The differences between Montana and Wisconsin

Sometimes it is hard living in Montana as an expatriated photographer from Wisconsin.

Truth be told, there aren't many differences between the two states. Small towns in Montana are very similar to the small towns in Wisconsin; they're just further apart. And aside from the all of the cowboy hats and dirty pick-up trucks, Havre could be dropped into the middle of Wisconsin and no one would notice any difference. On the surface, that is.

Deep down, though, there are some basic differences. More often than not, they are cultural differences. And over the past few years I have kept a running list of those ways Montana and Wisconsin are different (with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek).

Origin of the Name: Chippewa for "grassy place" Spanish for "mountainous"
Nickname: "America's Dairyland"
"Badger State"
"Big Sky Country"
"The Last Best Place"
Claim to Fame: Cheese Mountains
Capital: Madison
(Pop. 233,209)
(Pop. 28, 190)
Population: 5.7 million 998,199
Area: 65,498 sq. mi. 147,042 sq. mi.
Cows: 1.3 million 1.5 million
Highest Point: Timms Hill
1,951 ft.
Granite Peak
12,807 ft.
Tallest Building: U.S. Bank Center (Milwaukee)
42 Floors
First Interstate Center (Billings)
20 Floors
State Animal: Badger Grizzly Bear
Domestic Animal: Holstein Cow Black Angus Cow
State Grain: Corn Wheat
Town Name(s): Dickeyville, WI
Spread Eagle, WI
Bloody Dick, MT
Crackerville, MT
Largest Disaster: Peshtigo Fire Speculator Mine Explosion
Born in the Former: Former Green Bay Packer Jerry Kramer
(Jordan, Montana)
Former Governor John Erickson
(Stoughton, Wisconsin)
Least Liked State: Illinois California
Term Used for Someone from That State: F.I.B.
Flat Lander
Prune Picker
Bunny Hugger
Famous Persons: Chris Farley
Harry Houdini
Les Paul
Frank Lloyd Wright
Dirk Benedict
Gary Cooper
Chet Huntley
Evel Knievel
Martha Raye
Speed Limit: 65 MPH (Freeway)
55 MPH (County/Rural)
75 MPH (Freeway)
70 MPH (County/Rural)
Popular Hollywood Portrayals: Happy Days (TV)
That '70s Show (TV)
Bridesmaids (Film)
The Horse Whisperer (Film)
Legends of the Fall (Film)
A River Runs Through It (Film)
Movie Line: "Come on, it's Czechoslovakia. We zip in, we pick them up, and we zip right out again. We're not going to Moscow. It's Czechoslovakia. It's like going into Wisconsin!"
Stripes (1981)
"I would have liked to have seen Montana."
The Hunt for Red October (1990)
Head Gear: Green Bay Packers Ball Cap Beaver Felt Cowboy Hat
Popular Summer Activity: Tractor Pulls Rodeos
Sausage: Bratwurst Rocky Mountain Hot Dog
Famed Beer: Spotted Cow Moose Drool
Favorite Berry: Black Raspberry (a.k.a. Black Cap) Huckleberry
Best Selling Automobile: Ford F-150
Pick-Up Truck
Ford F-150
Found Rolling Around in Pick-Up: Empty Beer Cans Empty Shell Casings
Most Common
Name for a Tavern:
Dew Drop Inn
The Mint
Favorite Pick-Up
Truck Accessory:
Roll Bars
Fuzz Buster
Pine Tree Air Freshner
Grill Guard
Gun Rack
10-Ply Tires
Year Old Mud
Favorite Music: 1960s Anti-War Folk
1970s Rock n' Roll
Anything with an accordian
Country Western
Favorite Dance: Polka Line Dancing
Most Memorable Event: The Ice Bowl Capturing the "Unabomber"
Favorite Day of the Year: Packers Training Camp Opens Elk Hunting Season Opens
Favorite Weapon: Chain Saw Minuteman III Nuclear Missile
Favorite Store(s): Mars Cheese Castle
Green Bay Packers Pro Shop
Big 'R' (similar to Farm & Fleet)
Favorite Designer Label: Packers Carhartt
Jeans: Levis Wranglers
Colloquial Term Unknown to the Rest of the World: Bubbler Jockey Box
Favorite County Fair Food: Fried Cheese Curds Pronto Pups
Most Popular
Tourist Attraction:
Lambeau Field Glacier National Park
Things in Front Yard: Garden Gnome
Cut-Out of Old Woman Bending Over
Piles of Split Wood
Cut-Out of Leaning Cowboy Silhouette
Best Place To: Find a bar Hunt
First State To: Require citizens to wear seat belts. Elect a woman to Congress.
Last State To: Ban the sale of yellow colored margarine. Place speed limits on automobiles.
Per Capita: More bars than any state.
More manufacturing jobs than any state.
More citizens serving in the military than any state.
More hunters and anglers than any state.
Produces More: Milk, cheese, cranberries and toilet paper. Copper, coal, wool, and precious stones.
Largest Employer: State of Wisconsin State of Montana