Interview with Roy Gallenberg
By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater
Roy Gallenberg grew up being a part of the farm, from helping with harvest and driving tractor as a kid, to becoming a partner at the age of 25.
In all, Gallenberg Farms, Inc., of Antigo, Wisconsin, has been in operation for 112 years. In 1910, Albert Gallenberg started a dairy farm where he grew 20 acres of potatoes, a specialty crop that the workers would dig by hand and ship from the field in fall.
Forty-five years later, Albert’s son, Robert, took over the farm with his brother, Tony. They sold the dairy part of the operation so they could focus solely on seed potatoes, eventually buying more land and converting the dairy barn into a potato storage facility.
The brothers farmed 70 acres of potatoes, and created Gallenberg Equipment, a company that specifically manufactured potato equipment.
The farm grew along with their newly created business, which ultimately allowed Tony to take over Gallenberg Equipment and Robert to continue to farm.
About 30 years later, Robert retired, leaving the farm to his sons, the current owners/operators, Roy and John Gallenberg.
In the late ’80s, Roy’s and John’s brother-in-law, Loren Barske, also joined the farm, which expanded throughout the years to include several hundred acres of potatoes, oats, and in previous years, wheat.
Roy is currently president of the Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association (WSPIA) Board of Directors.