|Farm Life: |
A Century of Change
for Farm Families and Their Neighbors
In 1900, 42 percent of the American population worked
A century later, there were so few farmers that they were not even listed as a separate occupation on the 2000 census. Why do some families tenaciously cling to this way of life while a score of other families leave? What are the institutions they can rely on?
Farm Life: A Century of Change for Farm Families and Their Neighbors asks these and many other questions while offering visitors a view into life on a working farm. This exhibition, rather than focusing on the technology of farming, examines what it means for a family to live and work on the land. Through artifacts, photographs, graphic text panels, and interactives, audiences learn about the social, economic, and cultural framework of farms and their surrounding communities. Though the starting place is a Chippewa Valley, Wisconsin, farmstead around 1950, four sections (the farmhouse, fields, barn, and gathering places in the larger community) explore universal themes of family and community, touching on issues that resonate with farming and non-farming viewers alike.