"These spuds are for you": Parker family enjoys a day of togetherness at the potato dig at R.D. Offutt field
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by Karin L. Nauber
Many of us grew up on a diet that included some variety of meat and potatoes.
Potatoes are considered a staple item in many households and are used in so many ways.
Because potatoes are such an important part of our diets, it is no wonder that they are grown around this area so much.
R. D. Offutt Farms has a proud history of growing some of the best potatoes around.
They are a family owned and operated potato farm that produces more than 50,000 acres of potatoes each year. Their headquarters is in Fargo, North Dakota.
It all began in the early 1960s when founder Ron Offutt partnered with his dad to grow potatoes. In 2018, the company renamed its farming operations “R.D. Offutt Farms.”
Ron’s daughter, Christi, is now the company chair, and Ron is chairman emeritus, while his son-in-law, Keith McGovern, serves as president of the company.
According to their website, “The initial idea for R.D. Offutt Farms began when Ron saw the opportunity to produce more uniform potatoes by developing irrigation and growing in Minnesota’s sandier soils. Then, after recognizing the need for a consistent demand for his potatoes, Ron decided to enter the processing side of the business and purchased a small french fry factory.”
They supply potatoes to a processing facility in Park Rapids. The facility produces frozen potato products distributed across the upper midwest. Both R.D. Offutt Farms and their partner, Lamb Weston, work together with a focus on the environment, their communities, neighbors, and research that continually improves their practices.
According to Director of Communications for R.D. Offutt Farms/Threemile Canyon Farms Anne Struthers, they have farms in several counties in Minnesota from as far south as Hastings to Park Rapids.
“Because of our commitment to farming sustainably, we rotate the potato plantings in a three to four year cycle, so potatoes aren’t grown on any given field more than once every three to four years,” said Struthers. . . .