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Turning Back The Clock A Look Back 25 Years Ago at Excerpts from The April 1990 Issue of The ValleyPotato Grower Magazine North Dakota Farmer Named National Outstanding Young Farmer A 32 year old Grafton North Dakota man who has been very active in the Red River Valley Potato Growers Association has been named National Outstading Farmer of the Year by the US Jaycees. Rick Johnston a farmer for about 11 years was chosen Outstanding Young Farmer along with three other men. Almost 40 state Outstanding Young Farmers gathered February 22nd thru 25th at Eau Claire Wisconsin to hear the announcement of the national winners. The recogintion is given to farmers annually for progress in their agricultural career conservation practices and commu- nity service. The honor came as quite a surprise to Johnston. It is really a nice honor to receive he said. In talk- ing with other state winners I was very impressed with their opera- tions and the diversity of their oper- ations. So it was quite a surprise to me to be chosen as a national win- ner. Johnston grows potatoes and small grains near Grafton North Dakota under the company name R. M. Johnston Company. A somewhat new venture he is part owner of KIP Farms which grows potatoes and corn under irrigation near Karlsruhe North Dakota. He and his wife Helena have three daugh- ters Megan Lindsay and Ellen. With a large portion of his business being potatoes Johnston has been very active with the Red River Valley Potato Growers Association. He is currently serving his fourth year as Chairman of the Promotions Committee. Johnstons philosphy on being a successful businessman is that one must be educated and knowl- edgable about his business and a good way of doing this is keeping an eye and ear open. In the area that we live he said you can learn an awful lot from just keeping your eyes open and looking at what your neighbors do. Weve got a pretty high caliber of farming in our area and between watching them asking them ques- tions talking with the research peo- ple talking with my father Jim Sr. and my brother Jim Jr. you can learn quite a bit. Theres an awfully high caliber of peole around here farming and I dont know that I do anything different than they do. Johnstons operation supplys pota- toes to some of the leadin potato processing companies in the US. With a couple dry years in the Red River Valley he has become involved with irrigation as have other potato growers. Receiving the National Outstanding Young Farmer award is an honor that will not easily be forgotten. Johnston siad One of the nicest things of this whole competition is just the fact that it all started with me being honored by the agri-busi- ness community in Grafton and the Grafton Jaycees. Having those peo- ple think enough of you is the best part of the whole thing. A P R I L 2 0 1 6 POTATO GROWER 15