Dairy exhibit shows development of that industry

Our new exhibit is open: Milking Time: Evolution of the Dairy Industry in Marathon County


The landscape of Marathon County is dotted with farm fields, barns, and plenty of cows. But it wasn’t always that way. The newest exhibit at the Marathon County Historical Society traces the development of dairying as an industry.


The exhibit Milking Time: Evolution of the Dairy Industry in Marathon County is now open at the Woodson History Center, 410 McIndoe St., Wausau.


With the decline of logging in the late 1800s, farmers settled the land in Marathon County. They had to remove tree stumps left by the loggers in order to create fields for crops to feed their livestock and their families. By the early 1900s, dairy farming became most farmers’ best option for making a living. During the first half of the 20th century, progress was made on improving herds through breeding and testing cows for milk butterfat production and tuberculosis. Education was available to farmers through local vocational education programs and UW Extension agents. Electrification of the rural areas and the replacement of horses with tractors increased milk production. By the mid-20th century, dairy farming was a profitable family business and cheese factories were found in most parts of Marathon County.


The exhibit is free to visit, on opening day and always. Donations will be appreciated. Registration is not required. For more information, please call the Marathon County Historical Society at 715-842-5750.


Support for the Milking Time exhibit was provided by the Dudley Foundation, Inc.; the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin; and the Judd S. Alexander Foundation.