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Hibbard, Benjamin Horace, 1870-1955 / The history of agriculture in Dane County, Wisconsin

Chapter IV: The dairy industry,   pp. 176-184 PDF (1.8 MB)

Page 182

as the pasture begins to fail; this fodder also constitutes one of
the standard feeds for winter and is usually cured in the shock
and fed in an open yard, though occasionally it is cut or shredded
and fed in a manger. Clover and timothy constitute the prin-
cipal hay, which, together with corn and oats, sometimes ground,
but as often whole, and possibly a few pumpkins or turnips, make
up the ration.
   Probably dairying has worked a greater change in the people
 engaged in it than has any other kind of agriculture in the state.
 During the wheat period it was customary for the German to
 get up early, harness his team, eat a light breakfast, and at six,
 or six-thirty o'clock, go to the field, where in a slow but steady
 and painstaking way he would plod along at his work, stop
 about ten for lunch of brown bread with ham or sausage
 and a few cups of coffee, take an hour or a little more for his din-
 ner, repeat the program in the afternoon, reaching the house a
 little before dusk even in the longest days, and after taking the
 harness from his horses, and eating supper, go to bed; the
 "chores" were invariably -left to his Frau. This routine in a
 little less methodical manner was carried out by other foreigners
 and even by many Americans, though the latter always worked
 fewer hours and at a brisker pace. These various nationalities
 have all gone into dairving, and their habits of work have under-
 gone a transformation. They still must arise early in the morn-
 in- but the first duty is to get the milk started to the factory and
 in this the boys and girls have a part. Breakfast comes at a later
 hour and by the time the teams are started to the field the sun is
 high. The leisurely manner of the farmer of a generation ago
 will not do now, and with a fast-moving team, with little lingering
 at the ends of the field, with the lunches omitted, the Germans as
 well as the rest have adopted the genuine American hustle.
 Dairying is here to stay. If it does not offer as many possi-
 bilities for sudden wealth as does tobacco, it is less of a lottery,
 and has fewer failures charged to its account. It will go on mak-
 ing the soil richer for an indefinite number of years. It is to the
 ameliorating effects of dairying that tobacco farming owes its
 success and permanence, and it is fast coming into favor as a sup-
plement to that industry.85 It is, however, the opinion of both
"'Wisconsin Tobacco Reporter, December 15, 1893.

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