Wisconsin is known as America’s Dairyland

November 28, 2012 7:36 am

Wisconsin is known as America’s Dairyland. Much of the state is a rolling plain that is good for dairy farming and growing crops. In southern Wisconsin, you’ll see herds of dairy (milk) cows grazing in pastures. Much of the state’s milk is turned into cheese and butter.
Facts About Wisconsin
5,600,000 people
Rank among states in population
Major cities
Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay
65,500 square miles
170,000 square kilometers
Rank among states in area
May 29, 1848, the 30th state
State nickname
The Badger State
Name for residents
State bird
State flower
State tree
Sugar Maple
Wisconsin is known for making cheese. It produces more cheese than any other state in the . It’s sometimes called the Cheese Capital of the Nation. Immigrants from Europe brought their cheese-making skills to Wisconsin.
Many of Wisconsin’s cheese-making factories are small, family-owned businesses. These factories generally offer tours and welcome tourists.
A group of people in Wisconsin call themselves Cheeseheads. They are fans of the Green Bay Packers, a football team in the National Football League (NFL). Some Cheeseheads wear hats that look like big pieces of cheese. Most people from Wisconsin are very proud of their NFL team.
Green Bay is a small city. Most professional football teams are in much bigger cities. What’s especially unusual about the Packers is that the people of Green Bay own them. Wealthy people or big companies own the other professional sports teams.
Wisconsin’s official nickname is the Badger State, but not after the animals known as badgers. Wisconsin’s badgers were miners who were looking for lead in the 1800s. During winter, they dug holes out of the hillsides for shelter, just like badgers. The miners lived in these holes.
Lead mining brought the first white settlers to Wisconsin in the 1820s. Wisconsin produced nearly half the nation’s lead until 1845. Many miners left after gold was discovered in California in 1848.
Farmers began pouring into the state during the 1830s. They were drawn by Wisconsin’s fertile soil. They immigrated to Wisconsin from England, Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Switzerland, and Norway.
Wisconsin became the 30th state on May 29, 1848. Madison is the capital of Wisconsin. Milwaukee is the largest city.
The state is named after the Wisconsin River. The name comes from an Ojibwa Indian word. The Ojibwa word may mean “gathering of the waters” or “place of the beaver.”
Wisconsin’s largest city is located on the shores of Lake Michigan, in the southeastern corner of the state. Beer made Milwaukee famous. Brewing beer was a major industry in Milwaukee for most of the 1900s. German immigrants brought a love of beer to the city.
Milwaukee is an important manufacturing city. It is also known for its summer festivals. The city holds an 11-day music festival called Summerfest. Numerous ethnic groups also hold festivals that feature food, music, and dancing. You can go to Irish Fest, Mexican Fiesta, Arab World Fest, Polishfest, Germanfest, and Festa Italiana. There are also festivals that celebrate African American, Native American, and Asian heritages.
Every summer, the Great Circus Parade comes to Milwaukee. It features 75 historic circus wagons pulled by horses. Clowns, elephants, and camels are also part of the parade.
The Great Circus Parade travels to Milwaukee from Baraboo, Wisconsin. That’s where the Circus World Museum is. At the museum, you can see the colorful circus wagons, circus costumes, and circus posters. Circus acts also perform here.
At one time, many circuses wintered in Wisconsin. The Circus World Museum is located on the site of the winter quarters of the Ringling Brothers Circus. John Ringling, founder of the circus, was born near Baraboo.
If you like animals, you’ll probably enjoy visiting the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo. This organization is helping to preserve these beautiful birds. It’s the only place in the world where you can see all 15 species (kinds) of cranes. Some of these birds are 6 feet (2 meters) tall! The whooping crane is one of our rarest birds.
The Wisconsin Dells is an area of beautiful sandstone cliffs and caverns along the Wisconsin River. It’s one of the most popular recreation areas in the state. People come to the dells to enjoy the scenery, take boat rides on the river, and hike along the cliffs. There are outdoor amusement parks here as well.
Wisconsin is shaped like a mitten. Door County is the thumb of that mitten. It’s on a peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan, and it’s a popular recreation area. Fishing, boating, and swimming are popular activities in summer. Door County has miles of beaches. In winter, people come to Door County to ski and ride snowmobiles across the snow.
If you’re interested in flying or airplanes, you might want to go to AirVenture. About 10,000 airplanes are on display at this summer event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
At AirVenture, you’ll see antique airplanes and watch daredevils wingwalk—walk on an airplane’s wings during flight. You might even get a ride in an airplane or hot air balloon. You’ll have a chance to build model planes and rockets, too.
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