The University of Wisconsin Press

Wisconsin / Agriculture / Sustainable Living / Food / Environment

Renewing the Countryside—Wisconsin
Stories of Sustainable Living, Working and Playing
Edited by Jerry Hembd, Jody Padgham
and Jan Joannides

Foreword by Governor Jim Doyle

This beautifully illustrated book showcases 39 examples of creative, hard-working people who are bringing new energy and hope to the countryside

Through engaging stories, Renewing the Countryside —Wisconsin explores how the state is leading the nation in sustainably grown food, environmentally responsible businesses, and homegrown, forward-looking answers to today's rural economy.

Seven chapters cover stories ranging from arts and culture, farming, green business, conservation, tourism, community development, and learning. Learn about how the city of Washburn on Chequamegon Bay has become the country's first eco-municipality, how the Growing Power organization is connecting urban Milwaukee kids to fresh food and the countryside, and how innovative farmers and artisan food makers are bringing sustainably and organically grown products to consumers throughout the state.

This book will spur imaginations, give hope, and foster dialogue. It is a must-read for all who take pleasure in Wisconsin's rural areas and want to see them sustained for future generations.

Jerry Hembdis a professional, in this photo he is wearing a blue shirt and a tie.Jerry Hembd is associate professor in the department of business and economics at the University of Wisconsin–Superior, a state specialist in community and economic development with the University of Wisconsin–Extension, and director of the Northern Center for Community and Economic Development, which is a joint venture of both UW institutions. He has been working and teaching in the area of community development for over twenty years. He also has considerable international experience, including work in the Philippines, Vietnam, and India.

`Jody Padgham has been education director of the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service since 2002. She is the editor of several publications, including the bi-monthly Organic Broadcaster newspaper, and books Organic Dairy Farming, Raising Poultry on Pasture and Women in Charge, Tales and Teachings from our Farms. She raises sheep and pastured poultry on a 60-acre grass farm in north central Wisconsin.

Jan Joannides is the Executive Director and cofounder of Renewing the Countryside. For the past ten years, she has been an advocate and organizer for rural communities and citizens who are working to stimulate economic growth and enhance their communities through sustainable uses of their landscapes and resources.

Distributed for Renewing the Countryside, publishing in partnership with Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education ServiceMOSES and the Northern Center for Community and Economic Development (UWSuperior and UWExtension)

  • Renewing the Countryside strengthens rural areas by championing and supporting rural communities, farmers, artists, entrepreneurs, educators, activists and other people who are renewing the countryside through sustainable and innovative initiatives, businesses, and projects. To find out more about Renewing the Countryside–Wisconsin, visit their Web site at
  • Some of the featured farmers, artists, and rural entrepreneurs will be making presentations throughout Wisconsin

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

this is a photo of Renewing the Countryside. A large photo of sunrise behind a barn and silos. Five inset photos highlight Wisconsin farm families.

November 2007

176 pp.  9 1/8 x 9 3/8
120 color and b/w photos

This title is no longer published by The University of Wisconsin Press. If you wish to purchase this title, please visit or

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