If not farming, what’s Wisconsin’s image?

After Irish butter snuck onto the shelves of Wisconsin grocery stores, it was only a matter of time before the state’s longtime slogan “America’s Dairyland” was plowed under.

A move to replace the slogan will pit the “business lobby” (the group of people who’ve never stepped in manure) against the state’s farmers.

Kurt Bauer, executive director of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, is proposing the idea, particularly now that the state has emptied the treasury to lure Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer, to build a plant near Racine.

It’s only a “conversation starter,” Bauer said, after social media pushback followed his idea mentioned during a speech to a — wait for it — business group on Monday, Madison.com reported.

Bauer’s suggestion was putrid. “Forward.”

First of all, that might confuse a lot of Wisconsinites, considering there’s a plate on the back of the car.

“To me, ‘Forward’ connotes resolve, indomitability and progress — not a bad image to project to the rest of the world,” Bauer said.

Why not just go with “We’re not Mississippi” then?

Where would Bauer get the idea? From the state flag, which Bauer says he also thinks should be replaced.

Of course, great slogans can come from bad suggestions. One of the finalists when “America’s Dairyland” was being reconsidered 30 years ago was “We Like It Here.”

How swell would “It’s OK. I guess” be?

For the record, Bauer first made his proposal in a column in a business magazine last spring.

“Wisconsin has a far more diverse economy with good paying jobs available in many sectors. We also have beautiful, safe and
strong communities with good schools and great sports, entertainment and recreation options,” he wrote, none of which will fit on a license plate.

Of course, words on a license plate might have little to do with the ultimate economic success of a state.

Not like milking cows, anyway.

  • Robert Moffitt

    I suggest “On,” a tribute to the “On, Wisconsin” fight song and a reminder that many of the residents are “on” something. An alternative motto could be “Smell the Dairy Air.”

    • Rob

      Smell the derriere?

      • wjc

        Spit take #2

  • Veronica

    Good….schools? Huh?
    How about, “No internet network found”?

    • “Buffering”

    • Jerry

      Considering the experience I had using Sprint in Wisconsin: “Roaming”

      • Veronica

        I have better service with Sprint than my dad does with AT&T at his cabin.

  • John

    Some world class WI trolling this morning, Bob.

    How about “Go Away. We like it here.” (also works as a MN slogan.)

  • wjc

    //First of all, that [“Forward”] might confuse a lot of Wisconsinites, considering there’s a plate on the back of the car.

    Almost had a spit take at my desk first thing in the morning. Very funny. Thanks for that one, Bob!

    • Jim in RF

      We love our skools.

  • wjc

    //Why not just go with “We’re not Mississippi” then?

    Or “We’re not Mississippi — yet”?

  • AL287

    Considering the City of Biloxi has taken “To Kill a Mockingbird” off its middle school reading list because some of the words are offensive (poor little snowflakes), I think “We’re not Mississippi–yet?” would be very appropriate.

    Their governor never finished his college degree so they could possibly go with “You don’t need a degree here.”

    Or how about “We hate unions”?

  • Gary F

    I spent a few days last week in beautiful central Wisconsin. Friday, I had fresh cheese curds, made that day. As squeaky as they get.

    I’d keep Americia’s Dairyland.

    • Mike Worcester

      A state slogan should be memorable and identifiable. Theirs does fit that bill. Go to just about any deli and the high-end cheeses like to tout “Made in Wisconsin”, like it’s a stamp of approval.

      • Gary F

        How about, “Beer, cheese and meats you don’t have to refrigerate”? That’s memorable.

        • Add fireworks and you have the perfect Sconny convenience store.

          • Gary F

            29 Pines truck stop has it all. Near US 29 and I94. Bait, bobbers, ammunition, camo clothing and snoose are also needed

  • Zachary

    Wisconsin: Fireworks Capitol of Minnesota

    • Gary F


  • Barton

    I thought California was America’s Dairyland, and had been for years. Honestly, zero truth in advertising there….

  • jon

    Beyond cheese what’s in WI?

    Billboards in the state would have me believe adult super stores, pro-life advocates, and then there is everyone on the road who is drunk advertising for the WI beer….

    “Tap’d and we like it that way,” (and it works on the level where they are out of money because they sold everything to pay for foxcon.)

  • “Never far from a bar.”

    • Gary F


  • Rob

    How about “Home of Fan-owned Football”

    Or “It’s the Cheesiest””

    • Jack Ungerleider

      Or “Land of the Free and Home of the Packers”. (I know it’s too long for a license plate.)

  • MarkUp

    The pandering to business interests reminded me of this article from back in May.

    Since this is needs to fit on a license plate, how about:

    • alt blank

      it’s only IA and WI plates that end up doing this… i have no clue why.

  • alt blank

    for what it’s worth, WI has much better roads to ride a motorcycle on, than MN.

    having said that, i suppose drivers parked in the left lane at 1mi below the limit make up for that…

  • Mike Worcester

    Home of Laverne & Shirley? 🙂

  • How about “The Kochs own our Governor”?

  • Dan

    “Bauer’s suggestion was putrid. “Forward.””

    I know you’re just going for a butter pun here, but “Forward” is the official state motto, and has been for 150 years or so.


  • kevins

    We got a dog from Wisconsin. It was a beautiful place, the surrounds of the kennel, but he allows that he was glad to get out. He still loves beer, and is pulling for the slogan “Dogconsin..Love it and Leave it”.

  • Jerry

    “Illinois’s Hat”

  • Noelle

    As a MN transplant from WI, it makes me so sad to see the state’s decline since SW has taken the reigns. “Backward” would be more appropriate. Being “America’s Dairyland” is about the best thing it has going for it at this point…

  • Jack Ungerleider

    The obvious answer is “Open for Business”. It was such a hit when they put in on the Wisconsin Welcomes You signs in Walker’s first month in office.

  • X.A. Smith

    How about, “Here’s your red plastic cup.”

  • X.A. Smith

    /First of all, that might confuse a lot of Wisconsinites, considering there’s a plate on the back of the car./ LOL