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Grower Profiles

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Jared Smith

San Luis ValleyColorado

In the San Luis Valley of Colorado is 3rd generation potato grower, Jared Smith. Every potato farm is unique in some way, and this farm is surrounded by mountains that Smith, in his free time, flies through in his plane. The plane also comes in handy at the farm for getting a bird’s eye view of the entire operation. It is sometimes easier to spot potential problems from the sky rather than on the ground.

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Eric Schroeder

AntigoWisconsin

Eric Schroeder is a 5th-generation seed potato farmer with his brother and two cousins in Antigo, Wisconsin. During the spring season on a seed farm, seed is being delivered from other farms, while at the same time, Schroders Brother’s Farms is cutting their own seed and shipping it out all over the country.

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Colin Szawlowski

HatfieldMassachusetts

Colin Szawlowski is a 5th-generation potato grower whose great, great grandfather immigrated from Poland and decided to grow potatoes right in the North Hampton meadows. Szawlowski Potato Farms is a true family affair with Colin, his older twin brothers, his parents, and even his great uncles work together on the farm. His great uncles, who are 83 and 87, can be seen scouting the potatoes in the morning and again in the evening.

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Bryan Jones

Saint AugustineFlorida

Bryan Jones’ grandfather began growing greens in the 1950s for a naval base nearby before they switched to growing potatoes and never looked back. Jones’ dad is still very much involved on the farm and is the current owner but hopes Jones can take over someday. Today, Riverdale Potato Farms grows potatoes exclusively to be made into potato chips.

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Derek Friehe/Travis Meacham

Moses LakeWashington

Derek Friehe is the owner of Friehe farms and learned about the potato industry from his father. Friehe’s father, who immigrated from Germany in the 1980s, had the foresight to see the Upper Columbia Basin as a great opportunity for growing potatoes because of the good soil and the good source of water. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, the operation continued to grow into what it is now. Today, Travis Meacham, the production manager at Friehe Farms, is using robust technology to increase efficiency on the farm.

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