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Wisconsin Dairymen's Association / Eleventh annual report of the Wisconsin Dairymen's Association : held at Elk-horn, Wis., January 31, and February 1 and 2, 1883. Report of the proceedings, annual address of the president, and interesting essays relating to the dairy interests

Roberts, I. P.
The past, present, and future of dairying,   pp. 70-79 PDF (2.1 MB)

Page 71

cessful. We will consider this convention a body of friendly 
neighbors, convened for the time being to discuss the Past, 
Present and Future of the dairy interest, in any or all of its 
And let not little things be despised, for the whole indus- 
try is made up of them, the multiplication of the forces 
which lie in a little calf, a blade of grass and a motion of 
the human hand, produce ship loads of valuable nutritious 
Where did we start? A long way back, but let us begin 
with the century. We had at that time a few hundred 
thousand cows inferior to their progenitors, for their uncon- 
genial environments had caused them to degenerate. Most 
of them found a precarious living in the swamps and clear- 
ings in the summer, and in the lee of straw stacks in the 
winter, while in spring they relieved their constipated bowls 
and purified their blood by eating buds and twigs in the 
Down at the spring house was the milk in earthen crocks 
and there our good mothers and grandmothers rolled the salt 
and made the butter; near by the kettle filled with stones 
pressed the cheese and no thanks to any patent right man. 
Tradition says the butter was good, and had fine aroma, 
though the cows from which it was made had frequently to 
be "tailed up in the spring," and not one drop of milk from 
the aristocratic-pedigreed, solid-colored, dark-tongued, back- 
pointed, beautiful deer-like Jersey entered into it. The cheese 
made in a bottomless peck measure, melted in the mouth, at 
least all they could get did. 
Certain portions of the state, it was soon found were not 
well adapted to grain raising, but produced good grass. 
Here the dairy interests began to thrive and grow, and de- 
rived great benefit from the juxtaposition of the dairymen, 
which juxtaposition caused the rapid dissemination of tech- 
nical knowledge. Some localities gained a wide spread 
reputation for superior products and some enthusiasts be- 
came so vainglorious as to honestly beheve that good butter 
could not be made outside of the limits of these charmed 
districts.           % 

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