San Francisco, CA – Fresh Solutions Network announced today that Steve Tweten, president, CEO, and partner of NoKota Packers, Inc., will retire on December 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 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 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, in 1988 Malcolm retired, and 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. Steve noted, “I’m proud of the way we treat others.”
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.
Steve and Kelly, will begin his retirement with a vacation to Jamaica 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,” Steve said of his impending retirement. “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. 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,” added Kathleen Triou, President and CEO of Fresh Solutions Network. “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, “ notes 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, LLC: Fresh Solutions Network is a group of family-owned growers & shippers who choose to work together to make the potato and onion industry better for everyone. FSN helps potato and onion buyers grow their categories, maximize category investment, and increase sales. We deliver competitive insights, collaborative innovation and customized assortment. Fresh Solutions Network, LLC partners are: Sterman Masser, Inc. (Masser Potato Farms and Keystone Potato Products in Sacramento and Hegins, PA), Michael Family Farms, Inc. (Urbana, OH), Basin Gold Cooperative, Inc. (Pasco, WA), Green Thumb Farms, Inc. (Fryeburg, ME), Red Isle Potato Growers, Ltd. (Prince Edward Island, Canada), NoKota Packers, Inc. (Buxton, ND), Sun-Glo of Idaho, Inc. (Sugar City, ID), and Mack Farms, Inc. (Lake Wales, FL).