The Wall Street Crash that began in late October of 1929, also known as Black Tuesday, was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States. Rural areas like those in the north central area of the State of Wisconsin suffered as prices fell, leading to job losses and economic turmoil. The only exception was in the fur industry. Through all of this adversity, Edward Dittrich, Sr. and his wife, Lorene, saw opportunity! Located in Medford, Wisconsin, they had a vision and the plans to continue to raise a unique North American mink that would pique the interest of fur buyers from all around the world.
Ed and Lorene started modestly with two females and one male. Over time the farm increased to 1,000 females, making it a very large farm for its time. Edward Dittrich, Sr. was also one of the first mink farmers to raise the platinum mink. Edward's breeder stock was carried forward through the generations, first with his son, Vernon, and then with Vernon's sons, David and Edward, Jr. As third-generation farmers, the Dittrich family helped establish the small, rural town of Medford, Wisconsin, United States as a high profile player in the fur industry, earning it the name of the “Mink Capital of the World!” The family legacy continues to this day as the grandsons’ mink farms are still in operation in the same setting.
In 2009, Twan and John Van Ansem, and their business partner, Jorn Mogensen, purchased the existing David Dittrich Mink Farm. Like the Dittrich family, the Van Ansem family also celebrates three generations of mink farming. This was an excellent opportunity for the new partners to continue the legacy started by the Dittrich family over 70 years ago, and to achieve their own goal of raising a superior North American mink.
Collectively, Twan, John, and Jorn share over 70 years of experience in the mink industry, with each bringing their own unique qualities and expertise to create a center of excellence for mink production. Today the David Dittrich mink ranch is one of the largest in America, producing high quality selections of black mink, as well as marble, white, palomino, mahogany, brown, silver blue and cross mink.
Like the Dittrich family, the Van Ansem family also celebrates three generations of mink farming.