Emily and Lisa Zweber | Episode 23 | A Family Way of Life

May 08, 2017 2 Comments

Emily and Lisa Zweber | Episode 23 | A Family Way of Life

Strong women.  That’s what FarmHers are, strong, real women.  Emily and Lisa Zweber are FarmHers through and through.  They are half of the equation that makes up Zweber Farms in Elko, Minnesota, but after my visit to their fourth generation family dairy, it’s clear they are the heart of this farm.  

Their story started a few generations earlier in the Zweber family.  A dairy that John and Lisa came home to after college. Just a few short years after they arrived back home to the dairy farm, John’s parents, who helped run the farm, both passed away, leaving the two young parents to run the dairy on their own.  While not easy, they managed and raised four kids while doing it.   Those long days turned into years and their family and the dairy farm grew.  Soon enough, their oldest son, Tim met his future FarmHer and wife, Emily in 4-H.  A fitting way for this couple who today works together to form their foundation.  Following college they got married and carried on the tradition, coming home to the farm.

It was then that the Zweber family decided to take what they already practised and make it official.  They converted into an organic dairy so they could support two generations working full time on the farm.  

Emily spent a career in marketing and PR, and headed up the Ag Chat organization before making the decision to become a full-time mom and FarmHer.  Today the family shares meals and work and nearly every aspect of their lives.  Lisa and John are responsible for the morning milking, then the family stops and eats breakfast together.  They continue farm duties throughout the day from running the business, feeding animals, working with customers, marketing their product, keeping up with social media and the website and just generally making sure they are fulfilling all of the farm duties.  

On the days I visited I followed Emily, her three kids, Tim and Lisa through chicken chores, prepping for and milking the cattle, checking the beef cattle and pigs and even a little showing practice with Hannah, the youngest Zweber’s, calf.  It is a true diversified family dairy and everyone has their role.  Before the evening milking you will find the family back together for dinner before Emily and Tim finish out their jobs at the dairy.  

Day in and day out they work together, share meals together, have a little alone time, run a family and run a farm.  To make it work everyone chips in a little to help raise the fifth generation of Zwebers that will hopefully come back home to the farm.  




2 Responses

Nancy Flanagan
Nancy Flanagan

May 19, 2017

My father left Iowa in the 30’s to become a dairy farmer and owner in California. He met my college educated mother there and my sis and I followed. We loved running thru the cactus patch to see dad and his 100’s of cows. I remember the open buildings and how clean everything was. Our family was in a dairy magazine and dad was so proud of his dairy, however, he so missed his 9 siblings back in Iowa so finally he sold the dairy and we moved back to Iowa to farm w/his brother. That dairy became a million dollar dairy and dad was so proud of his Holstein milking here in Iowa too. So the story above just inspired me to share how important dairy farming is. Lots of hard work and cleanliness is a must as I saw. What a wonderful place for children to grow up and enjoy fresh milk and the love of this operation. It never leaves one. Thanks for a great story and family in MN.

Jeanne Mahoney O'Neill
Jeanne Mahoney O'Neill

May 10, 2017

This is such an amazing family. The values, work ethic and life experiences of the farm life are almost lost today. Emily and Tim’s children are lucky people.

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