Mark Halla



I became a Certified Nursery and Landscape Professional in 1985, wrote a nationally published article on large tree moving in 1992, have been a guest speaker at Iowa State University and several other educational venues, helped develop a Mycorrhizae inoculum called Transplant Root Stimulator, I am a Minnesota Power Limited Technician and a Certified Illuminologist, but my career in landscaping and horticulture actually began at 12 years of age when I became Head Weed Puller at Halla Nursery, Inc., a business my Grandparents had started in 1942.

After graduating from high school, I attended St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota, with aspirations of a degree in small business management. I quickly realized that college was not for me and I dropped out and began working full time at the nursery.

Due to differences in management philosophy, I left the family business and moved to Maryland with my future wife, Kay, in 1985. I worked for several landscape companies in Maryland and moved up the ladder from Foreman to Head Foreman to Production Manager. My formal education in the industry really took place on the East coast, when I worked for one of the most recognized Landscape Garden Centers, Metzler's in Columbia, Maryland.

After about three years in Maryland, Kay and I wanted to start a family and desired to move home. I told my dad that if he bought out the other family members and adopted a company manual I had written, I would come back to work with him. To my surprise and pleasure, he did, and we moved back to Minnesota in 1989 and I began working for Halla Nursery once again.

I worked for Halla from 1989-2003, and the company grew from a small landscape firm to one of the largest retail garden center and landscape companies in Minnesota. My positions changed from Production Manager to Vice President and finally to President of the company. I enjoyed my time with Halla and what I learned couldn't be purchased at the finest University.

My most important lesson, however, was the importance of allowing God to have control of my life, and the value in making Him my first priority! My decision to accept Christ as my Lord and Savior came at a Promise Keepers event in 1996 at the Metrodome.

Although I didn't know it at the time, the beginning of my true relationship with Christ was also the beginning of my departure from Halla Nursery. As I grew closer to God, my desire to be in full obedience to Him, to be fully aligned with Him, caused me to question everything I was involved with. I wanted to be the same in private as I was in public, to fully merge my faith practices with my business practices. Because I couldn't make the changes I felt called to make, I was faced with the choice to trust God and leave, or to stay for financial reasons alone.

I thank God that He gave me the courage to trust and abide in Him, and that the death of my tenure at Halla Nursery became the birth of The Mustard Seed!

I like to say that The Mustard Seed is rooted in integrity and founded on faith. I see this business as God's business, not mine. Its purpose is the same as my own, to bring honor and glory to God. I believe all things were created by Him and for Him and it is a blessing to hold on loosely and watch Him at work. As much as possible, I hope to be able to share Christ's love with others through our business, to elevate His name above all names, and to give Him the glory he deserves-I am so committed to this, I will even use words if I have too!

The things I am most proud of are my lovely wife and my beautiful children!

I am most thankful that God continues to bless me in spite of how short I have fallen, and that He has redeemed me from my sin, enabling me to spend eternity thanking Him for loving me (and you) so much!

Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to introduce myself. Please stop by and say "Hello" so that I can meet you as well.