Dairy State of Mind

What happens when an Englishman moves to America’s Dairyland?

I lived there for six years. Let me tell you about it.

Dairyland? Is that like Disneyland?

No. No it’s not. America’s Dairyland is the nickname given to Wisconsin. Nothing to do with Mickey Mouse.

Wis..what? Where’s that now?

Wisconsin. It’s one of the states in MidWest America. Here’s a map to help you.

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Map from Wikipedia

To the west there’s Minnesota, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. It’s a pretty big place, about the same size as the UK, and just under six million people live there.

Why is it called America’s Dairyland?

Short answer: Because of the cows.

Long answer: In 2017, there were 1.2 million cows in Wisconsin (all figures taken from Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board). Wisconsin produces 14% of all milk in the United States, and the dairy industry contributes $14 billion to the Wisconsin economy.

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eating dairy

So what was it like living there?

Oh, so very, very cold. The coldest I have ever been in my entire life. We’re talking -17C.

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beautiful winter scene: snow, an abandoned sofa, and a police car

Oh, so very, very hot. The hottest I have ever been in my entire life. We’re talking 36C.

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trying to keep cool by the lake

Where exactly did you live?

In this amazing place called Beloit. It was recently featured in the New York Times.

Blending in

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That was my Halloween costume one year; a Wisconsin farmer.

Strangest moment

Sitting in a dentist’s chair, having my teeth cleaned by the hygienist. We made small talk, and when discovering I was from England, she asked me Do they speak English there?

What were you doing there for six years?

Thanks for asking!

I did a degree in Education and Museum Studies, worked part-time in a public library, and was a stay-at-home-dad; my two children were born during our time in Wisconsin.

That’s right, my kids are from America’s Dairyland. They’re my permanent souvenirs. We believe at least one of them is made of cheese.

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