Park Rapids Farm – Park Rapids, MN
"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.
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."
Shoestring with ketchup