Mining for frac sand is big business

BLAIR, WIS. — Lou Ellen and Jim Frei spent 40 years as hardscrabble dairy farmers, cussing the sandy soil that gave them and their tractor such fits.

Today they are finally breathing easy, thanks to that same gritty land. They just moved into a new one-story house on Sjuggerud Coulee Road. Now they don’t have to worry about climbing their old farmhouse stairs on knees made sore by milking cows.

Once so poor they couldn’t afford new shoes when their daughter started school, they now have more than $550,000 in the bank.

“We’ve even got a Jacuzzi tub now,” said Jim, 66, chuckling about their sudden change of fortune.

Star Tribune

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