A Cow's Place in History Illinois State Museum Wants to Document, Preserve Agricultural Tradition

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), May 27, 2008 | Go to article overview

A Cow's Place in History Illinois State Museum Wants to Document, Preserve Agricultural Tradition


Byline: Mick Zawislak

mzawislak@@dailyherald.com

When a network television news show recently needed a Chicago- area example of a dairy farm, the crew knew exactly where to go.

It wasn't hard to pinpoint. With 625 milking cows, Golden Oaks Farm near Wauconda is the largest dairy operation in Lake County, and one of the last.

That film clip caught the attention of Robert Warren, who is leading the Illinois State Museum's long-awaited Oral History Project.

The idea is to explore the nooks and crannies of age-old agriculture practices and present them as personal stories in a modern, interactive format on the Internet.

"I got on the Web site and found out where the dairy farm was. That's our connection," he said.

So it came to be that Golden Oaks, founded 60 years ago and still owned by the billionaire Crown family, became the only agricultural concern in Lake County - and one of few in northeastern Illinois - to be included in the two-year, nearly $1.2 million project.

Changing times

Since the late 1960s, the number of farms in Illinois has decreased from 130,000 to about 72,000.

Those that remain are larger, however, in part because of better equipment, seeds and fertilizers.

How and why these changes occurred will be illustrated through personal stories, and the agricultural experience will become available to a public that might not otherwise get to see it.

Golden Oaks is one of three remaining dairy operations in Lake County, but it is in the unusual position of being protected for the foreseeable future. The Crown family in recent years has increased the size of the farm and its nearby holdings act as a buffer to suburban development.

There is no sign that will change, according to Nate Janssen, dairy operations manager. That's why he agreed to participate.

"We want to maintain the integrity of agriculture in an area where agriculture is going away," he said. "This was one of the most booming (dairy) areas in the country."

Though agriculture has been and continues to be a big part of Illinois' past and future, state museum offerings are limited to artifact collections, such as old plows and hand tools in storage.

Drawing-board plans someday call for an expansion of the Springfield facility to include a Hall of Agriculture. There is no telling when that might happen.

Shared experience

So as a first step to expand its offerings, researchers have been fanning out across Illinois with video and audio recorders to document the back roads of agriculture.

Dozens of audiotapes previously made and archived at libraries at the University of Illinois at Springfield and Northern Illinois University will be included. The material will be digitized and edited for sound quality and included in the "Audio-Video Barn" - an interactive Web site indexed by theme, topic and geographical location. That Web site is scheduled to go online in September.

From beekeepers to horseradish farmers and from the 1920s to the present, the intent is to provide a wide-ranging, personal perspective in a modern format. Fifty participants will be interviewed.

"We're kind of starting out small in the new direction," Warren said. "One of the key things is all the interviews will be searchable, like a computer database. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Cow's Place in History Illinois State Museum Wants to Document, Preserve Agricultural Tradition
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.