The cranberry is Wisconsin’s number 1 fruit crop, both in terms of size and value. Here, cranberry cultivation started around 1860. At the beginning, wetlands were created by digging ditches around existing native shrubs and maintaining them. Today, cranberry plants cover around 7,200 hectares of soil in 19 of the state’s counties. As a community, all of the cranberry producers own and maintain an additional 48,000 hectares, which is made up of around 3 hectares of auxiliary land for every 0.4 hectares of land being used for production.
The Bible family. The family is from Black River Falls, Wisconsin. Second generation.
“We would like our children to experience the same satisfaction that we derive from cultivating cranberries.” – Jim Bible For us, cranberry cultivation is a way of life. We like to be at the head of our family business, working outdoors, doing something different every day. Cultivating a unique, native fruit plant that has so many health benefits is also very gratifying. We are proud to be part of the Ocean Spray family. Our 22-year-old daughter, Rachel, is very interested in cranberry production. Even our seven-year-old twins help out on the farm from time to time. We would like for the operation to stay in the family. That’s why their enthusiasm is so heart-warming for us.
The Detlefsen family. The family is from Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. Fifth generation.
“There is nothing better than spending the whole day outside, observing nature and making the most of the environment.” – Robert Detlefsen We are one of the oldest farming families in Wisconsin – 138 years to be exact – and we still love our way of life as much as ever. We only have to step out of the door to arrive at work. Thankfully, this is not the type of work that you don’t like taking home with you. The best moments are the mornings when it’s cold and when you turn on the sprinklers at sunrise – you see the sun rising above the bogs covered in frost and shimmering through the water and ice. It takes your breath away. The land is a true blessing.
The Grygleski family. The family is from Tomah, Wisconsin. Third generation.
“Every year, I make cranberry rolls for the school groups that come to visit our farm during the harvest. The kids love them!” – Ann Grygleski After 50 years, I think that you start to appreciate the idea of being part of something bigger. I bet that in the 1930s, my grandfather, who lived in a destitute hut at Cranberry Lake, would never have imagined that his work would lead to something so important. Being part of the Ocean Spray cooperative would have been a real source of pride for him. It certainly is for us.
The Dempze family. The family is from Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. Fourth generation.
“I love the idea that we produce really healthy products that not only benefit our local community, but are also consumed all over the world.” – Heidi Dobbs A quality cranberry is the fruit of quality work. That is what I believe. My family has managed to keep our farm working for more than 100 years. We are proud of this. After having worked for some time in business, I feel very privileged to be working on my family farm. It is there where I feel the most at home.