Richard Pavelski is CEO and owner of Heartland Farms, Inc., and Heartland Agricultural Marketing, LLC, and has ownership of and holds offices in a number of other businesses including Horizon Properties, LLC, and Adventure 212. He also serves as a director and is a shareholder in a number of businesses including River Cities Bank and Wound Zoom, LLC.
He has held more than a dozen organization offices in the past including President and Director, Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association; Director, National Potato Council; and President of Wisconsin Agribusiness Council.
Pavelski joined the family farming operation in 1967, a member of the fourth generation on a farm that was settled in 1873 by his Great Grandfather August after emigrating from Poland.
In 1979 Pavelski started an independent agricultural fertilizer and chemical sales and application business, while continuing to own a 50 percent interest in the family farm operation. Beginning in 1986 the company partnered with NASA to work on satellite mapping and variable rate fertilizer and chemical application and had the first variable rate application equipment in Wisconsin. That technology is just now, 25 years later, being more broadly adopted. The fertilizer and chemical operation grew to $21 million in sales and was sold to Growmark in 1990. The farm operation has grown from 550 acres in 1967 when Pavelski joined the farm, to 18,000 acres, and over $50 million in annual sales currently. The farm works closely with the University Agricultural Research Station at Hancock, WI. The farm is also home to the Frito-Lay Global Potato Storage Research Facility, a facility designed by Richard to mimic real world, commercially sized potato storage conditions.
Pavelski has consulted on potato production and storage projects in Scotland, UK, Poland, and Russia. He has partnered with nine other Wisconsin-based investors and led a frozen potato products manufacturing business in Scotland from 1994 to 2001. He partnered with a Michigan-based potato grower to start, own and operate a 7,000 acre potato farm in Mexico from 1997 to 2003.