Interview with Rod Beggs
Rod Beggs, owner/manager, Midwestern Potatoes, LLC
By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater
Rod Beggs didn’t know his future was already mapped out for him. His dad, Denzel Beggs, was plant manager of Midwestern Farms in Plainfield, Wisconsin, for 35 years.
Although Rod joined the U.S. Army Reserves right out of high school, in 1988, and owned his own painting business in Janesville for close to a decade, he has held just about every job there is at Midwestern Potatoes, LLC.
Primarily a packing shed when it was established by a group of Central Wisconsin potato growers, in 1977, the storied Midwestern Farms served many potato farmers and investors over the years.
“It started back in 1966 when Godfrey and Maybelle Erickson first owned it,” Rod qualifies, “up until 1977, when there was a fire and it burned down. Then, they presented the opportunity for several growers to buy into the company that became Midwestern Farms.”
Denzel, Dave Beggs, Jay Erickson and Bob Berard of Paramount Farms owned and ran Midwestern until Rod and Berard bought out all other shareholders and transferred the operation to their names in October 2013. Then, Bushmans’ Inc. of Rosholt purchased one-third of the operation.
“The operation of Midwestern Farms ran up until 2015, when Bushmans’ Inc. and I formed Midwestern Potatoes, LLC,” Rod explains.
Rod, who bought out Berard in 2017, says, today, Midwestern Potatoes focuses primarily on fresh market russets.