Interview with Rod Beggs
Midwestern Farms was established by a group of central Wisconsin potato growers back in 1977. Formerly owned by Godfrey Erickson, the operation was primarily a packing shed for growers/shareholders such as Fred Reid, L.P. Johnson, Bob and Jim Johnson, Howard Williams, Larry and Randy Bacon, Gayle Bacon and Jay Erickson, as well as some others over the years. Bob Berard of Paramount Farms has been a primary owner along with Denzel Beggs, who served as the Plant Manager for over 35 years.
In October of 2013, Denzel’s son, Rod, along with Bob Berard, bought out the ownership group which at that time consisted of Denzel and Dave Beggs, Jay Erickson and Berard. In July of this year, Bob and Rod sold one-third of the operation to Bushmans’, Inc., headquartered in Rosholt.
Focusing strictly on russet potatoes for the fresh market, Rod Beggs works an average of 70 hours a week making sure the entire operation runs smoothly.
Over the years, Rod has done every job there is to do at the packing facility,from Spudnik operator to maintenance,Shipping Manager to Plant Manager.
A 1989 graduate of Tri-County High School in Plainfield, Rod joined the Army Reserves, but began working at Midwestern Farms right out of high school. He left the operation in 2004 and was self-employed in Janesville, Wisconsin for eight years before returning to Midwestern as the Assistant Manager.
In the following interview, Rod comments on a number of issues related to the potato bagging and packaging industry.