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For Love of Country


Barn by devilelephant

Colby, Wis. — Just about any road in central Wisconsin—that’s Eau Claire and south to Madison—reveals rolling countryside dotted with fieldstone-foundationed red barns and small herds chewing cuds beneath streamside trees. I drove WI 29 east out of Eau Claire and dropped south on WI 13 to find Colby, the home of Colby cheese. The road follows the rail tracks; towns center on the railroad depot/feed elevator. Some farms look better off than others. You get a real sense of rural economy out here. We didn’t stop in Colby or anywhere else, however intriguing-looking, because the baby just wanted out of the car seat, so the sooner we reached De Forest the better. But if you want a glimpse of what keeps farmers on the land, this is a good place. — Nathalie Strassheim