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Campbell Farms buys Ryan Potato

by Tad Thompson | March 23, 2011

Campbell Farms, a potato grower-packer-shipper based in Grafton, ND, purchased Ryan Potato Co., located in nearby E. Grand Forks, MN, on March 16, according to Tom Campbell, a partner in Campbell Farms.

Mr. Campbell told The Produce News March 23 that all the assets of Ryan Potato were purchased from the R.D. Offutt Co., which is located in Fargo, ND.

This is the second time in a year that Ryan Potato has been sold, having been purchased by R.D. Offutt Co. last July.

Mr. Campbell, who is an equal partner in Campbell Farms with his brothers Bill and Greg Campbell, said that Campbell Farms owns red potato packing operations throughout the country. He said that Ryan's potato packing operations are "complementary to Campbell Farms' existing business lines, while Offutt will continue to focus on its core business throughout the U.S."

Campbell Farms plans for Ryan Potato to continue to be a major fresh market potato packing facility.

Ron Norman, who has managed Ryan operations for many years and who has been a key salesman for Ryan, has been hired by Campbell to continue to run Ryan's operations and be an integral part of Campbell Farms sales team, according to Mr. Campbell.

Mr. Campbell said that Ryan Potato has not been a grower "for the last few years."

Mr. Campbell said that Ryan’s facilities "will tie in pretty nicely" into Campbell's broad 12-month national potato program.

"We are pretty excited,” he said. “This will give us the opportunity to expand and continue to give our customers full service.”

R.D. Offutt, a potato processor, is a subsidiary of Winnemucca Farms Inc. in Winnemucca, NV. Winnemucca Farms manufactures dried and dehydrated potato products as well as other food products.

A March 22 report from the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association indicated that Offutt is the largest potato producer in the United States, but those operations are largely focused on the dehydrated and frozen markets. Offutt also owns RDO Equipment Co., one of the larger John Deere dealer networks in the country, and has a large dairy operation in Oregon.