When I was growing up in rural New Glarus, I learned the ins and outs of land surveying by helping my dad. But if you had told my pre-teen self that I would grow up to be a land surveyor myself, well, I’m sure I would have laughed. Back then, it wasn’t exactly my first love, although I really did enjoy working with dad. Fast forward a few decades, and here I am, principal and owner of my own land surveying company. And, honestly, I couldn’t be happier.
After graduating from high school, I went on to get an associate degree, and at 22, I became the youngest person in the state to become a Professional Land Surveyor. My brothers and I managed the family business for eight years after my father passed away and then headed off to pursue other interests. At 34, I went back to school and earned my bachelor’s degree through night classes at Edgewood College. It was a great experience — but I began to think about surveying more and more and it just seemed right to return to my land surveying roots! Talarczyk Land Surveys was born.
My wife, Jenny is a school principal. We’ve known each other since high school and have been married since 2000. Our many struggles with infertility have made the addition of our two children — Henry who is 10 and Kathryn, 6 — seem all the sweeter. I love the outdoors — hunting and fishing with friends. But I also like old movies, music from the ‘70s and ‘80s, and just hanging out with family.
And in case I forgot to mention it … I love what I do.
Like my brother, I learned the land surveying business at a young age and eventually became a Professional Land Surveyor.
Over the years, my love of learning took me in many directions. An interest in the outdoors played a big part in my life, and I was bitten by the environmental/ecological bug, leading me to the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology program at UW-Madison. That resulted in jobs with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and a research project on the Menomonee Indian Reservation. And over a span of 16 years, I planted 500,000 trees, conducted prescribed burns, and transformed the landscape of our family farm!
But land surveying has always been a part of my life, and along the way I spent several stints working in the family business before finally deciding to pursue an engineering degree. I went back to school and got my BS and MS in Engineering from UW-Milwaukee and became a Professional Engineer (PE).
It’s my love of the outdoors, working in the woods, and family, that has brought me full-circle back to my very first job — land surveying.