Sebraneks continue a legacy of farming and cheese
Originally a working dairy farm until the late 60’s early 70’s, Rick Sebranek, his wife Amy, and daughters Emma and Kaitlyn, continue a legacy on their farm located just a few miles Northwest of Hillsboro, Wisconsin.
Sebranek’s family homesteaded 108 acres back in 1856. The farm was developed on the land in 1888, and later, with the land lacking a running water source, his family purchased 20 acres that had a stream running through it.
In addition to having Holsteins when the farm was started, it played home to pigs, chickens and horses. “Back then horses were important on a farm to get a lot of work done,” Sebranek said.
Rick moved to the farm in 1984 when he bought it from his uncle, and in 1988 started raising a Hereford cattle herd he bought from his mother’s aunt. Eventually, Sebranek phased out the Herefords, bought some Angus and Belgium Blue cattle, crossing them. Today, the Sebraneks have a herd of 22 Belgium Blue/Angus cross cattle that includes 1 breeding bull, and 2 bull calves.
The Sebraneks also have a small diverse orchard containing Aronia berry, Pear, Tulip, Paw Paw (Kentucky Custer fruit), Peach, Bush cherry, Macintosh, Northen pecan, Persimmons, Sea berry, and Cornelius cherry trees. Sebranek admitted that they lost a few trees due to this past harsh winter and said, “Some of the trees just didn’t like the below 40-degree temperatures.” Their farm also totes two large vegetable gardens, large flower beds, and a water garden.
Not just a farmer, Sebranek, ran an electrical business for over 23 years and recently made the decision to close. He said, “It was time to look for work that was less taxing on the body. Crawls spaces and attics are not a friendly place to crawl in.” Looking for his next adventure, he found it in cheese.
A friend told the Sebraneks that the owner of the long running and town favorite cheese store in Hillsboro, Janet Helgerson, was looking to sell her business. After 8 months of talks with Helgerson, the Sebraneks purchased the store.
Their business, The Cheese Store and More, carries a large selection of common, unique, and special-order cheeses, with a good selection of meats from Wisconsin River Meats. A town favorite, is the store’s selection of hand scooped ice cream served in a dish or cone.
Last month, the Sebraneks’ store started serving lunch, and daily specials that include a variety of sandwiches and homemade soups, and at times use beef from their farm.
During the summer months, the store offers local delivery.