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  By Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer jennie.zeitler@ecm-inc.com About the same time that Union and Confederate forces were preparing to fight the Battle of Gettysburg, Gerhard Bruemmer set up his 200-acre homestead in Farming Township, Stearns County. It was 1863, and Gerhard was fresh from Hanover, Germany. His father, Anton, had come too. Fast forward to 2013, [...]

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By Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer jennie.zeitler@ecm-inc.com Frank and Elizabeth Wielenberg left Germany in 1903, and married soon after arriving in the Melrose area. They rented a farm from Henry Hinnenkamp until 1911 and then bought a farm north of town. Their youngest son, Joe Sr., took over the farm and raised 10 children there with [...]

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By Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer jennie.zeitler@ecm-inc.com Nathan Neuman of Avon has made music in a variety of ways for much of his young life, but it was the gift of a concertina nearly four years ago that grew his interest in playing old-time music. Neuman’s uncle, Joe Langner of Long Prairie, had a concertina that [...]

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By Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer jennie.zeitler@ecm-inc.com Liz Vetsch, of rural Browerville, was 13 when her father, James Yorek, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. “He had acid reflux and chewed tobacco,” Liz said. “Doctors have said it’s a very hard cancer to come back from, but we didn’t know that then.” Vetsch was an eighth grade [...]

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  By Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer jennie.zeitler@ecm-inc.com Emily Krekelberg, the new livestock educator for Stearns, Benton and Morrison counties, grew up as the youngest of five siblings on her parents’ dairy farm near Le Sueur, helping to milk the 40 Holsteins and produce the 100 acres of corn and alfalfa. As a member of 4-H, she [...]

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  By Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer jennie.zeitler@ecm-inc.com Nick Zastrow of Long Prairie started in the world of cattle showing at age 9, introduced by friends. He became involved in 4-H showing and later, FFA. “Once I could drive, I went to shows on my own,” he said. His experiences began reaping larger rewards in 2011, [...]

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  By Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer jennie.zeitler@ecm-inc.com Cindy Zheng (pronounced ‘chung’) came to the United States from Fujian, China with her parents in 2003, and lived in New York City for about eight years, working in a restaurant owned by relatives. She had learned a little English in China and attended a bilingual high school [...]

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By Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer jennie.zeitler@ecm-inc.com In addition to their full-time jobs off their farm, Mark and Cathy Hebig raise goats because of the high nutritional benefits of goat milk. Currently they milk 72 goats, which takes about two hours from start to finish. This includes everything from preparing to milk to feeding the babies [...]

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