Mark Bauer was born and raised on a dairy farm. At the age of 17, he started renting land to grow corn and soybeans. He also started a 6 sow-hog operation. In 1975, Mark married Sue. Together they bought 50 acres from Mark’s parents, moved a trailer house on the property, built buildings, and grew the hog operation to 18,000 market hogs a year. When Mark and Sue started hog farming, they had the intention to be out of the livestock business by the age of 50. At the age of 51, they closed their hog operation and switched their attention to maximizing crop efficiency. Today the Bauers farm 1,600 acres, fully implementing GPS for the purpose of strip tilling and managing crop nutrients. Mark and Sue have two children, Skyler (20) and Brandi (16). Both children have taken on the responsibilities of soil sampling and managing samples through SMS software and then creating variable rate mapping for lime and fertility. Skyler went to trade school and has returned home to work on the farm. Brandi, a junior in high school, helps in the fields. She also works at Hy-Vee.
Both Mark and Sue were involved with the Faribault Jaycees and the Outstanding Young Farmer Award. Mark and Sue were on the Pork Producers Board. Mark also served on the Farm Service Agency Board.