BRANDON, Wi. (WBAY) - A family business in Fond Du Lac County was destroyed by a tornado about a year ago. Pebble Knolls Dairy lost several buildings, dozens of cattle were injured, and six cows died.
But on Sunday, the Wetzel family celebrated a new start with a ribbon cutting. People had the chance to tour one of their new barns and to check out photos of the entire restoration process.
“Everything feels really good now because we finally have our normal back,” said Danielle Wetzel.
That normal comes after a lot of work and struggle.
“This past year has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through, and one of the hardest things my family has had to go through,” said Danielle.
The family’s more than 600 surviving cows had to be housed in other farms while they rebuilt, which took some time during the rough winter.
“They really couldn’t do anything, it was really step by step,” said Liz Wetzel.
For 222 days, not a single cow was milked at Pebble Knolls.
“It was kind of stressful knowing that our cows are everywhere and you don’t really know what’s happening at some points because you don’t have time to visit them all,” said Liz. “So it’s huge to be able to do this in our own facility again.”
While the family has faced many struggles this past year, they do say it’s made them stronger.
“I just loved how connected we are as a family through this,” said Liz.
“We went through hell and back, arm in arm,” said Carsyn Wetzel.
Though the Wetzels had each other, they say the community played a big part in their strength.
“The day of the tornado everyone was here helping cleanup and load up our animals and food started arriving, bottle of water,” said Danielle. “Just so much support.”
“I knew a handful of people that came that night and there was dozens more people I didn’t even know,” said Liz. “So I just want to thank everybody.”
Which is why they wanted to celebrate their comeback with everyone.
“It’s the best feeling in the world,” said Danielle.