It takes a strong team to grow and harvest year-round in the climate extremes of Wisconsin. We couldn’t do it without the dedicated employees who help us with everything from planting and harvesting to packing, shipping, and bookkeeping. Many of our employees have been with us for more than ten years, and some say it feels like family. Their excellent work allows Star Valley Flowers to continue growing and developing new crops to meet the needs of our customers.


john4John Zehrer, founder and owner

John, “El Gran Toro,” loves the fact that this northern farm has something to harvest and sell year around, without the use of a greenhouse that would burn fossil fuels. He’s passionate about his work in plant propagation and gardening, and he loves his tractors, too! He’s always envisioning ways of making something new from something discarded. His latest endeavor is growing and processing highly nutritious fruits, starting with aronia berries. John and his wife, Berta, love to travel and they celebrate farming and food along the way, whether they’re in Iowa or Spain.

Favorite Star Valley Flowers crop: Forsythia, Peony, Bittersweet, Dogwood

philPhil Mueller, sales manager

Phil, John’s right hand man and the public face and voice of Star Valley for many customers appreciates the diversity of the people and nature that are right outside his corn crib office door. He’s a practical realist who’s proud of the fact that the farm employs so many people in a rural area while sharing its bounty and beauty with people across the country. He likes anyplace that’s hot and humid, and that’s Wisconsin for about 3 days of the year. But he makes the most of living in the Driftless Region, with his enjoyment of hiking, biking, snowshoeing, canoeing, camping, road tripping, music festivals, cooking and consuming real food and drink, and socializing with friends. He gives back by serving on his county board of supervisors, the town board of supervisors, community organizations and being politically active. Vote for Phil!

Favorite Star Valley Flowers crop: Orange Ilex, Lilac, Peony

carlosCarlos Tinoco, field crew manager

Carlos, “El Jefe,” knows that laughter and fun can go together with hard work – no wonder he’s a good crew chief! – and he enjoys the busy season on the farm. This is a special place to Carlos because he and his wife were married in a beautiful wedding on the farm. Today, they enjoy hunting, trout fishing, growing their own foods, and relaxing in their hot tub.

Favorite Star Valley Flowers crop: Hydrangea

newsusanSusan Pehmoeller, accountant

Susan says the camaraderie, both on and off the farm, is what makes working at Star Valley her favorite job. She loves the beauty and serenity of living in southwestern Wisconsin, and she says she would never go back to the big city. At home, Susan raises grass-fed beef cattle, as well as dairy goats, chickens, ducks, and several four-legged farm friends. She loves exploring caves along the Mississippi River and she’s a huge fan of the national parks. Favorite Star Valley Flowers crop: Tardiva Hydrangea

colleen2Colleen Giese, shipping manager and sales assistant

“La chica de negro” enjoys her co-workers and says they’re a great example of the friendly and generous people of southwest Wisconsin. Her favorite time of year on the farm is fall, when the temps are cooler and the colors change. Her dark hair, wardrobe of black, and body art make her a modern-day Bettie Page, and she enjoys stylin’ at the local pool and music halls.

Favorite Star Valley Flowers crop: Pussy Willow, Winterberry, Limelight Hydrangea

scottScott Johnson, field crew member

With the exception of Phil, Scott has been working at Star Valley Flowers longer than any other employee. He loves driving tractors, working outside, and the ever-changing jobs on the farm – especially in Spring. In fact, Scott has worn every hat on the farm. He enjoys home life in a nearby town, where he and his wife and son enjoy taking care of their home and their yard with a pond.

Favorite Star Valley Flowers crop: Hydrangea. 

julioJulio Cano, field crew member

Julio enjoys the magic of daybreak on the fields of the farm. When he’s not working in the fields, he brings some of that magic to his stained glass creations, his photographs, and even to a good game of billiards.

Favorite Star Valley Flowers crop: Golden Ninebark, Peony

wandyWandy Peralta, field crew member and equipment operator

Smiling Wandy enjoys the constant changes of his job on the farm – all driven by the seasons, the weather, and the stages of plant growth in the fields. He loves to spend time with friends and family, and he’s constantly thinking about developing his own business growing fruit. He tries to visit his home country, Dominican Republic, at least every year. He has a knack for racing motorcycles!

Favorite Star Valley Flowers crop: Hydrangea

gabeGabe Rayner, field crew member

“Waynecillo” works and plays outdoors, and that’s what he likes best. When he’s not working on the farm, he loves to hunt and explore our region’s many unique natural features found along lakes, rivers, and in the deep woods.

Favorite Star Valley Flowers crop: Aronia, Curly Willow

seamusSeamus Murray, mechanic and equipment operator

“Brad Pitt” loves his job! Was there any doubt? He says he has a great boss, and he especially loves Spring on the farm when he gets to see lots of little fawns in the fields. Seamus is a full-time college student and father of a little girl that he enjoys introducing to the outdoor world. He likes to work on cars and hunt and fish in all his spare time!

Favorite Star Valley Flowers crop: Aronia

connorConnor Murray, field crew member and equipment operator

Connor enjoys the people on the farm. He enjoys watching football and getting outdoors in the unique geography of southwestern Wisconsin. His favorite day at work is payday! Some of his co-workers say he’s handsome. No question, since his brother is “Brad Pitt!”

Favorite Star Valley Flowers crop: Aronia

donDon Lampert, Chicago and Minneapolis deliveryman

Having lived in Chicago for 20 years and Minneapolis for 6 years, Don likes the fact that he gets to see old friends and neighborhoods in the course of doing his work, driving Star Valley Flowers’ delivery truck. With a background in set design, art, and architecture, he loves life in the city, but he’s happy to have his base camp in the beautiful driftless region of southwest Wisconsin. Lucky guy gets the best of both worlds.

Favorite Star Valley Flowers crop: Peony, Lilac


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