Wisconsin Agriculture, A History by Jerry Apps published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Learn more about agriculture in Wisconsin through this book available through the Wisconsin Historical Society Press.

When Wisconsin was first settled by European settlers, the main industries were mining and logging. The farmers of Wisconsin during that time grew a lot of wheat, and wheat was a main crop for several decades. In fact, Wisconsin grew approximately one-sixth of the wheat in the United States during that time. It wasn’t until the 1850s that wheat production in Wisconsin started to deplete. Cinch bugs and wheat rust disease forced farmers to turn to other crops.

It’s during this time that Monroe County started growing cranberries. More than a hundred years later, Wisconsin produces 62 percent of the cranberries used in the United States. This is also when Door County started growing cherries. Other counties followed suit in crop specialization, but another industry was growing at the time.

Thanks to the efforts of William Dempster Hoard (1836-1918), about 90 percent of Wisconsin farms had dairy cows by 1899. By 1915, Wisconsin led the nation in milk and butter production.

Today, Wisconsin leads the nation in cheese production. We make 600 different varieties. Wisconsin produces more Swiss cheese than Switzerland. We are also one of the only produces of Limburger cheese in the world. The annual World Cheese Competition is held in Madison for a reason, and that reason is because Wisconsin is world renown for cheese.

In celebration of cheese, please enjoy the following recipe provided by Marieke Gouda. The recipe features their signature Smoked Gouda cheese on top of one of the best vegetables in the world: acorn squash.

Stuffed Acorn Squash, photo via Marieke Gouda

Stuffed Acorn Squash



Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds and place cut side down on baking sheet. Bake 30-40 minutes or until squash is tender.

While squash is baking, cook brat slices in a medium sized skillet over medium high heat. Add apple pieces and continue to cook another 5 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper, quinoa, and 1 cup Marieke’s Smoked Gouda.

When squash is done baking, carefully flip each half over and divide filling among each squash half. Top each with remaining Marieke’s Smoked Gouda.

Return to oven and bake 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Print this Recipe!!

Share your favorite wintertime recipe in the comments!

Thank you to Marieke Gouda and Wisconsin Historical Society for providing the sources for this blog post. 

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