"It's hard to say, you're not sure what your future's going to be," Joel Knoeck said, as he looks out at the damage of his father's and uncle's farm.
"I work here full time," he said. "I've worked here most of my life. All of us have worked here most of our lives."
The Knoeck Brothers Farms in Cassel near Marathon has been a family-owned business since the late 1800s.
According to Marathon County Sheriff's Lt. Dale Wisnewski, a call came in around 2:30 Sunday morning that the property on Pheasant Lane was up in flames. Edgar and Marathon Fire Departments responded. The fire destroyed the milk house and the cattle barn, and employees worry the entire $500,000 property may be a complete loss. Authorities say 75 to 80 cattle also died that were trapped inside; 20 to 25 cattle escaped.
"We had a good number of polled registered holstein. They were cattle that never grew horns, which is becoming rather popular," Knoeck said. He says the farm bred some of the most valued of that type of cattle.
"That's probably what stings the most because I put a lot of effort into that," Knoeck said. "But the funny thing is, I just thought in the last two weeks, what would happen if there was ever a fire? And ironically it happened."