Photo gallery Where the university meets the state

June 12, 2018 By Catherine Reiland

Lakes served as the narrative frame for the 2018 Wisconsin Idea Seminar’s “Big Lake” tour. The 900-mile itinerary led from Four Lakes, where the UW–Madison campus is nestled, to Lake Superior, Wisconsin’s northernmost shore.

With a desire to gain a deeper understanding of the perspectives and experiences of Wisconsinites, 38 faculty and academic staff boarded a bus and stopped at a fourth-generation vegetable farm in the state’s Central Sands region, visited a two-year UW college in transition, shared a meal with tribal elders and teenagers growing up along the shores of Lake Superior, boated through the lush wild rice beds of the Kakagon Sloughs, and met caregivers and their loved ones living with dementia and joined them in song. Those are just a few of the nearly 20 destinations that made up the 2018 journey.

The Wisconsin Idea Seminar serves to introduce new faculty and staff to the Wisconsin Idea, highlight mutually beneficial collaborations between UW–Madison and communities across the state, and offer opportunities to experience the places and spaces many of our UW–Madison students call home.

Photographs by Catherine Reiland and Michael P. King

Photo: Group of people standing around fire circle

May 14: Thick morning fog obscures Lake Mendota at Picnic Point as Bill Quackenbush, the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Ho-Chunk Nation, shares Ho-Chunk stories of life at the water’s edge of Four Lakes, the area that is now known as Madison. Quackenbush led the Wisconsin Idea Seminar’s second annual Ho-Chunk Cultural Landscapes walking tour. Catherine Reiland

Photo: Allison Breunig holding handful of cattle feed

Allison Breunig explains the composition of cow feed in one of the barns of Mystic Valley Dairy, her family’s 400-cow farm in rural Roxbury. Breunig is a student in UW-Madison’s Life Sciences Communication program, and has been named the 2018 Wisconsin Holstein Princess by the Wisconsin Holstein Association. Catherine Reiland

Photo: Mitch Breunig smiling in cow barn

Third-generation farmer and UW-Madison alumnus Mitch Breunig leads a group of Wisconsin Idea Seminar participants through Mystic Valley Dairy, his family’s farm in rural Roxbury. Over the years he has nurtured a tremendous partnership with UW-Madison, collaborating on new ideas and research to improve Wisconsin's dairy Industry. One of his collaborators, Heather White, assistant professor in nutritional physiology in the Department of Dairy Science, accompanied Breunig as he led the tour. Michael P. King

Photo: Man in apron slicing pizza

Bill Mueller of Grande Cheese serves up hot pizza pies for Wisconsin Idea Seminar participants following the tour of Mystic Valley Dairy. Mystic Valley Dairy is a milk producer for Grande Cheese Company, which is based in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Many of their cheeses are prized by pizza restaurants throughout the Midwest and the East Coast. Catherine Reiland

Photo: Farmer standing with group in front of potato pile

With a mountain of red seed potatoes serving as a backdrop, Steve Dierks, a third generation potato grower, introduces Wisconsin Idea Seminar participants to Coloma Farms, his 2,700 acre potato and grain farm that he operates with his son in central Wisconsin. Photo by Catherine Reiland

Photo: Justin Isherwood speaking

At Hancock Agricultural Research Station, Justin Isherwood, a farmer and writer who lives in central Wisconsin, shared his perspectives on how communities work to address complex issues around groundwater. Catherine Reiland

Photo: Smiling woman sitting at table

At Hancock Agricultural Research Station, Jennifer Van Os and fellow Wisconsin Idea Seminar participants listen to a panel discussion. Catherine Reiland

Photo: People sitting at tables under a banner

May 15: A visit to UW-Marathon County offered a chance to learn about and discuss the evolving role of the UW in central Wisconsin. Catherine Reiland

Photo: Student with visitors outside school building

An Abbotsford High School student leads a group of Wisconsin Idea Seminar participants through the campus that includes elementary and middle school levels. Catherine Reiland

Photo: Teacher with visitors in greenhouse

John Slipek, the agriculture teacher at Abbotsford Schools, gives a tour of the greenhouse where he and his students cultivate vegetables, flowers and other plants. Catherine Reiland

Photo: Beautiful sunrise over lake

May 16: Golden hues meet crisp blues as the sun rises over Lake Superior at Red Cliff where the Wisconsin Idea Seminar spent two nights of their five-day journey of Wisconsin. Photo by Catherine Reiland

Photo: Edith Leoso sitting near the water

Edith Leoso, the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians, shares stories of water stewardship, wild rice harvests and life along the waterways at the southern shores of Lake Superior. Catherine Reiland

Photo: Catherine Reiland presenting gifts

Wisconsin Idea Seminar Director Catherine Reiland (right) presents a bundle of gratitude to Edith Leoso. The bundle included honey and handmade items produced by faculty and students on the UW-Madison campus. Michael P. King

Photo: Woman holding photo of water droplets up to picture it was made from

Along a trail at Houghton Falls Nature Preserve outside the town of Bayview, Kelly Iacobazzi holds up the 2018 Wisconsin Idea Seminar tour book against "The World in a Bubble," a photograph that served as the book’s cover. The image was created by a teenager who had participated in a special program of Northwest Passage, a residential mental health facility in northern Wisconsin. Catherine Reiland

Photo: People taking pictures in gorge

Participants pause at Echo Dells, a sandstone gorge along a trail at Houghton Falls Nature Preserve. Catherine Reiland

Photo: Sunrise over marina

May 17: Amber light at sunrise illuminates the Lake Superior shoreline at Red Cliff. Catherine Reiland

Photo: Group of people sitting on ground eating

After 300 miles on the road participants welcomed an al fresco lunch at a rest stop outside of Coloma. Catherine Reiland

Photo: Group shot of seminar participants

May 18: Participants gathered at Milwaukee’s United Community Center to learn about how practitioners, caregivers, social workers, and researchers join hands to tailor dementia services for Latino families and their loved ones. Michael P. King

Photo: Alex Preciado

During a panel discussion about culturally informed dementia services at the United Community Center, Alex Preciado tenderly shares his experiences caring for his mother. Catherine Reiland

Photo: K.C. Williams singing into a microphone with people playing instruments

Musical conductor and lifelong musician K.C. Williams leads the Amazing Grace Chorus through a medley of songs during a performance at Aurora Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee. The Amazing Grace Chorus, a program of the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute, brings together caregivers and their loved ones with dementia to sing. Michael P. King


Graphic: Map of seminar sites

Stops on the 2018 Wisconsin Idea Seminar tour Map by UW Cartography Lab

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