S. total.

Did you know the first official cheese of Wisconsin was created by Anne Pickett back in 1841? The creation was the result of Pickett combining milk from a neighbor’s cows to the milk from her own cows. That “America’s Dairyland” phrase I eluded to earlier goes back a few years. It was added to Wisconsin license plates by the state legislature after the title was revealed in the early 1930s.

This one may blow you away: if Wisconsin was its own country, it would come in fourth for cheese production worldwide. That information comes from USDA-NASS, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service and the EuroState Online Database.

(The View from the Cab is powered by Petersen Motors of Fairbury)

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