b'The Beginningby Ted Kreis, NPPGA Marketing and Communications Directormuch further.Believe it or not, the round white potato.Throughout thefirst known potatoes grown in the Red 1800snearlyallpotatoesgrowninRiver Valley dates way back to 1789 ourregionwerebysettlersforself-whenPeterGrant,aScotsmanwith consumption, but the popular potatothe North West Company, established would slowly transition from a subsis-a trading post on the east side of the tence crop to a cash crop. RedRivernearpresentdaySt.Vincent, Minnesota. Grant document- Threenamesstandoutasthefirsted that he grew a patch of potatoes on commercial potato growers in the Redthat site for self-subsistence.The first RiverValley;H.C.Kellogg,Henrydocumented potatoes to be grown on Schroeder and Nels Folson. The firstthe west of the Red River in present know person to grow potatoes intend-day North Dakota happened 12 years ed for a cash crop wasH.C. Kellogg.later in 1801 near the present day city Kelloggwasapersistentagricultureof Pembina, North Dakota. The potato experimenter.Hemovedhisfamilypatch was close to the confluence of andsomeneighborstotheGrafton,As our growers association celebrates its the Pembina and Red Rivers and was North Dakota area from Wisconsin in75th year, we will look back at some of plantedbyfurtraderHenry 1879.He was not as a permanent set-the regions potato history in a series of Alexander.Henrys first big potato tler,butratheralandprospector.three articles.I will rely heavily on the dighappenedinOctoberof1803 Soon after Kellogg got his land in pro-Lynda Kennys book, The Past is Never whenhisjournalindicatesthat420 ductive shape, one of his first experi-Far AwayA History of the Red River bushels of potatoes were harvested to mentswastogrowpotatoesintheValley Potato Industry written in 1995. feedthesettlement.Thefollowing rich loamy soil with the hopes it couldCopies of that hard cover book are still year in 1804 the men gathered nearly becomeaprofitablecashcrop.Theavailable; contact the NPPGA office for 1,000 bushels of potatoes! The seeds first year was unprofitable because ofmore information. This first article enti- forHenryscropslikelycamefrom high handling costs, but with bettertled The Beginning will talk about the Portage La Prairie, Canada. prices, his venture soon became morebirthofthepotatoindustryintheRed profitable. But in 1897 Kelloggs wifeRiver Valley.The second article in the Many of the first potatoes grown in diedandhemovedtoCaliforniatoMay-June issue will speak to the forming ourregionwereEnglishWhites,a continue with his agricultural experi-and early history of the Red River ValleyPotato Growers Association.Finally, thethird article in the July-August issue willwrapthingsupwithsomeinterestingfacts and more recent history.The BeginningEventhoughwearecelebratingourassociations75thanniversary,theactual history of the potato in the RedRiver Valley goes back furthermuch, Nels Folson on the far left with his $100 load of bagged spuds in 1916.4 POTATO GROWER APRIL 2021'