Having purchased Ryan Potato Co. earlier this month, Campbell Farms owners plan to turn the Minnesota potato company into a major fresh market potato packing facility, according to Tom Campbell.

Campbell is based in Grafton, N.D., and is jointly owned by the Campbell brothers — Tom, Bill and Greg — who launched their family-farming business in 1978. Today, Campbell is a fully integrated farm from seed to the final consumer, offering red, white and Yukon Gold potatoes to the 48 contiguous states and Alaska.

The purchase by Campbell marks the second time in a year that Ryan Potato Co., East Grand Forks, Minn., has been bought. It was purchased by potato-producing giant R.D. Offutt Co. in September 2010, Tom Campbell said. The sale this month included all of the assets of Ryan from Offutt, which is headquartered in Fargo, N.D.

Ron Norman, Ryan’s director of operations, has been with that firm since 1970, and has been hired by Campbell Farms to continue to run the Ryan operation.

“Ron is a key person in the operation and we have hired him to continue to handle things at the Minnesota plant,” Tom Campbell said March 23.

Ryan’s business traditionally involved buying good washing quality potatoes, including certified seed potatoes, at harvest or from storage.

“We have red packing facilities and farms in several areas and this purchase of Ryan just complimented our existing business,” Tom Campbell said. “It will allow Offutt to continue to focus on its core business.”

Offutt mainly deals with dehydrated and frozen markets. It is the largest potato producer in the U.S., according to a recent report from the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association.

In addition to its growing and packing operations, Campbell Farms has its own fleet of trucks and ships potatoes 12 months out of the year.