As its name suggests, Potato Plant, Inc. is a potato packaging plant that has been in operation, in Amherst, Wisconsin, since 1979.
“It was started by my great-grandfather, Lawrence, my grandpa, Jon, and my uncle, Lonnie,” says Zach Krogwold, current owner/operator of Potato Plant, Inc.
“Great-grandpa Lawrence passed away in 1994, but everyone else is still involved,” Krogwold explains, “and there have been many expansions over the years to get us to where we are now.”
Where The Potato Plant is now includes being a respected storage and packaging business in the heart of Central Wisconsin potato country, capable of storing and shipping 200,000 cwt. (hundredweight) of potatoes a year.
The Krogwolds have a long history in Amherst and Waupaca County, having been a grower/packer from the 1940’s until the late ’70s, when the family quit farming to concentrate on potato storage and packaging.
“We supply a good product, we’re timely and reliable,” says Zach’s father, Kraig Krogwold. “Last year, we didn’t have a kicked load until the very end of the season.”
Kraig is proud of the advancements in technology that The Potato Plant, Inc. has been able to make.
The Krogwolds were also one of the first families to use irrigation in Central Wisconsin, along with the Okray and Burns farms, among others.
“We store 130,000 bags at our own facility, plus another 15,000 at our grower’s farm where they have short-term storage,” Zach Krogwold says. “All the potatoes that come into our facility are flumed in with water and forced up through the flow, where they are washed, dried, sorted and graded. Some come straight off the field after a couple days of cooling at our grower partner’s facility. We often pull out of storage until the middle or end of May, and have even gone into June, but that’s pushing it a bit.”
Potato Plant, Inc. ships all russets, mostly Caribou, Goldrush and Norkotah potatoes. They also ship nationwide with much product going to the East Coast.
With three generations currently working for Potato Plant, Krogwold says it’s an accomplishment “to keep a small family business going for four generations.”