Interview with Dan Rine
By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater
With a reputation for growing and promoting new chip varieties of certified and foundation seed potatoes, Rine Ridge Farms of Bryant, Wisconsin, has a storied, multi-generational history dating back to the 1920’s.
“My great-grandpa, Adolph Rine, started the farm in the 1920’s. It was a dairy farm until 1946,” explains Dan Rine, president and owner of Rine Ridge Farms Inc. “Back then, he grew hay, oats, and corn. That was Dad’s grandpa, so I represent the fourth generation on the farm.”
“Vern was my grandfather, a carpenter by trade, but he also farmed the land,” he remarks.
“Looking out my window here,” Dan says, “I’m reminded that we were in the maple syrup business from my great-grandfather’s time all the way up until 1988.”
“The farm was incorporated in 1972,” he relates. “We grew chip stock, but we a hard a hard time finding customers and selling potatoes off the field—we had no storage at that time—so my dad, grandpa and uncle started moving into the seed business.”
In 2011, Dan purchased his uncle Gary’s shares of the farm, and this last year, bought out his dad, Ken.
“Dad is supposed to be looking at retirement,” Dan relates, “but he’s here. He was here all morning. Dad likes to golf, though, and has other hobbies that he enjoys.”