My summer started with a drive south from Massachusetts to North Carolina and then up and over to Wisconsin – on every leg I’ve explored our agricultural differences while at the same time being reminded of our similarities. Every state has eaters and every state has farmers that work the land to feed them.  Whether you grow the corn, raise the cow or simply drink it’s milk, we are all connected.  And it is by working together that we can create a food and farming system that will leave our cherished lands thriving for generations to come.  So let us find intrigue in our differences and hope in the humanity that binds us…

LAND COVER AT A DISTANCE  (Click on image to make it not quite so distant)

Wisconsin:

WICropscapeEnlarged

North Carolina:

Go to Cropscape to zoom in even more

 

STATE VEGETABLE

Wisconsin: None.  Instead, they have a state grain and it’s called corn.

Fast Fact: In 2008, Wisconsin was the largest producer of organic corn with 33,619 acres.

North Carolina: Sweet Potato

Fast Fact:  North Carolina produces roughly 50% of our country’s sweet potatoes

 

STATE FRUIT

Wisconsin: Cranberry

Organic Cranberry Harvest. Three Lakes, WI

Fast Fact:  Every year, Wisconsin cranberry growers harvest enough cranberries to supply every man, woman and child in the world with approximately 26 cranberries.

North Carolina:  Scuppernong Grape (Pronounced: skuhp-er-nawg)

Fast Fact:  The Scuppernong Grape is native to the Southeast and was the first grape ever actively cultivated in the United States.  North Carolina ranks number 10 in the nation for both grape and wine production.  The grape industry produces $813 million a year for the state’s economy.

 

TOP LIVESTOCK INVENTORY ITEM

Wisconsin:  The top item is the broiler even though the state raised over 700 million fewer than NC.

North Carolina:  In 2012, North Carolina raised nearly 799,700,000 broilers, 36,000,000 turkeys (2nd in nation), and nearly 9,000,000 hogs (2nd in nation).  And unfortunately, we’ve got the manure and environmental problems to prove it…

CHerron, 2013

 

NUMBER OF CROPP COOPERATIVE FARMER-MEMBERS

Wisconsin: ~309

North Carolina: ~ 6

One thing is certain, no matter what region you’re in there is an Organic Valley farmer somewhere nearby showing their cows some  love…

The Langmeier's, Grant County, WI

The Langmeier’s, Grant County, WI

 

To Togetherness,

Callie Herron