Interview with Mike Baginski
By Joe Kertzman, managing editor
A fourth-generation potato grower, and the third generation growing seed potatoes, Mike Baginski has been around the business his whole life and says huge changes have occurred in every decade.
“Every year, we try to grow, but we do it with less labor and more efficiently in every step,” he says.
In 1962, Mike’s grandfather, Ted, his father, Ted Jr., and two uncles, John and Florian, changed from growing chip stock potatoes to seed potatoes.
“Through the years, they managed to create a solid business and a customer list that has stayed loyal to us to this day,” Baginski relates.
“As a young kid, I was always around the farm. It was fun, and from an early age, I knew agriculture was the path I wanted to take,” he says.
Mike’s father wasn’t going to let him off that easy. After high school, when Mike was in college, his dad said, for him to return to the business, he needed to work somewhere else for a while.
Mike moved to Maryland to work for his uncle’s company, Expedited Services Inc., which specialized in transportation and warehousing.
“My uncle, Dan Spreng, really taught me a great deal about business and management, which helped me greatly when I decided to come back to the farm,” Mike remarks.
“In 1998, I bought out my father and uncles, which was a very smooth process,” he continues. “I give them a lot of credit because they trusted their retirement in my hands.”