Father of the Wisconsin Dairy Industry.
Father of the Wisconsin Dairy Industry.

First Among Cheeseheads: William Dempster Hoard

Field review by the editors.

Madison, Wisconsin

If you wear a hat shaped like a foam cheese wedge in Wisconsin, you can thank William Dempster Hoard, "Father of the Wisconsin Dairy Industry." While he had nothing to do with sports merchandising, his pioneering efforts turned the state from an agricultural backwater into America's milk-fueled powerhouse. Hoard introduced to Wisconsin the silo, the cow census, and the refrigerated cheese railroad car. He successfully battled the sinister "filled cheese" industry. He led a campaign to outlaw yellow margarine in the state in 1895, and the ban was not lifted until 1967.

Four years after his death in 1918, a monument to Hoard was dedicated in front of the University of Wisconsin's Agricultural Hall. Befitting such an important man, the monument was sculpted by Gutzon "Mount Rushmore" Borglum. It features the upper half of Hoard sculpted in bronze, flanked by carved marble bunnies and relief panels of contentedly grazing, regularly milked cows.

First Among Cheeseheads: William Dempster Hoard

Address:
465 Henry Mall, Madison, WI
Directions:
On the north end of Henry Mall, just south of (but not visible from) Linden Drive. Across from Agricultural Hall (but, again, not visible from it). The monument faces south.
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In the region:
Bart Simpson Tree, Mount Vernon, WI - 15 mi.

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September 23, 2020

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