Wendelin Grimm was born in Külsheim, Germany back in 1818 to Valentine and Mary. His education was limited to training for a career in farming. He married Julianna where they stayed until 1857, when they moved to Carver County Minnesota, via New York. They settled in what is now modern-day Victoria, Minnesota.
When he arrived in Carver County he not only moved his family he also brought a small bag of everlasting clover seeds. Winters in his new home were harsh compared to Germany. He would save some of the seeds and replant them each year. It wasn’t long before they grew a resistance to the harsh winters. He passed the original farmstead to his son Frank in 1872, moving to Chaska, Minnesota continuing farming until his death in 1890, he was 72.
What you may not know about Wendelin is that he is best known for his innovative seed saving techniques that resulted in North America’s first winter-hardy alfalfa. It is estimated that all of North American alfalfa comes from the seeds that Wendelin saved. Those seeds account for 60 million acres of alfalfa with a value today of 3.4 billion annually.
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