North America, Seed

Minnesota company produces elite seed potatoes using ‘in vitro’ technology

Valley Tissue Culture, Inc. is a Red River Valley business that has grown from an experimental concept in the 1980s into a multi-generational potato seed company today, as Mikkel Pates reports for Agweek.

Today, Sandi Aarestad, 65, runs the business with a daughter, Alexandra “Alex” Bare, 35, and a son, Charles “Charlie,” 34. They grow and sell low-generation seed potatoes for farmers who produce seed potatoes sold to commercial growers. Other key people are Sandi’s husband and co-founder, Randy, as well as Alex’s husband, Michael Bare.

The Aarestad family and their crew raise seed potatoes started in test tubes in the lab, and then grow them out in greenhouses. Valley Tissue Culture sells to 40 customers — primarily in North Dakota and Minnesota, but also in Canada, and as far as the states of Washington and Idaho.

Seed potatoes in greenhouses grow in rectangular trays of about 2-by-4-feet, in virgin peat mixture, watered with “drip tape” irrigation fed by well water.

Source: Agweek. Read the full story here
Photo: Key people at Valley Tissue Culture Inc., of Halstad, Minnesota, are, from left, co-founders Randy and Sandi Aarestad, flanked by their son, Charles Aarestad, and daughter, Alexandra “Alex” Bare, and her husband, Michael. Credit Mikkel Pates / Agweek
Related video: Watch on AgweekTV here

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