From the age of seven, Mike spent long hours working on his neighbor’s farm in Bountiful, Utah. He started by bunching vegetables: radishes, onions, parsley, you name it. These early years placed him on a path toward fieldwork he never questioned, only wondering if he would pursue farming, ranching, or both.
“I had an uncle who was a rancher — a cowboy — and that’s what I always wanted to do, so I bought my first cows in the ninth grade with my own money,” Mike said.
Mike graduated with a degree in Agriculture Economics from Brigham Young University in 1972. Ranching wasn’t making ends meet in the two years after school, so he also began growing potatoes for Simplot. Now, he has two 5,000-acre plots of land for seeding. Mike and his wife, Shannon, have eight sons and two daughters. His children have given them 50 grandkids; he defines his family as “our best crop”.
He runs Sun Valley Seed and Lost River Seed with his sons Aaron, Ryan, and Bob. Another son, Mark, started his own seed potato farming operation in the Arco area. Their youngest son Jared recently moved on from seeding to grow his pure-bred Angus bull operation. Jake, a sixth son, trains and competes nationally in reined cow horses out of Caldwell, Idaho. He recently became the fourth National Reined Cow Horse trainer to become a $2 million rider. April lives in Arizona and is comptroller and part owner of US Welding. Tyler is the superintendent of West Side High School in Dayton, Idaho. Christine is a very busy mom and Cody engineer at Timbersled Polaris in Sandpoint, Idaho.
Established in 1937, the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) is a state agency that is responsible for promoting and protecting the famous "Grown in Idaho®" seal, a federally registered trademark that assures consumers they are purchasing genuine, top-quality Idaho® potatoes. Idaho's ideal growing conditions, including rich, volcanic soil, climate and irrigation differentiate Idaho® potatoes from potatoes grown in other states.
661 South Rivershore Lane
EAGLE, ID 83616