Badger Common’Tater June 2019 Issue
Interview with Michael Wolter
By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater
What Michael Wolter says amazes him is that his family was farming 900 acres of potatoes using and filling the same storage space as they have now, but they’re farming 600 acres. That’s called progress and efficiency—more production on fewer acres—a story common to Wisconsin potato and vegetable growers.
Like many potato growers, his family’s roots run deep—stretching back to when Michael’s grandparents, Herbert and Hilda Wolter, of Antigo, started and operated a potato farm.
That original family farm is now run by Michael’s cousin, Keith Wolter, and up until his recent passing, Keith’s father, Glen. Michael’s uncle, John Wolter, also helped run Hyland Lakes farm.
Wolter Riverside Farms, on the other hand, has its own story. Michael’s dad, Mike, decided he wanted to try something different and went to work construction for a couple years with Michael’s uncle, Dick Schumitsch.
“After starting a family and not liking to be on the road as much as construction demanded, Dad decided to come back and try to farm on his own,” Michael relates.
“An opportunity came up, and my grandpa, Ben Schumitsch, helped him get on his feet. Dad grew 175 acres the first year,” Michael continues, “expanded to about 900 at one point, and now we are back down to about 600 acres each year.”