Joel Steffel

Park Rapids Farm – Park Rapids, MN

Joel Steffel reports to Mother Nature.

"I love that every year is different," says Joel Steffel, of growing potatoes in the Heartland. A fourth-generation farmer, he loves working with the land, especially that of his native Minnesota. From April through mid-September, he's out in the fields almost every single day. Heartland summers deliver the sunny days and cool nights potatoes need, and Joel manages irrigation to produce the best potatoes, even in a dry season.

A dedicated crew is critical for a farmer, and Joel works closely with a team that's as dedicated as he is. "Everyone puts their hearts into this every year," he says. "They're passionate, and proud of what they do." For him, farming and community go hand-in-hand, so he recently organized a potato harvest celebration to benefit a local high school.

"Everyone puts their hearts into this every year."

Joel knows the challenges of working with Mother Nature, but for him, it's all worth it just to watch the fields on a nice, cool day after sunset. "There's just nothing better."

Spud Stats

Favorite smell

Minnesota soil

Years farming potatoes

21 years

Favorite fry

Shoestring with ketchup

65% of consumers* want to know where their food comes from.

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The Journey Starts Here

*"Emerging Faith in Food Production," Sullivan Higdon & Sink FoodThink, 2014