Warrens family cranberry farm sees generational success this harvest season

WARRENS, Wis. (WKBT) — Monroe County alone has thousands of acres of cranberries– and most of those berries are grown on family-owned farms.

Many of them, like Amber Bristow’s family, are carrying on traditions from many generations before.

“A lot of really rich cranberry history is in the Warrens area,” Bristow said.

When your business is growing, it grows up with you.

“I started mowing lawns and doing the easier stuff like that around ten? 11?” Bristow said.

Amber Bristow is a fifth generation cranberry farmer– she knows the product well.

“Cranberries are a low-running plant, they grow in a very sandy, acidic soil,” Bristow said.

Cranberries don’t grow in water, but it is how they’re harvested.

“During harvest I’m if you wanna say the water guy—I move water mostly during harvest,” said Dan Bristow, Amber’s husband and a cranberry farmer.

“Farmers never really retire—especially if they’ve been here their entire life,” Amber Bristow said.

Dan never planned to be a farmer.

“I went to school for a long time in college but learning that book stuff is completely different from learning to be a farmer,” Dan Bristow said.

It was a shock that has sweetened over time.

“It’s a great place to be, and anyone who’s introduced to it understands why we’ve stuck around for so long,” Amber Bristow said.

“It’s something I wouldn’t trade for the world. I love it,” Dan Bristow said.

Amber and Dan have a 14-month-old son. Dan said he will get to help out on the farm as soon as he can hold the weed whacker.

Like many farms in the area, the Russel Rezin and Son Cranberry Marsh contributes most of its product to Ocean Spray.