J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 9 22 POTATO GROWER NoKota Packers Of Buxton, North Dakota Ships Potatoes All Over The US In 1978, Malcolm Tweten and his brother-in-law, Maurice Gjelsness had an innovative idea. Both Maurice and Malcolm had been potato growers in the Buxton and Reynolds, North Dakota areas for quite a while and they decided they wanted to market their own potato crop. They started to kick around the idea of building a potato ware- house/washplant facility of their own in Buxton, North Dakota. Together with their sons, Steve Tweten and Ron Gjelsness, NoKota Packers was formed. During their first season in the fall of 1979, they stored potatoes in a facility that was still unfinished, rep- resenting four local farming opera- tions, shipping 220,000 hundred weight of potatoes and they had 18 employees. Today, they have more than doubled in size and they work with five different growers. They have the ability to ship 600,000+ hundred weight of potatoes from Buxton and market an additional 300,000 hundred weight from other farmers. NoKota Packers employs around 35 employees throughout the season. Their packaging has changed also. In the beginning they sold most of their potatoes under their own brand names, Buxton’s Best, NoKota Pride, Roughrider Country and Bully Brand. Once buyers saw how good their product was and the commitment they had to ship high quality potatoes, they approached NoKota to start packing in their pri- vate labels. Today they pack about 85% of their potatoes under their customers names. With the addition of working with more growers and shipping more potatoes they needed more storage. Their first addition was made in 1993 and there have been several more additions since then. They have controlled storage for 540,000 NoKota Packers headquarters in Buxton, North Dakota.