Click on images to see larger pictures. Use browser Back button to return.

Professor E.J. Delwiche, who led efforts to establish stations at Spooner and other locations, cut quite a swath across northern Wisconsin in the early 20th century. Born in Belgium and raised on the Door Peninsula, he worked in lumber camps and taught school before riding his bicycle to Madison to study agronomy in 1903. He was made a professor in 1906 and oversaw the university's agricultural research in the north for the next 30 years. For much of that time he lived in Green Bay and make a weekly circuit by train of stations at Ashland, Spooner, Marshfield and Sturgeon Bay. He was a prolific plant breeder, a talented writer and speaker, and an avid photographer who recorded many scenes of early research on 8x10 glass plates.
Image credit: CALSpix

No. 8 corn, Spooner Branch Station, 1912. Yield 73 bu. of shelled corn per acre.
Image credit: CALSpix

A.R. Whitson, professor of agricultural physics at the University of Wisconsin, leads a field day at Spooner circa 1912.
Image credit: CALSpix

Early alfalfa research at Spooner, 1912. Right: Lime, manure, no innoculation. Left: No lime, no manure, no innoculation.
Image credit: CALSpix

The original 80-acre Spooner parcel was mostly jack pine forest. Lines of trees were left at the edges of fields as windbreaks; the rest were removed.
Image credit: CALSpix

Brushed over jack pine land at Spooner
Image credit: CALSpix

Filling silo at UW-Madison Spooner Agricultural Research Station, 1912. When the station's dairy operation was ended in 1936 due to an outbreak of brucellosis, sheep were acquired to consume the excess forage.
Image credit: CALSpix

As the first manager of the Spooner station's sheep program, Carl Rydberg did research with Finnsheep, a breed known for prolific lamb production. He also brought the first pair of Targhee sheep to Wisconsin. Because of his interest in the breed, which are noted for both lamb and wool production, Wisconsin ranks among the top three states in numbers of registered Targhee.
Image credit: CALSpix

Former Spooner shepherd Dick Schlapper and Yves Berger, who retired as Spooner superintendent in 2008. Berger is a native of France who had conducted sheep research in Argentina, the Ivory Coast, Keyna and Morocco before joining the Spooner station staff. Along with UW-Madison professor Dave Thomas, he established Spooner as the leading (also the only) dairy sheep research center in the Western Hemisphere. Thanks to their efforts and complementary work at the UW-Madison Center for Dairy Research, a number of Wisconsinís most celebrated artisan cheeses are made at least in part from sheep milk.
Image credit: CALSpix
Back to article


Copyright © 1995-2017 All About Wisconsin, Inc. All rights reserved.
Wisconline, Wisconsin Online, and Wisconsin.Info are registered trademarks of All About Wisconsin, Inc.

About Us | FAQ | Advertising | Comments | E-mail Us