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Wisconsin author offers last-minute shopping idea with taste of region's history

Corey Geiger has been able to document the region's rich history by chronicling his family's story about living on their Reedsville farm.
Posted at 6:37 AM, Dec 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-22 08:14:36-05

REEDSVILLE (NBC 26) — The saying goes, "A book is a gift you can open again and again."

More people are finding creative ways to stretch their holiday budget this year because of record-high inflation.

Wisconsin author Corey Geiger says you don't have to look far for an affordable last-minute gift.

Geiger invited me to his sixth-generation family farm and shared the inspiration behind his two books "On a Wisconsin Family Farm" and "The Wisconsin Farm They Built."

"The interesting part about our farm is that generations 3, 4, and 5 went through the women of our family," Geiger said.

Geiger says he started writing a column in The Brillion Newspaper, and it was titled "Homesteaders' Hope" when the family farm turn 150 years old.

Corey Geiger discusses the inspiration behind his two books

"Remembering their stories but also going out and fact checking and doing the historical research. They were actually very good in their storytelling, and almost everything checked out, and that's very rewarding," Geiger said.

Geiger said it started as 20 columns, but it quickly grew to 99, and he eventually started writing his two books that are documented with photos left behind by his grandmother.

"It's one thing to know these stories, but to have the pictures to bring them to life," Geiger said.

76th Alice in Dairyland Ashley Hagenow says Geiger's books and the hundreds of other Wisconsin products on the Something Special From Wisconsin website make excellent last-minute gifts, because they're easy to find, inexpensive and unique to the region.

"I am loving the chance to promote supporting local businesses, supporting local communities, and supporting local farmers not only through this campaign, but really all year round," Hagenow said.

"People who lived in the area but don't live here now, it gives them a piece of hope," Geiger said.

Geiger says the books not only document his family's experiences like when his grandfather transformed his farming business by buying his first Allis-Chalmers tractor that still works today and is featured on one of his book's covers, but his work also chronicles so much about he region that most people take for granted.

"Wisconsin is a unique place, and some of the other stories in the book describe how we became the cheeseheads. I mean, we're the number one cheese-producing state in the country and make more cheese than many countries in Europe," Geiger said.