Meet the Growers

A fourth-generation potato and vegetable grower, Nathan Bula of Nathan Bula Farms LLC, Adams, Wisconsin, carries on his family’s farming tradition.

“My first year of farming on my own was 75 acres that my parents allowed me to rent,” he adds. “That has been the family history of allowing the kids to start a little farm on the side and grow it, and obviously still work on the home farm,” Nathan relates.

Nathan says farming for the future is his focus and his son is a big part of it.

“He’s my fuel now. He’s why I keep doing what I do, day in and day out. It makes work a lot easier with him being around the farm. He drives in the tractor with me a lot and adores potato farming.”

Bacon says this history makes him proud as a fourth-generation family farmer. They currently operate roughly 6,000 acres.

“We have always prided ourselves in doing the best job we can to produce the highest quality products while taking great care of the ground. We are also the labor force for the business. We each have our strengths, but ultimately, if there is a job to be done, it is one of the family members likely doing the work.”

With three generations currently working for Potato Plant, Krogwold says it’s an accomplishment “to keep a small family business going for four generations.”

“I like to say that I have an important but easier chapter in this farm’s history,” says Dan Wild, president of Wild Seed Farms, Inc., in Antigo, Wisconsin. The reputation that my Grandpa Leonard made for himself was what helped sell our quality seed. From that day, I not only realized the hard work that it takes to build a reputation, but how easily it can be lost.”

Wild says that thirty or 40 years ago, it took a big crew to run the farm. He learned a lot about work ethic from all the family members he worked with as well as from the non-family members who were part of making the farm a success.

“I am thankful to be able to work in the Plover area and I try my best to give back to the community by participating in [area] events, fundraisers, and other activities. I feel you get back as much as you put in,” Mark says.

At Okray Family Farms, Mark Finnessy continuously deals with all levels of the industry from processors to the public who ultimately consume the operation’s produce.

“It’s been all my life. We were Dad’s help when we were young,” fondly recalls Michael Helbach of Helbach Farms, LLC, in Amherst, Wisconsin, “helping as early as I can remember on the farm. Then, right out of high school, I was full time.”

When Mike went full-time on the farm after high school, his dad, Bob, put him to work in the office.

The 2014 potato growing season presented a number of challenges for Wisconsin’s farmers from start to finish this year. But like any other farming organization, Seidl Farms, Inc., of Deerbrook, WI, worked with Mother Nature to overcome those challenges, helping them add yet another year of certified seed potato production to their long history.

Frank Seidl, owner and founder of Seidl Farms, began planting potatoes when he was 21; he farmed a total of 20 acres in Bryant. The year was 1949 when the farm incorporated dairy as well as about 15 acres of potatoes for the fresh market.


Many farms across Wisconsin have seen their fair share of phases over time. Such is the story of Midwestern Potatoes, LLC, in Plainfield. Once a packing shed, Midwestern Farms was established by a group of potato growers in 1977. The establishment served several growers/shareholders over the years.

If you’ve ever bought a bag of potato chips in Wisconsin or throughout the mid-west, chances are good that bag is packed with potatoes grown right in Wisconsin. As one of the nation’s premier suppliers of chipping potatoes, Heartland Farms has the process mastered.


1910 was the year it all began for Albert Gallenberg, the founder of Gallenberg Farms in Antigo, WI. Originally a dairy farm, potatoes took up only 20 acres. It was a specialty crop the workers would dig by hand and ship from the field come fall.

Life provides many interesting twists and turns. More often than not, you can’t predict where they will end up. Such is the interesting journey of how Mortenson Bros. Farms Inc. came to be.

It all began with an Antigo-based truck and tire business operated by brothers Gary and James Mortenson. Called Mortenson Brothers Trucking and Southside Tire, Gary and James had hauled potatoes for a farm that couldn’t pay them back. For this reason in 1968, they took on ownership of some of the crop.


Owning and operating a farm takes a lot of time and patience, but it also provides significant memories. After watching his family’s farm carry on through five generations, Eric Schroeder of Schroeder Bros. Farms Inc. in Antigo, Wisconsin, says he has lots of great memories growing up. “Our farm was established in Antigo in 1879 with crops and potatoes. In the 1960’s, my great grandpa and Uncle Tom started focusing on growing seed potatoes.”