/ Uniquely Wisconsin: Monroe County

Uniquely Wisconsin: Monroe County

Photo Credit: Discover Mediaworks

Monroe County, tucked into the western corner of Wisconsin, is unlike any other county in the entire state. Home to miracle workers, melody makers and even marsh farmers, these are only a few of the amazing people that make Monroe County a truly unique place. Read along and uncover their astounding stories first-hand. 

Wisconsin Animal Rescue: Chasing Daylight

Photo Credit: Discover Mediaworks

“Shelter animals often are perceived as broken when in fact they are not, they come with experience, they come with wisdom and they come with knowledge about life,” said Gina Mason, founder/president of Chasing Daylight Animal Shelter, an animal rescue in Monroe County. Over the past 10 years, this unique facility in Tomah has provided a home to more than 5,000 dogs and cats as they await their forever home. 

With a small and powerful team, everyone who works at the shelter loves the animals, cares for them and provides them a sanctuary for what is, hopefully, a temporary stay.

What makes Chasing Daylight even more special are the people of Monroe County who have flocked to provide funding to keep the animals safe and well cared for. This community effort has resulted in a wonderful shelter that provides excellent veterinary care and creates an environment that keeps the animals active and well fed.

“It’s very much a place of love and caring,” said Mason. “We are truly a sanctuary for them during their stay with us.”

Watch this Uniquely Wisconsin short here:

Barn Restoration: Music For the Making

Photo Credit: Discover Mediaworks

Engineer, mixer and producer Sean Truskowski has an elaborate past in the music industry working with some of the biggest names in the industry including Taylor Swift, Keith Urban and Garth Brooks. Now, Truskowski has settled into the small town of Sparta in Monroe County with the goal to create a space for artists to get away from the noise of everyday life and concentrate on their craft.

“When you think about music and country music in particular, a lot of people don’t think of Wisconsin. But there’s a lot of great music and really great original music that’s coming out of the Upper Midwest,” said Pat Watters of The Pat Watters Band.

Aspiring local and regional musicians are using Truskowski’s barn studio, a unique Wisconsin gem in Monroe County. There are many people who work hard behind the scenes on their music and because of Truskowski’s vision, the music scene is thriving in Monroe County and throughout the state.

Watch this Uniquely Wisconsin short here:

A Fifth Generation Cranberry Farm: Reframing Farming

Photo Credit: Discover Mediaworks

Wisconsin is responsible for 60 percent of the world’s production of cranberries. And in Monroe County, Wetherby Cranberry, is playing a big part in that at their fifth-generation cranberry farm. Owned and run by Nodji and Jim Van Wychen currently, this family works hard day in and day out to continue running the farm as the generations have since 1903.

“Farmers that raise corn and soybeans are always fascinated when they come to a cranberry marsh because it’s totally different than what they are used to,” said Nodji. “It will take two-to-three years to get a partial crop and four-to-five years to get a full crop. If you maintain that crop, it will last for 25-30 years.”

Come fall, Wetherby plays a prominent role in the fall harvest as well as the well-known Warrens Annual Cranberry Festival since its beginnings in 1973.

“We are one of the very few marshes that harvest any cranberries at all for fresh fruit,” said Nodji. There is only three percent of the nation’s crop that is harvested for fresh fruit. It’s a very time-consuming part of the harvest.

The Van Wychen’s passion and mission stand strong all year long though and that is to educate the public about cranberries year-round.

“I’m a firm believer you have to tell the public what you are doing and where their food comes from,” said Nodji. “It’s farm to table and we hope there is some form of cranberries on people’s tables.”

Watch this Uniquely Wisconsin short here:

After listening to the locals’ incredible and impactful stories, it’s no surprise you’ll want to visit Monroe County. See Chasing Daylight’s miracle workers, hear melody makers live from a barn, and witness Wetherby’s cranberry growers in motion at the marsh. Because of these Wisconsinites, Monroe County is set apart and made into a special destination.

*Narration provided by Wondervox.

From the team at Discover Wisconsin: We believe in making our content accessible to all, which is why we offer an audio version of our blog posts. By clicking the play button above, you can listen to our blogs!

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