The Wisconsin quarter is the fifth of 2004, and the 30th in the 50 State Quarters® Program. On May 29, 1848, Wisconsin became the 30th state to be admitted into the Union. The Wisconsin design depicts an agricultural theme featuring a cow, a round of cheese and an ear of corn. The design also bears an inscription of the State motto, "Forward."
Wisconsin adopted the State motto, "Forward," in 1851, reflecting Wisconsin's continuous drive to be a national leader. Wisconsin is considered "America's Dairy Land" with production of over 15 percent of the Nation's milk. Wisconsin also produces over 350 different varieties, types and styles of award-winning cheeses – more than any other state. There are approximately 17,000 dairy farms, with just over one million cows that produce an average of 17,306 gallons of milk each, per year.
Wisconsin is also a major corn-growing state. In 2002, Wisconsin led the Nation in corn silage production and, with 391.5 million bushels produced, it ranked fifth in the production of corn for grain (shelled corn). State corn production contributed $882.4 million to the Wisconsin economy in 2003. Wisconsin is also a leading supplier of mint.
In December 2001, Governor Scott McCallum appointed 23 people to the Wisconsin Commemorative Quarter Council to review and recommend candidate design themes. The state received over 9,600 suggestions, and the Council narrowed the concepts to six. After a statewide vote, Governor McCallum submitted three design concepts to the United States Mint - "Scenic Wisconsin, " "Agriculture/Dairy/Barns " and "Early Exploration and Cultural Interaction. " In 2003, Governor Jim Doyle coordinated a statewide vote to select the final design, in which the "Agriculture/Dairy/Barns " design was the popular choice. This design was approved by the Secretary of the Treasury on October 9, 2003.