This past summer the Grassland 2.0 team collaborated with the Wormfarm Institute on their 8th Biennial Farm/Art DTour. The event is a self-guided tour of rural arts and culture through the scenic working farmland of Sauk County, Wisconsin. This year’s event featured a tour through southern Sauk County with trailheads in Plain and Sauk City and a stop at Troy Farm Madison.
Participants had the opportunity to wander through scenic landscapes, small towns, and agricultural lands providing a much-needed change of scenery and respite during a challenging time. Large-scale art installations, local food markets, and roadside poetry exhibits were featured along the route.
The Grassland 2.0 team drew upon our work conducting oral history interviews with the Wisconsin grazing community (to hear their stories, subscribe to our podcast GrassCast here or anywhere you listen) and brought these voices along for the ride. Placed along the route of the tour were wooden educational “Field Notes” sharing stories about the artist, the land, and the culture the exhibit highlighted. Five of these field notes provided information allowing visitors to listen to the histories and stories of Wisconsin’s graziers.
Graziers shared their experiences farming on the land, the role wetlands play in pasture, the changing farm landscape in the Driftless region, and their journeys toward rotational grazing.
The team also helped write multiple field notes including one placed at Troy Farm, an organic urban community supported agriculture community farm on the north side of Madison. The sign was designed to honor the rural-urban agroecological relationships that nourish our land and served as a reminder that Troy Farm is a place for people to connect with each other and with the land.
If you missed out on the fun this year, don’t worry there will be more events in the years to come! You can also check out the event website for a “virtual” tour and hear the farmers share their stories.