Mart ProduceMart Produce was established in 1980 by a group of local farms. Eventually, two farm families took over ownership; Hansen Farms and Circle D Farms. For more than 30 years, they supplied a large portion of the potatoes ran through the shed. The remainder of supplies was bought on the open market after extensive sampling to assure the best quality available for our customers.
As ownership continued to focus on the future and evaluate their options, the need for change was evident. After much planning, it was decided that a new plant would be built at its current location. Ownership was excited about the opportunity to automate processes and determined to “do it right.” They focused on using the most modern technology available and carefully planned how to gain efficiencies.
As plans moved forward and the vision was realized, it was decided to add two other partners who had been a key suppliers for many years; Jentzsch-Kearl Farms and Grant 4-D Farms. Both had proven their ability to grow quality Idaho potatoes and brought extensive intellectual capital to the business.
We continue to partner with outside growers and value their role in our model as we strive for excellence. We operate 12 months out of the year in order to provide a regular supply of potatoes for our customers. Our goal is to provide a consistent supply of good quality potatoes at a fair market price.
Mart Produce has 3 large potato cellars on site for storage so that potatoes are always available no matter what the weather. Our location in south central Idaho is perfect for those picking up apples or onions out of the northwest and needing to finish with potatoes in Idaho. We are located just 5 miles off of Interstate 84. We also have a rail sighting for easy loading of rail cars.
Mart Produce Office Staff
Hansen FarmsHansen Farms initially began with a Federal Homestead drawing for sagebrush desert land north of Rupert, Idaho in 1954. Gordon Hansen, a young veteran returning home from the Korean War, had his name entered into the drawing along with his brothers, John D. and Vernon. Young Gordon’s name was drawn, but he was still on a military ship enroute from Korea to San Francisco. John D. and Vernon’s names were not drawn, but knowing that Gordon had to be present to select his homestead property within a specific time frame, they jumped into the fastest car they owned and drove non-stop to San Francisco, picked up young Gordon, and drove back non-stop, getting him into the Homestead office with just 15 minutes to spare. The Hansen brothers worked together to clear the land of sagebrush, put in irrigation ditches and plant crops, potatoes being one of them.
Three of the closest homesteading neighbors indicated they wanted to sell out, so John D. and Vernon, along with their father, L.A., sold their farms in Twin Falls, Idaho and moved machinery and a Jersey cow dairy operation to the homesteads surrounding the original homestead drawn by Gordon north of Rupert. Next generations have expanded their operations and currently own and operate thousands of acres around the original homesteads, potatoesbeing one of the chief crops. The deep well irrigation water is pure and clean, and the volcanic soils are fertile, with a clearly known and remembered use history.
The Hansen family has kept the work ethic installed by the homesteading generation, and enjoy raising quality fresh potatoes for their customers. The Hansen family was a founding member of Mart Produce in 1978 and initially bought out all the other founding members. They have since added partners back as Mart Produce has grown it’s business, including the Duncan family farms in 1985, and now the Jentzsch-Kearl farms in 2012, all neighbors to the Hansens.
Hansen Farms Photos
Grant 4-D FarmsIn 1958, Doug and Clarice Grant and their 2 children moved from central California to the desert homestead tract they had won through a US government sponsored land lottery for war veterans. Over the next 2 decades, children and acres were added to the original stake, eventually culminating in 600 acres farmed and 6 kids raised by the late ‘70s. In 1980 Duane and Lori Grant joined the operation as partners, Kalvin and Pam Miller became partners in 2003, and the third generation of farmers are now being mentored.
Today, Grant 4-D Farms, partners and affiliates produce a wide range of crops on farms stretching along the Snake River plain. The operation produces 9 varieties of commercial potatoes and 2 varieties of seed potatoes annually, along with sugar beets, barley, wheat, beans, alfalfa and other crops. The partners added a minority interest in a 7,500 head dairy operation in 2002, which has expanded to include an interest in a Hawaii dairy operation. Additionally, the partners are or have been involved in various industry groups, including serving on the Board of Amalgamated Sugar Company, the Magic Valley Groundwater District Board, the USDA Federal Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and on numerous other community and industry groups. The farm become a member of Mart Produce in 2014.
Grant 4-D Farms Photos
Jentzsch-Kearl FarmsJentzsch-Kearl Farms originated in 1980 when Rod Jentzsch set out to make his mark in the world. With only a few hundred acres of borrowed land, a handful of employees, and tenacious determination Rod began building his business. In 1986 Rod partnered with Joe Kearl. The two proved to be an unstoppable duo as the strengths of each partner melded into a successful business. Rod concentrated his efforts on the business and agronomic portion of the business while Joe mastered the field operations and organization; together they have developed one of the most extensive farms in the Magic Valley region.
Now farming in six different counties and affecting the lives of their many employees they are a large contributor to the surrounding communities. Jentzsch-Kearl Farms is a strong and vibrant company and is poised to remain a premier player in the ag industry for years to come.
Jentzsch-Kearl Farms Photos
Circle D Farms
Circle D Farms Photos