Badger Common’Tater September 2020 Issue
Interview with Mark Haynes
By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater
In 1976, as a senior at Appleton West High School, Mark Haynes saw a video presentation given by a group of University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison students from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
“I thought agronomy looked very interesting,” says Haynes, senior agronomist with Bula-Gieringer Farms in Coloma, Wisconsin. “Biology was my favorite subject, and I knew people had to eat food!”
“I also knew from that day forward I wanted to be an agronomist. My first introduction into potato production was a summer internship my junior year at TH Agrichemicals, Plainfield, Wisconsin,” Haynes relates. “The good old Temik [Aldicarb carbamate insecticide] days—no beetles, no early dying, just tons of worms.”
After graduating from UW-Madison, Haynes’ first job was at Centrol in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, as an independent crop consultant for the northern Red River Valley. There, he worked with seed growers from Lake of the Woods and process growers in the valley.
He has since worked for Tri-Ag Services, Pavelski Enterprises, Pest Pros, Mortenson Bros. Farms, Black Gold Farms and in his present position with Bula-Gieringer Farms.
One of the largest potato and vegetable operations in Wisconsin, Bula-Gieringer Farms was founded, in 1980, when Mark Bula formed a partnership with Mark Gieringer.
The farm has land in Adams County as well as three out-of-state farms, one in the Keithsburg, Illinois, area, and two farms in Florida, one of which Bula-Gieringer Farms owns. Mark bought the Florida farm several years ago.
Bula’s son, Shawn, has been working on the farm since he was as young boy and has an associate degree in business and marketing from Mid-State Technical College.