The Story of Wisconsin's Beloved Farmers

In the past, producing one's food was a necessity of life. This simple notion bound people intimately to their land, food, and neighbors.

Wisconsin is traditionally known for its deep-rooted dairy farming background. This can be attributed to the rich ecological history of the state.

Wisconsin agriculture is so much more than a resource, though. It is a landscape of interaction and connectedness.

Today, many of the traditional connections with land and food have become strained.

Fortunately, the Dane County Farmers Market in Madison, Wisconsin serves as an outlet for the community to engage in local food culture and learn about where their food comes from.

At market, relationships form between producers and consumers through conversations that would otherwise never take place.

Geographic Provinces of Wisconsin

Click on a geographical region to learn about the land and farms who make the Dane County Farmers Market the largest producer-only market in the country.


Map of Western Uplands

The map shows the intense concentration of dairy farmers in the Driftless Region.

Map of Eastern Lowlands

This map shows the intense concentration of cattle ranchers and fruit farmers.

Map of Central Plain

This map shows an interspersed cheesemaker and trout farm which parallels the scattered agriculture in the central plain.

The region was once the bed of Glacial Lake Wisconsin, so the flat and sandy landscape only sustains a sparse population.

Map of Northern Highlands

This map shows the decreasing prevalence of farmers reigning from the north. This is due to the inadequate farming landscape, as most of the region is covered in woodlands.