Being a Wisconsinite is my heritage.
I spent the first 18 wonderful years of my life in the state of Wisconsin. Born in a hospital in Neenah and raised in Oshkosh, the Town of Algoma specifically. Everything and everyone I knew and loved was in Wisconsin. Summers were spent in Adams County at my family’s cottage in Big Flats, playing in the creek, and gathering Wisconsin wildflowers. Fall was when we’d go to Door County to see the leaves change colors and pick up cherry pies. Winter was cold, very cold but the most magical time as a child, and the most challenging as a teen as I frequently dug my car out of snowdrifts. Spring of course was restorative, tulips popping out of the frosty dirt and ready to begin a new year of wildlife and sunshine.
Seventy-two beautiful Wisconsin seasons before I moved out east to start college. I couldn’t wait see big cities and experience “real culture”. Shortly after moving to the east coast I realized that many of my friends had strong ties to their heritage. One friend would talk about her Italian American family, and her Nona who makes the best meatballs. Another friend, who described herself as “culturally Jewish” taught me about Yom Kippur and Passover, two occasions I had only read about in books. I was surrounded by friends who seemed to have such strong connections to who they are based on where they came from and the traditions that went with them. As a Lutheran, with very little ties to my German and Danish heritage, I didn’t really know where that left me. What “culture” did I have?
I had always had Wisconsin pride, but as I’ve gotten older, it’s grown even stronger. I’ve come to realize how special those seasons of my childhood were and how my culture is being a Wisconsinite. The Friday night fish fries. Seeing my grandparents dance the polka at weddings. Being a kid in 4-H and showing at the Winnebago County Fair. Grilling brats. Squeaky curds. Swimming in the many many lakes. The list goes on and on. It’s been more than a decade since I’ve lived in Wisconsin. My accent has faded, and I can’t quite drive in 4 feet of snow like I used to, but a big slice of Wisconsin still remains in me.
Being a part of the Cheeselandia family as a Councilmember really solidifies that for me. Nothing has made me happier than being able to connect with the people in my state; the dairy farmers, the cheesemakers, and the restaurateurs who all want to see this beautiful state and its industries grow to be the best they can be. And to get as many people to love Wisconsin cheese as much as I do. I’m so proud to be from Wisconsin, being a Wisconsinite has undoubtably shaped me to be the woman I am today.
As you can tell, Libby is a loud and proud Wisconsin ex-pat and enthusiastic cheese lover. She's also a lifestyle blogger and Instagram content creator.