Badgers don’t have much to do with agriculture in Wisconsin, unless you’re talking about ag department graduates from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, one of the original 1860 land grant colleges.
All that aside Wisconsin is a major agriculture state driving over $100 billion annually into the states economy. They lead the nation in cheese, cranberries, ginseng, snap beans, and mink pelts. Ironically minks are in the Mustelidae family of species, the scientific name for weasels, and therefore are cousins of the badger.
With 154,000 on-farm jobs according the the state’s agricultural department, the state is still seeing a decline in rural populations. Two-thirds of rural counties in Wisconsin shrank since 2010. A study from the University of Wisconsin’s Applied Population Lab
estimated that the coming decade will only increase the losses for the state’s smallest counties.
Wisconsin is fairing better than some other states, as the worst hit counties only lost between 4 & 5%, and counties with a decline averaged 2.2%. Compared with rural counties in some states that saw loss percentages of 10% to 15% or more, these areas may have a little more time to remedy a situation affecting most of rural America.