The Wisconsin Farms Oral History Project is a UW system-wide project working to collect and preserve the oral histories of farmers, food producers and community members from Wisconsin. Since 2012, students and faculty from four campuses (UW-Eau Claire, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Oshkosh, and project headquarters, UW-Whitewater) have collected over 300 interviews. The Project seeks to explore how culture, race and ethnicity have played roles in farming, food production, and land use in Wisconsin. Its recorded storytellers and oral history narrators have ranged from farmers who immigrated to Wisconsin to farmers who employ immigrant and migrant workers; from farm workers to those involved in farm-to-table and other food production industries.
For this presentation, Professor James A. Levy, the Project’s founder, will lead a panel discussion of participants from Jefferson County. Dr. Levy was recently honored with a “Wisconsin Idea” Endowment grant, and plans to use its allotted funds to further The Lands We Share initiative, a statewide, traveling exhibit focusing on six unique farms across three regions of Wisconsin and the rich history and stories that go along with them.
Dr. Levy is an Associate Professor of History and the Director of the Public History Program at UW-Whitewater. He teaches courses on African American history, public history and modern U.S. history including courses on rock and roll, race in American film and media, and American geography and ethnicity.