Blog Post - Sep 22, 2021

Aerial Adventures

What if: what you are most passionate about doesn’t just have to stay a hobby but can become part of how you Live Engaged? In this article we look at how Mike Tachick, Dairyland’s President, uses his enthusiasm for flying to impact the world around him 

Mike’s love for aviation began when he was just eleven years old. Tagging along to flight lessons with his father Henry provided an opportunity to watch, learn, and read until he was old enough to take lessons of his own. Over the years, Mike worked hard to save money by doing farm work in his northern Wisconsin community. When he was 16, he paid $20 for an introductory flight lesson with an ex-military instructor, who gave him hands-on experience right away. By age 17, Mike was hooked. He went on to earn his own pilot’s license, fully launching his passion for flying."I thought I was signing up for a basic flight experience, but within a short amount of time I was flying the plane and doing takeoffs and landings. The unexpected opportunity to fly so early really got me.”For Mike, flying began as an exciting, challenging, and energizing hobby. With time, he was able to use aviation to benefit Dairyland and enable more connection with industry customers and friends. He spent hours in the air traveling to conferences, speaking engagements, and meetings. “I’ve always enjoyed travelling and building relationships with the folks in our industry and it was a blessing to be able to make those trips as a pilot. Seeing the landscape of our country change from farmlands to desert to mountains from the air is really fascinating,” said Mike.

What if My Passion for Flying is a Way to Live Engaged?

As Dairyland’s Live Engaged initiative began to grow, Mike started to ponder ways he could help others through his love of aviation.

A 10 Minute Flight = A Weeklong Hike 

For years, Mike provided financial support to Mission Aviation Fellowship, a nonprofit organization that offers aviation, communications, and learning technology services to humanitarian programs in the Americas, Africa, and countries of the Asia-Pacific region. In many of these remote areas, the geography—be it mountains, desert or otherwise—limits people from traveling long distances to receive medical care. This is where MAF volunteers step in to deliver life-saving equipment or medical supplies, or to transport patients to medical facilities. As an avid pilot and experienced business owner, Mike recently joined the executive board of MAF, and now provides guidance and encouragement to their team that supports over 1,000 humanitarian nonprofits around the world.

MAF was founded 75 years ago by a group including Betty Greene, who found herself in a similar situation as Mike – searching for ways to use a passion for aviation to impact the world around her.  After the inaugural flight on Feb 23, 1946, MAF flights continued for 75 years impacting the world around them in a significant way. Betty’s story will be highlighted in the upcoming documentary, Ends of the Earth (trailer below).

Flying People in Need 

Mike is also a volunteer pilot with Angel Flight, a nonprofit summarized best by their tagline, “people flying people in need.” Certified pilot volunteers like Mike take people with non-emergency medical treatment needs around or across the country to receive care at no cost to the patient. This could mean helping people with medical conditions who cannot afford to fly, or delivering blood products in emergency situations. Mike added, “I was looking for ways to use my passions to serve others. Angel Flight is a perfect fit to help others and do something I’m excited about.”


What are you passionate about? Have you considered how that fascination or hobby might be a way for you to invest in yourself, show up for your circle, strengthen your community, or even engage on a global level? Tell us how you Live Engaged here