Dec 19, 2019
NoKota Packers leader Steve Tweten to retire

Fresh Solutions Network announced Dec. 18 that Steve Tweten, president, CEO and partner of NoKota Packers, will retire on Dec. 27, 2019, after 40 years with the company.

An exclusive supplier of Side Delights potatoes, NoKota Packers Inc. (NPI) is a second-generation packer and shipper of red potatoes in the Red River Valley of North Dakota.

Steve Tweten

Tweten grew up farming potatoes on his father’s potato farm, Malcolm Tweten Farms, and learned first-hand how to be a potato farmer. He deepened his knowledge by attending the University of Minnesota in Crookston, earning an associate’s degree in agriculture business. In 1979, Steve and his father Malcolm started NPI along with Steve’s uncle Maurice Gjelsness, and his cousin Ron Gjelsness. NPI started shipping potatoes in 1980 and, when Malcolm retired in 1988, Steve became president. In addition to its reputation for superior quality and service, NPI is known for its strong relationships with customers, growers, truckers, and employees.

“I’m proud of the way we treat others,” Steve Tweten said.

In addition to his career at NPI, Steve also served on the marketing and promotion committee for the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, was a consultant to United Potato Growers of America, and was president for his local Farm Bureau. He was involved with Grand Forks County Ag club and served as treasurer, VP and President.

Tweten will begin his retirement with a vacation to Jamaica with family, but plans to keep up with industry friends by continuing to attend regional potato events.

“I’ll miss connecting with buyers, industry influencers and my Fresh Solutions Network partners to exchange ideas, grow, and learn,” Tweten said. “I have loved this industry my whole life, but I’m ready to enjoy additional family time now.”

“Steve is a rare breed of businessman who balances both the needs of the business with those of his team,” said Kathleen Triou, president and CEO of Fresh Solutions Network. “I came to know and respect Steve as a member of the Fresh Solutions Network Board and over the past six years, I am proud to call him my friend. We will miss Steve’s steady, unwavering support for Fresh Solutions Network and its mission.”

“Steve has a natural talent for forming and maintaining relationships that both NoKota Packers and the red potato industry will truly miss. I’ve worked with Steve during the past 15 years at NoKota Packers and appreciated all of the knowledge he shared with me,” said Carissa Olsen, COO of NoKota Packers.  “Every employee at NPI is grateful to Steve for all he’s done to help build and grow NoKota Packers into what it is today. We wish him all the best in his retirement.”

Fresh Solutions Network is a group of family-owned growers and shippers. FSN helps potato and onion buyers grow their categories, maximize category investment and increase sales. Fresh Solutions Network partners include:

  • Sterman Masser (Masser Potato Farms and Keystone Potato Products in Sacramento and Hegins, Pennsylvania)
  • Michael Family Farms (Urbana, Ohio)
  • Basin Gold Cooperative (Pasco, Washington)
  • Green Thumb Farms (Fryeburg, Maine)
  • Red Isle Potato Growers (Prince Edward Island, Canada)
  • NoKota Packers (Buxton, North Dakota)
  • Sun-Glo of Idaho (Sugar City, Idaho)
  • Mack Farms (Lake Wales, Florida)

75 Applewood Dr. Ste. A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345


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