Washington Co., WI – Country singer Toby Keith is in the news as prayers are requested as he continues his battle with stomach cancer.
Bob and Mary Ihlenfeld of Washington County have some unique ties to Toby Keith; it was in 2011 while performing at Summerfest when his film crew came to the Ihlenfeld farm in the town of Addison to shoot a portion of his music video “Made in America.”
Bob and Mary Ihlenfeld and their family are featured in the 3-minute, 14 second video along with shots of the July 4 parade in Cedarburg.
Mary said, “the farm was the star more so than me.”
The Ihlenfelds hosted the very first Washington County Breakfast on the Farm in 1988.
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In the Toby Keith video, the Ihlenfeld family is featured for three seconds standing in a corn field at the 1:52 – 1:55 mark.
“It’s like our family grew out of the cornfield,” said Ihlenfeld about how the rest of the family faded into the shot.
A list of new local video stars included: Slinger Middle Schooler Austin Kuchnyka, Kevin and Aaron Ihlenfeld, Karly, Ken, Steve, Pam, Steve and Cole Ihlenfeld, Linda and Ken Kovacevich and their children Jacob, Lena, and Eric.
Country singer Toby Keith wrote on social media about his diagnosis…
The path leading the country singer to the Ihlenfeld farm came via a connection made by daughter-in-law Karly who was working at the time at a Waukesha obstetrics clinic.
“Somebody she worked with was a friend to the assistant producer and they were coming to Wisconsin because Toby Keith was performing in a concert at Summerfest,” Mary Ihlenfeld said.
Producers for the ‘Made in America’ video were shooting at the lakefront festival and looking at several farms in neighboring counties; they found gold when Karly volunteered her in-laws.
Mary Ihlenfeld said the producers reviewed their farm and liked the flower gardens, the large traditional farmhouse, white pillars on the porch and the homey white picket fence.
Producers also liked Bill’s workshop with WD-40 and Craftsman tools, which are referenced in the song.
The final seven-hour video shoot included Keith’s performance at the Marcus Amphitheater on July 1, Ihlenfeld farm on July 3, Cedarburg parade on July 4 and then back to Washington County for a holiday picnic with the Ihlenfeld family.
The primary farmer and wife featured in the video were actors. Ihlenfeld said “they were at the house and got to meet them.”
On a history note: The 600-acre farm dates to 1953, when Bob Ihlenfeld’s parents settled on Highway WW.