Office of Undergraduate Research

Wisconsin Farm Oral History Project

Nicknamed the Dairy State, with over 78,000 farms from Bayfield to Kenosha, Wisconsin is one of the most agriculturally prolific states in the country. The Wisconsin Farms Oral History project, an inter-campus collaboration initiated by UW-Whitewater's Public History program, will bring together faculty and students to explore the history of food and farming in rural and urban Wisconsin in order to better understand the significance of farm culture in people's everyday lives. Our central research question is: How has food production and food consumption in Wisconsin over the past 80 years influenced community development, particularly with regard to inter-racial and inter-cultural dynamics? We will answer this question by conducting oral histories with farmers and people in farming communities. The project employs a "community-based history" approach, using oral history as a way to understand farming history from the perspective of individuals who have lived that history.

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