In The News
Support the Farm/Art DTour
Over the next few days, we’re fundraising for the Farm/Art DTour, a free, self-guided, 50-mile drive through the working farmlands of southern Sauk County. Help us meet our $20,000 goal! Click here to donate today.
We’re grateful the DTour can go on because it has social distancing built in. But because we can’t host fermentation classes this year, we’ve lost a big stream of earned income. We need your help to launch this harvest-time event that brings people together in fresh air to celebrate the land we mutually depend on and the farmers who care for it. Every dollar counts. We can’t do it without you.
$25 funds a wayfinding sign
$50 buys a straw bale to create a Farm Form
$250 rents a hand-washing station & service to help keep everyone safe
$500 pays a local photographer to document one day of the DTour
$1,000 allows us to pay a farmer for equipment rental
$5 or $10 helps us too! If you’re in a position to give, donate by credit card or PayPal
Announcing PassWords Winners
Wormfarm Institute is pleased to announce the winners of PassWords, a biennial competition for roadside poems inspired by the old Burma Shave ads! Guest judge Angela Trudell Vasquez, Poet Laureate of Madison, selected the following poets:
Jason Eckenroth, Providence, RI
Jacqueline Singleton, Spring Green, WI
Lindy Biller, Madison, WI
Madeline Meyer, Reedsburg, WI
Woody Leslie, Murray, KY
Each poet will receive $100 and be featured on the 2020 Farm/Art DTour (Sept 26-Oct 4), a free, self-guided, agri/cultural excursion through Wisconsin's working farmland. Can’t wait for the DTour? Angie also selected four honorable mentions. Read their poems below:
Mailbox juts out
Side view mirror
Lost my sense
One yellow leaf sent
Aqua Summer running.
Fall's sky, pregnant
Now, scene changing
New world coming
FEED THE CHICKENS
MILK THE COW
WHERE ON EARTH
see what has grown
from the seeds
you have sown
The Land Remembers, The Land Speaks — New Addition to the 2020 Farm/Art DTour
Reedsburg, Wis. August 3, 2020 — Wormfarm Institute, an arts organization integrating culture and agriculture, announces a new addition to the 2020 Farm/Art DTour (Sept 26–Oct 4). The Land Remembers—inspired by Ben Logan’s memoir about life on a small farm in Southwest Wisconsin—will be a series of twenty dialogue balloons installed throughout southern Sauk County. Punctuating the 50-mile DTour route alongside artwork, roadside poetry, and educational Field Notes, these large signs will feature quotes from voices that have shaped Wisconsin’s history, and writers imagining what the land’s non-human residents might say. The project is made possible by a $10,000 grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council.
Wormfarm will curate the content in collaboration with conservation biologist and author Curt Meine, who wrote the foreword for Ben Logan’s memoir republished by UW Press in spring 2017. Serendipitously, Logan would have celebrated his 100th birthday in September.
“This year’s edition of the Farm/Art DTour takes in a generous portion of southern Sauk County, between the Baraboo Hills and the lower Wisconsin River,” Meine writes in his introductory
essay to the 32-page Guide that accompanies the event. “The land remembers a lot here.” Featured quotes will cover a wide range of contemporary and historical voices—among them Native American leaders, Wisconsin farmers, geologists, architects, and regional authors.
“The DTour is uniquely positioned this year,” says Philip Matthews, Wormfarm Director of Programs. “Because it’s self-guided, it has social distancing built in. But it also takes place one month before the election, so it’s an opportunity for us to come together on the land we mutually depend on. The Land Remembers celebrates that.”
The Land Speaks dovetails with a partnership between Wormfarm and the Local Voices Network to host a series of 60 community conversations about food, farming, and the land leading up to the DTour and through the election. The conversations, led by volunteer community members, are free to join and happening now by Zoom.
About Wisconsin Humanities Council
The Wisconsin Humanities Council is a leading statewide resource for librarians, teachers, museum educators and civic leaders, who drive entertaining and informative programs using history, culture and discussion to strengthen community life for everyone. The Wisconsin Humanities Council also awards more than $175,000 a year over seven rounds of grants to local organizations piloting humanities programming. For more information on Wisconsin
Humanities Council, visit wisconsinhumanities.org or connect on Facebook at facebook.com/WisconsinHumanitiesCouncil or Twitter at @WiHumanities.
Community Conversations about Food, Farming, and the Land Lead Up to the 2020 Farm/Art DTour
Reedsburg, Wis. June 3, 2020 — Wormfarm Institute, an arts organization in Sauk County committed to integrating culture and agriculture, is partnering with the Local Voices Network to host 60 digital community conversations about food, farming, and the land through November 2020. Hosted on Zoom by community volunteers, each conversation gathers 4-8 Wisconsinites to share their unique stories and listen to others. Participation is free and conversations last 90 minutes.
Farmers across Wisconsin face challenges that have only been amplified in recent weeks, yet consumers continue to depend on their efforts for nourishment and economic health. “The issues that affect farmers need to matter to all of us, because everybody eats,” says Donna Neuwirth, Wormfarm Executive Director. “Our collaboration with LVN seeks to bring rural and urban residents together to think more regionally about food security, land health, farm viability, and how to build thriving places to live.”
Colleen Butler, Head of Local Voices Network in Wisconsin, adds, “Two of our key values at the Local Voices Network are authentic voices and diverse perspectives. The partnership with Wormfarm welcomes underheard, rural voices from across the state. By sharing these stories, the project fosters conversation in communities that improves our understanding of one another.”
A dozen trained volunteers will facilitate conversations to amplify local voices, connect people across differences, and share the issues that matter most. Each conversation is recorded and uploaded to a custom platform where stories can be shared with local media, policy makers, and members of the public. Wormfarm Director of Programs Philip Matthews says, “It’s especially important this election year to foster civic dialogue that’s civil, and encourage people to share their experience.” Last fall, The Hill identified Sauk County as one of ten counties in the U.S. that will determine the outcome of the 2020 election. The Democratic National Convention is scheduled in Milwaukee from August 17 to 20.
Multiple food and farming conversations will occur each month leading up to the 2020 Farm/Art DTour (Sep 26–Oct 4), a free, self-guided drive through the working farmlands of Sauk County, punctuated by site-responsive artworks, local food markets, roadside poetry, and educational Field Notes. Conversation highlights will inspire artworks and other installations sited along the route, and the conversation script will continue to evolve.
The DTour is expected to attract 25,000 people from throughout the Midwest to come closer to what farmers do everyday. It is a recurring biennial, part of Fermentation Fest: A Live Culture Convergence hosted by Wormfarm. Because the DTour has social distancing built in (“DTourists” drive the route at their own pace), this outdoor fall event will take place with modifications.
Wisconsinites from rural and urban areas are invited to participate. To register for a conversation and learn more, visit lvn.org/wormfarm.
Announcing NEA Cares Grant
Wormfarm Institute is grateful to be one of 12 Wisconsin organizations receiving a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, using federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding. Read more here.