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Grower Profiles

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Leah Halverson

Black Gold Farms

Grand ForksNorth Dakota

Potato Types Grown

  • Chip
  • Processing

Black Gold Farms, headquartered in Grand Forks, North Dakota operates in eight different locations across multiple states. While North Dakota is great for growing potatoes, it’s not where the population centers are, so in 1985, Halverson’s dad hopped in the car to find new opportunities. He landed in southeast Missouri where Black Gold Farms began expanding. The Halversons call it distance farming.  

In addition to managing operations from Grand Forks, the family still farms about 1,000 acres there. The soil is rich from once being at the bottom of a lake, which also means that it holds moisture extremely well. Long, hot days and moderate nights allow the potatoes to bulk in the sun and cool off after dark.  

Black Gold Farms grows potatoes for chips and processing, and the operation in North Dakota has 46 climate-controlled bays, each of which can store more than a million pounds of potatoes. That’s 46 million pounds of potatoes being stored at any given time! 

Also in Grand Forks, several full-time employees manage the multi-state operation out of the office, a LEED Gold-certified building. It’s a designation awarded to buildings that are sustainably designed and constructed, which was a priority for the Halversons when they built the office ten years ago. Their emphasis on sustainability extends to the fields as well, where they employ conscientious farming practices to ensure the soil is rich for years to come.