Johnson Agriprises – Othello, WA
Brothers Gavin and Orman Johnson are third-generation farmers – their father began farming in the Columbia River Basin in 1906 – and Gavin’s son Nick is continuing the line. The fifth generation is still growing up, but they’re all about the farm. "For my son, I can sum it up in three words: tractors, trucks and dirt!" Nick says. "My daughter just loves being out in the fields with me and Grandpa Gavin."
The Johnsons and their crew are a tight-knit bunch. Most of their team has been there for more than 10 years – some closer to 40. They work together to keep the land healthy and deliver a strong harvest each year. "The Columbia River Basin is one of the best places in the world to grow potatoes," says Orman. "From the daylight to the growing season to the volcanic ash soil – all we need is water to grow great crops."
Nick adds, "A lot of time, effort and care go into raising these potatoes. We do everything we can to make sure we're growing high-quality food." It's a job that requires long hours – the busy season can reach 75 hours a week during harvest – but Nick wouldn't have it any other way. "Producing food, feeding people – it's a sense of accomplishment that makes it all worth it."
4-5 years between potato crops
Gavin – curly
Nick – tots
Orman – shoestring
No sauce allowed – house rules!