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 the Director of Student Services at the New Glarus School District. 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 and Kathryn — 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.