My Northern Wisconsin

Covering Ashland, Iron, Lincoln, Oneida, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, and Vilas Counties


Photo by: Melissa Schultz

Date Published:  June 24, 2021

Karen Kerner grew up on a farm in Price County. The third from the youngest sibling out of nine children, she learned a number of lessons growing up in a big farm family. One of those lessons, which would be her words of wisdom to younger generations, is to take care of what you have. She also learned the importance of family at a young age, which is why she is passionate about family getting along. Family trips at Sailor Lake are some of her most treasured memories from childhood.

Not long after Karen graduated from Phillips High School, she and her high school sweetheart, Greg Denzine, established Deer Creek Angus as a small livestock operation in Phillips. Greg, also coming from a farming family, was a great match for Karen as she said she always knew she wanted to be a farmer. Together, their passion for farming has grown.

The couple married and have two children, Alexis and Wyatt. They also have a Great Pyrenees farm dog named Bandit. Surrounded by beautiful woods and rolling pastures, they live on a picturesque farm. All their animals are raised on the farm in a stress-free environment fed with grass, hay, and grain grown on their farm and harvested by them. "All our calves are pasture-raised by 'Mother Cow.' Management traits of calving ease low birth weights and promote fast growth, marbling qualities, and high survivability, all of which mean a greater product. Our Angus cattle are docile, easy to handle, and have great longevity," Karen explained of their farming operation.

She also explained what happens beyond their farm. "Our animals are processed at Whiskey Ridge in Radisson, Wisconsin, a state-inspected and licensed facility. Whiskey Ridge is owned by Mark and Linda Heath, life-long residents of Radisson, who have been in business for 24 years."

Much of Karen's life has centered around farming and learning all that she can to be well-rounded in that line of work. If she could meet one of her ancestors, she said she would want to meet her grandfather who passed on when she was three months old. "I have tons of farming questions for him," she said. Luckily, she was able to meet a man named Franklin Loula, who was a farmer and close family friend. "I farm today by some of the things he taught me," she shared. If she could have one power, she would like x-ray vision. "Some days, in this line of work, it would really come in handy," she noted.

Karen lives by the motto that working hard pays off. She admitted she is a small woman but is ballsier than most men. The fact that she has ridden a bull can attest to that statement. To be able to ride bulls and wrangle cattle out west in the 1850s to 1900 is the time period she would be most interested in visiting if she could.

One of Karen's greatest accomplishments is the dairy breakfast she helped organize across Price County for two decades. "Many people think a dairy breakfast is for the farmers, but I also wanted it for the community so it would promote the dairy industry and for people to realize what goes on at a farm. That aspect was really important to me," she said.

Karen would like to see Price County grow. In ten years, she sees herself where she is right now, because she feels it is a great place to live. She said, "I will be here doing what I do best!"

Some of what she does best, besides farming, is staying connected to family. She stated her mother and sisters are her "guiding lights." Her children have brought her the most happiness, and she hopes the best for them. Along with family, Karen also has a soft spot for her friends. If she was stuck in an elevator with anyone, she'd like it to be her best friend. "We love to talk!" she explained. If she could go back and change one thing, though, she knows exactly what it would be. "I wish I could spend more time with my dear friend, Jacki (Kinnear) Kempf, before she passed away."

As for her hobbies, Karen likes making things with her hands. She enjoys sewing. One of her favorite projects was to make logging style quilts. "Mrs. Janetski got me hooked on that in high school," she shared. Karen said that, for a time, she was making so many that she sold some of her work.

If she could wish for one selfless thing, she would wish for food. "I would want to give it to the people who need it," she shared.

Karen and Greg definitely know a lot about feeding families as they have recently expanded into direct to customer sales from burgers for grilling to bacon-wrapped tenderloin and everything in-between. Customers can purchase Angus beef in individual packages or in quarters, halves, and whole. If you would like to purchase their wide array of products, visit Karen and Greg at the Minocqua Farmers' Market, by the information booth at 8216 Hwy. 51 S, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Friday. For more information on their products that you can also purchase at their farm in Phillips, view their website at and like their Facebook page at

Written By:  Lynne Bohn

(This post was last modified: 12-29-2021, 11:06 PM by My Northern Wisconsin.)