Interview with Randy Fleishauer
By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater
The question isn’t “why would he,” but why wouldn’t Randy Fleishauer have wanted to return to Wisconsin and go to work for Plover River Farms in Stevens Point?
With a strong agricultural background and love for the Midwest, and Wisconsin in particular, Fleishauer would be joining a farm known for sustainable and eco-friendly practices as well as being part of the Healthy Grown program, including prairie restoration on portions of the land.
Helmed by Nick Somers, president of Plover River Farms, the operation has been a family affair for generations.
When Nick was five months old, his father died of a sudden heart attack, and his mother, Ann Somers, packed him and his three-year-old sister up, taking them to her home farm where she teamed up with her brother, Don Cychosz, to make a life for the family.
They raised mink, farmed dairy cattle, and grew hand-picked green beans, strawberries and eventually potatoes, the latter of which became promising with the development of irrigation.
Nick’s uncle Don was one of the first in the Stevens Point area to buy a pivot irrigation system, and, in 1968, Ann, Don and Nick joined together to form Plover River Farms, Inc. It was then that Nick married his wife, Dianne, and together started their own family.
Fleishauer, meanwhile, who grew up on a small dairy farm in Arkansaw, in Pepin County, Wisconsin, and had made a career in the agriculture industry both within and outside of the state, never forgot his roots and true passion for farming.
In 2017, he joined Plover River Farms Alliance, Inc. as general manager, and only a few years later, the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association Board of Directors, where he serves today as president.