Check out the Red River Valley connection in a story in Spudman magazine’s November/December 2013 issue.
The Sparta, Mich.-based magazine’s cover story is about seed potato grower Joe Thompson, who with his father, Dan, relocated to Alliance, Neb., from the Grafton and Park River, N.D., area. Joe and Dan, purchased the farm just west of Nebraska’s Sand Hills in 1995.
Spudman says the Thompson Seed Potato Partnership had early challenges with potato scab, quality and marketing issues. They coped by cutting acreage, growing better-suited varieties, and finding better land.
Today, the Thompsons produce low-generation seed potatoes — 20 varieties for the chip-stock, table-stock and frozen sectors, marketed through their Countrywide Potato marketing organization. They grow seed for customers in two Canadian provinces and 18 states from Washington to Maine. In North Dakota, they supply some seed and help market seed for Dan’s younger brothers – Rick, Ron, Tom and Doug – all in the northern Red River Valley.
Joe has a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness from the University of Minnesota, St. Paul. He is in the middle of a term representing Nebraska on the U.S. Potato Board and is part of the national organization’s Seed Task Force. Joe and his wife, Rebecca, have three young sons.