Exhibit features century of U.S. farm life
Casper – Agricultural roots run deep in Wyoming, and the Fort Caspar Museum is continuing to promote those roots and understanding through new exhibits.
One new exhibit, known as Farm Life: A Century of Change for Farm Families and Their Neighbors, is stirring up quite a bit of excitement this spring at Fort Caspar Museum, and the museum’s Curator of Education Erin Rose is the one responsible for bringing it to Casper.
“The exhibit is a traveling exhibit from the On the Road Program with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mid-America Arts Alliance. It has been traveling for four years, and has another year to go. We have the exhibit from April 6 through May 25,” says Rose.
The exhibit portrays the history of agriculture and how families adapted to that lifestyle over the years.
“It’s based on the permanent galleries from the Chippewa Valley Museum in Wisconsin,” she notes.
The exhibit is primarily based on Wisconsin agriculture, but Rose says it has something for everyone. Photos of dairy farmers, exhibits of household objects and even an interactive area, complete with a plastic model calf, where kids can practice getting a project ready for fair.
Of the uniqueness of the exhibit, Rose says, “With this traveling exhibit program they take an exhibit, add some things and broaden it a little bit so that it travels around and other communities can make those same connections to it.”
Rose says the exhibit is a great opportunity for families to share this history with younger generations and to learn from older generations, as well. On one side of the exhibit there is an “Oral History” station where families can sit down and discuss family history together.
“This exhibit really promotes the universal concepts of working together, family and community. It helps to portray working on the land and how some families continue to do this and others don’t,” explains Rose.
Earlier this month local resident and ranch kid Con Trumbull gave a presentation at the museum on his family’s history in the Casper area and how those traditions still hold strong in his life today. As a fifth-generation rancher, Trumbull is familiar with the joys and hardships that come with living a life emerged in the agricultural lifestyle. He currently attends Mesa State College in Colorado and came home to give the presentation.
Rose says there are many other exciting events coming up at the museum in conjunction with the exhibit. On April 23 David Romtvedt of Buffalo will give a presentation on his personal experiences of marrying into a family that runs sheep and the accompanying lifestyle. Romtvedt is also the poet laureate for the state of Wyoming.
In May there are many opportunities to take in the traveling exhibit, as well as the permanent exhibits at Fort Caspar. The planting of an heirloom garden similar to that which the soldiers would have had is coming up, along with family programs and a series of teacher workshops on how to use oral histories as teaching devices and learning opportunities.
Tressa Lawrence is a summer intern with the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.