As farms grow increasingly complex and more dependent on science and technology, the iconic image of an old homesteader in weather-worn overalls is being replaced by that of a digital-savvy agricultural expert wielding a tablet.
Wisconsin was recently ranked dead last nationwide in business startup activity by a respected entrepreneurship nonprofit, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
While some take issue with what the ranking measured, the fact remains that Wisconsin isn't exactly known for churning out innovative new companies.
At the same time, Wisconsin has struggled to create jobs, ranking 38th in the most recent measure. Startups are an oft-cited solution to stagnant job growth, since they create new jobs as they grow.
The path to starting a business can be long and winding, and the journey grueling, but several local organizations are trying to make it easier for entrepreneurs to start companies and create more jobs. A growing number of incubators, accelerators and startup communities have popped up in the Milwaukee area over the past five years, in an effort to pool resources to send startups on their way to success.