3rd Generation Potato Grower
Jared Smith is a 3rd generation potato grower, learning the business from his father, Jerry Smith. Jerry Smith went to Colorado State University before eventually returning to work on the farm with his brother. Now, Jared, his older brother, and his nephew have been learning what it takes to grow potatoes.
During the spring, it’s planting season on all 1,950 acres. This means rows are made in the field to get ready. Seeds are then planted, and when they sprout the next step is cultivation, which takes out any weeds and shapes the hill for the final time before harvest. Smith describes harvest as his favorite time of year, not only because of the beautiful weather but because growers get to reap the benefits of all their hard work throughout the year.
In the packing plant, technology has significantly improved the process and efficiency of packing potatoes. The packing plant on Three S Ranch was built in 1968 and, back then, could only finish packing one load per day. Now, state-of-the-art technology has expedited the process immensely. Out in the field, there is GPS guidance down to the sub-inch on all machinery. The farm has also invested in newer tractors that help the farm conserve fuel.
Smith is extremely involved in his own community as well as the potato industry. He’s an executive committee member for Potatoes USA, a member of the Potato Packing Board, and a Colorado Potato Administrative Board member. Within their own community, the farm hosts a potato festival every fall that is a family-friendly event celebrating America’s favorite vegetable.