Growing quality seed potatoes has been a long standing
tradition at Sklarczyk Seed Farm.

It started in 1942 when Michael and Theresa Sklarczyk purchased a farm in Johannesburg, Michigan. They grew potatoes and traditional crops for feeding livestock. Mike trucked the potatoes to the Detroit Eastern Market, where a competitor offered to buy Mike's crop at the same price Mike was receiving at the Market. This farmer realized with the outstanding quality of potatoes that Mike was producing, Mike could start raising seed for his crop, thus eliminating Mike as his competitor.

In the early 1980s, Mike and Theresa's son Don wanted to continue in his father's footsteps and further improve their seed potatoes for a more progressive market. After much research, Don found that the best way to reduce asymptomatic bacteria and latent virus in seed potatoes would be to utilize the technology of tissue culture.

Don, Mary Kay and their 3 children visited Ed and Barbara Jones, who had established a greenhouse and tissue culture laboratory for Cornell University. Mary Kay learned the correct methods of cutting potato plantlets under a clean air hood from Barbara. After this visit, Don was even more convinced that tissue culture was going to play a vital part in the future of seed potato production.

A small lab was built in Don and Mary Kay's basement, and Mary Kay began cutting and expanding the 50 small plantlets received from Ed and Barbara, using the knowledge she gained from them. That spring, the potato plants were placed in a small greenhouse in the backyard and in an isolated test plot in the field.

The first crop was a success! There was only 1 hurdle left; the seed industry was not ready to change the tuber to tuber process that they were accustomed to. Don used a backdoor approach to this dilemma. He provided seed directly to the commercial growers, and when these farmers realized the benefits of tissue culture, they began asking their suppliers for this type of seed. Don was asked to present an overview of tissue culture in seed potato production at the North America Seed Potato Seminar in 1988; today, the use of tissue culture is a requirement of all certification agencies in the U.S. and Canada.

In the late 90s', at the suggestion and assistance of Frito Lay, the greenhouses were converted to hydroponic potato production. Since growing in hydroponics is very demanding, it was also suggested that the Sklarczyks put more of their resources into the greenhouse from the field potato operation.

In 2003, Don and Mary Kay's son graduated from Michigan State University with an Agribusiness degree and the desire to continue in his grandfather's and father's footsteps. Ben currently serves as the COO of the greenhouse and is assisted by his wife Alison, brother-in-law Kurt, and several long time staff members. Some of these employees also assist Mary Kay with the lab activities.

Due to the rise in demand, multiple additions have been made to the operation since its beginning. At this time, Sklarczyk Seed Farm consists of 3 poly-top greenhouses, a 5 bay glasshouse, and a laboratory devoted specifically to seed potato tissue culture. Over 4 million seed potatoes are produced in two crops each year, which are shipped throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Chile, and the Middle East. The 650 acres of the field operation no longer grows potatoes, but now yields many bushels of wheat and soybeans.

Our Mission
To provide peace of mind to our partners, Sklarczyk Seed Farm LLC will deliver high quality mini tubers while embracing sustainable practices that will benefit society and the surrounding environment.

Our Goal

To develop relationships that will benefit our partners.

To remain a high quality, reliable source of mini tubers to our partners for years to come.

To continue exploring advancements in production technology.

To continue to look at long term growth, not immediate returns.

To build upon the relationships developed over the years.

To explore and implement all opportunities to minimize the ecological impact with all our activities.

To implement programs that will assist our staff in achieving their desired goals.