Sustainable Agriculture - What it means to Black Gold Farms
Most people know us as the potato farm down the road. We’re the guys with the big tractors in the field behind your house, the gold pickup trucks parked along the gravel road and the parents wearing dusty boots at your kids’ t-ball game during summer time. What most people don’t know about us, is that we are part of the farmers who care about the land and making our environment sustainable. What does that mean? It means that we’re the farmers who put in the extra effort to improve our communities, the land, our people, the environment and our world.
Chip Harvest- Arbyrd, MO
Black Gold Farms is in 11 different locations and we are part of 11 local communities. Being a fourth-generation family farm, we must think about meeting the future generation’s needs. We work with local schools and organizations to provide a safe environment for class tours, 4-H members and FFA students to job shadow and learn about our practices. Giving back is another aspect of our culture and we are willing to help wherever we’re needed. We donate resources to our community gardens, food banks, school system, government agencies and non-profit organizations. Our team participates in local events such as parades, fund raisers, job fairs and community activities. Regardless of what location you’re near, know that you have a helping neighbor nearby.
San Antonio Food bank volunteers tour- Pearsall, TX
It all starts in 1 place, the dirt. We partner up with local farmers to cultivate their land and improve it in the process. Our Agronomy team focuses on 3 areas: Improving soil health, providing exceptional quality and maximizing yields. We practice intensive fertilization plans to make our farms more efficient, minimize fertilizer waste and deploy soil moisture probes to use the right amounts of water. Our team is constantly researching new ideas to utilize less inputs by planting variety trials, cover crops and biofumigant mustard. We believe that, we as farmers, need to dig deeper to take care of our environmental health.
Sweet potato planting by hand- Delhi, LA & Arbyrd, MO
One of our biggest assets, is our people. We’re focused on going the extra mile to provide the best service possible, while using as few resources as possible and improving our environment. One thing that I can say, as a Black Gold employee, is that- if you ever need any support or guidance, you will always have someone to go to. Our teams of highly skilled individuals oversee the entire process of getting your potatoes from the fields to your table. Whatever your specialty may be- engineering, human resources, accounting, transportation, management, IT, agronomy, marketing, equipment operation, front desk reception, quality assurance, sorting or one of many internships… There is a place for you and many growth opportunities. We believe in life balance, career growth and cross training to get the job done.
Gregg Halverson (President) guiding Casey Sorg (Equipment Specialist) through harvester repairs.
We, as farmers, have a direct impact on our environment. We are always looking for ways to cut miles out of the food chain by having farms, storage buildings, green houses and packaging sheds strategically located to provide a service year-round and be the grower, packer, shipper of choice. Our equipment has the highest tier engines and technology to track idle time and reduce the carbon footprints in the fields. Our packing sheds store, wash, pack and ship our potatoes to minimize extra handling and make sure all food safety guidelines are met. Some sustainable practices in our pack sheds are the refurbishment of pallets in house, recycling of corrugated packaging as well as plastic & metal and these tater-made poly bags. These potato bags are partially made from potato starch which means we can reduce our plastic waste by using biodegradable packaging made of potatoes.
Red River Valley red potatoes packed for Walmart- East Grand Forks, MN
Peace of Mind
Now you know that when you’re biting into one of our crispy potato chips, eating roasted red potatoes for dinner or sweet potato fries with your burger, you are contributing to a bigger cause and supporting sustainable agriculture. It gives me great pride to know I am part of a team full of stewards of the land and my hopes are that regardless of age, gender or believes…you realize that this is THE ONLY PLANET WE HAVE, and we NEED to take care of it. If reading about Black Gold Farms sustainable practices strikes a desire to change and improve our environment in just one person, I consider this a win. YOU can make a huge difference today that will have a positive impact tomorrow.
Forest River, ND and East Grand Forks, MN teams working together to finish up red storage season.