'How Cows Created Wisconsin' on June 19

Author Ed Janus will talk about the history of the state’s dairy industry in his talk, How Cows Created Wisconsin at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 19, at the Fond du Lac Public Library.

“This is the great American success story, as written by cows and the men and women who learned to care for them,” Janus said.

Subtitled, “The remarkable story of how learning to care for cows saved our soil, created our physical and moral landscape and brought great prosperity to our state,” Janus’ talk is part of the library’s History at Home series of talks on local and state history.

Janus – through slides and oral histories – will explore how the invention of the state’s dairy industry was one of the most important economic development stories in American history. It’s the primary theme of his book, “Creating Dairyland.” Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing.

“The story of dairying in Wisconsin is a nearly perfect demonstration of the American promise to ennoble all people through prosperity, probity, industrial organization and science,” he said.

Janus, who has said that running a 250-acre dairy farm near Soldiers Grove was the best job he ever had, is a writer, independent audio journalist and oral historian. He’s lived in Madison for more than 40 years, where he’s made his mark by bringing the Madison Muskies baseball team to the city and helping to found Capitol Brewery. He currently is director of the People of Rural Wisconsin, a volunteer story-gathering and story-telling organization.

History at Home is a monthly series of talks that bring the area’s and state’s past into full view. The free programs take place at 6 p.m. the third Thursday of the month. Upcoming programs:

  • July 17: Fond du Lac’s Forgotten Pipeman, presented by Sally Powers-Albertz
  • August 21: “Wheel Fever: How Wisconsin Became a Great Bicycling State,” presented by author Nick Hoffman
  • September 18: Yellowstone Trail, presented by Mark Mowbray
  • October 16: The History of the Brothertown Nation, presented by Patty Loew and members of the Brothertown Nation
  • November 20: Christmas on Main Street, presented by Mary Leb of the Fond du Lac Public Library


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