J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 9 POTATO GROWER 23 hundred weight of potatoes and also have off-site storage available thru their grower partners. They ship approximately 1,500 semi-truck loads of potatoes per year. As they grew they also added two new part- ners. Tim Lee, washplant manager since 1979, became a partner and Vice President in 1991. Kendall Gjelsness, Maurice Gjelsness’s son, became a partner after Maurice passed away in 1993. Malcolm Tweten passed away in 2013, his son Steve continues as President and Head of Sales and Ron Gjelsness is Secretary/ Treasurer and in charge of transportation and storage. Mike Moen has been the grower representative since 1994. In 2012, NoKota Packers, Inc. joined the Fresh Solutions Network, LLC. The Fresh Solutions Network is a group of family- owned growers and shippers who have cho- sen to work together to make the potato and onion industry better for everyone involved. They have partners in this network all across the US from the West coast to the East Coast and as far south as Florida and as far North as Prince Edward Island, Canada. In December we sat down with Steve Tweten and asked him a few questions on the potato industry. Steve, what is your view on the fresh pota- to market as you see it today? The fresh potato industry is becoming more complex. Retail consolidation, quality requirements, the expense of raising the potato crop, the weather issues, food safety requirements and the market uncertainty. All these elements make it more difficult to make a profit. We also see an acreage shift from red potatoes to more yellow varieties, Employees grading potatoed before they are packaged into five pound bags. Potatoes that are packaged in five pound bags. Side Delights® brand bags that will be packaged for shipping.