The Red River Valley Potato Growers Association (RRVPGA) is formed on October 18, 1946 by potato growers looking to unify the Valley’s potato industry. Using their own donated funds, this group kicked off the first year with E.J. Taintor as the first Chairman of the Board and Bill Chase as Executive Secretary.
The Association purchased land five miles south of Grand Forks, ND, to establish the nation’s first and only grower-owned potato research farm. Since then, the Red River Valley Potato Research Farm, as well as other research areas, have provided ample space for potato research on soil types representative of the Red River Valley.
The RRV is introduced to frozen processing with the opening of Jiffy Fry Inc., in Crookston, MN and the Frozen Processing Products Company in Grand Forks, ND. The association has grown to 2,500 members in 22 counties throughout the Red River Valley.
The first annual Potato Bowl Parade is held in Grand Forks, a joint venture between the RRVPGA and the University of North Dakota.
A two-story addition is added to the back of the RRVPGA office to house the Potato Extension office.
The flood of 1997 is catastrophic. After a winter of more than 100” of snow, the Red River Valley turned into a 50-mile-wide lake in late April, swallowing nearly everything in its path. Growers, businesses, and the association are all affected.
The Red River Valley Potato Growers Association changes its name to the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association (NPPGA) to describe its geographic footprint more accurately.
NPPGA sells the farmstead at the Grand Forks Research Farm but retains ownership of the farmland. All dryland research plots are moved to other location, in addition to the irrigate research site at Inkster, ND, that was started in 2002.
Northern Plains Potato Growers Association celebrates 75 years.