Norman’s next stop on his global trot was Wisconsin, otherwise known as America’s Dairyland! Norman had heard a lot about this state from his friends in Kentucky and was excited to see the “Ducks”, and cows! The Wisconsin Dells is home to the largest remaining fleet of Wisconsin Duck®’s in the United States. The “Ducks” were originally named “DUKW” which stood for D = 1942, the year the first DUKW was built, U = Utility vehicle, K = Front wheel drive, and W = Rear wheel drive. Over 21,000 “Ducks” rolled off the General Motors® assembly line during World War II as they were designed to navigate ocean waves, maneuver around obstacles on the beach, and deliver supplies to troops when most of Europe’s harbor facilities were in ruins.
Wisconsin and the D-Day Landing connection
Norman loved that he was visiting a state with such strong historical value, especially as 2,000 ducks were used in the D-Day landings on the Normandy coast. Today fewer than 300 operational Ducks remain in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to the Wisconsin Dells each year to ride the Original Wisconsin Duck. The vehicle’s versatility and capabilities make it the ideal way for all, including Norman, to explore the beauty of the Wisconsin Dells on land or by water.
Traveling by way of Duck, Norman ventured out onto the scenic duck trail down the cliff-lined Wisconsin River traversing narrow canyons, winding passages and roller coaster hills on a journey through scenery, history, legend and thrills. He proceeded to head west through the rolling hills and lush pastures of Central Wisconsin. Home to approximately 11,000 dairy farms with over 1.27 million cows each producing an average of 21,436 pounds of milk per year, Norman was amazed to find out that Wisconsin cheese makers use roughly 90 percent of Wisconsin’s milk supply to produce more than 600 varieties, types and styles of cheese (or as Norman would say, fromage) at 126 plants.
Norman visits Carr Valley Cheese
During his journey, Norman met a friendly Holstein cow named Dee who is a fifth generation cow, producing milk that is sent to Carr Valley Cheese®. Dee brought him to Carr Valley Cheese to learn about the cheese making process. Here cheese is made with fresh milk delivered daily from neighboring family-owned dairy farms, many of which have been providing the milk for Carr Valley Cheeses for generations, just like Dee.
After an evening of fine cheese tasting Norman said goodbye to his new companion Dee and promised to send her a post card from some of the countries he would visit in Europe. Norman left Wisconsin knowing how much the state has to offer from “Ducks” to cows and cheese. He was pleased that he had connected with the state’s history and promised to return.