The Farm

Get an insider’s view of a Chippewa Valley farmstead. Look for the hen house, machine shed, milk house, barn, and farmhouse itself. Farms are businesses, and their owners skillful business people. However, farms are also homes where the drama of life is played out. In many cases the family farm is the birthright of its owner, and has been passed down through multiple generations.

Gathering Places

Meeting places are interwoven with the lives of the people who gather in them. The dance hall, church, the feed mill, the rural school are as much a part of the farm life experience as the farm itself. Together they form a fabric of rural life that sustains people through “a sense of community that is a practical and spiritual necessity.” Explore the gathering places common to the Chippewa Valley’s farm communities.

As farming changes, traditional dairy barns disappear from the landscape, and rural populations shrink, the area continues to be rich in locally produced foods, farmers markets, and agricultural activity. Farm life has been an essential part of the life of the Chippewa Valley.

Major funding for Farm Life provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Wisconsin Arts Board, and the Wisconsin Humanities Council.

The NEH found the Farm Life Exhibition remarkable for its “seamless integration of scholarship and the stories of real people.”