An American Dream Story
In 1853, a young man by the name of Wilhelm Zellmer came to the United States aboard a cattle ship from Bieniew, Prussia to start a new life for himself. Wilhelm met a beautiful German girl, Louisa, in Wisconsin and began traveling toward Kansas in pursuit of that promised fresh start in life. The travel to Kansas was difficult; Louisa and Wilhelm encountered the grasshopper plague and the loss of some members of their wagon train. It was, however, the death of one of their oxen that ended their journey to the free land available in Kansas. As Wilhelm looked around the land near him, called Iowa, he realized the beautiful rolling hills reminded him a bit of his native Prussia. Wilhelm soon found a job building the railroad tracks that now run through the town of Atlantic, while Louisa fed the railroad crews meals to earn money. Wilhelm realized that the rich black soil and climate was well suited for farming, so he and Louisa saved up their coins and purchased a plot near the current home of the Zellmer family farm. Thus began a farming operation that spans six generations, run by Wilhelm’s ancestors, who love the land and appreciate the nutrient rich soil in Iowa.
Alan Zellmer and his sons, Ethan and Gage, are the 5th and 6th generation of Zellmers, farming the land, now a century farm. Along with crop farming, the Zellmers’ land is also used as pasture for the Wagyu and Angus cattle herds being produced by Zellmer Farms.