The Taylorview Farm is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and donates all its potatoes to non-profit groups.
The 4,000 acre farm produces 10 million pounds of potatoes each year. Surprisingly, the farm only has three full-time employees, so volunteers do the bulk of the work from manning the machinery, to weighing boxes of potatoes, to sorting the potatoes.
“My favorite part is seeing the people of the Idaho Falls area come out and serve and give their time and talent. That’s really the best part of it,” said David Nielson, the farm manager.
Unlike most potato warehouses, which sort out the smaller and misshapen products, all of these potatoes are put to use. Misshapen ones are sent to Basic American Food, where they’re processed into flakes or pearls.
The remaining 4 million pounds of potatoes are donated to Feeding America, the Bishop Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City and other food banks throughout the country.
One of the food banks to benefit from the farm is the Community Food Basket of Idaho Falls. The farm donated a couple truckloads of the potatoes to the food basket when the pandemic began, and they have worked together ever since.
“There was not food available anywhere, we were trucking it in from California, it was costing us a ton of money,” said Ariel Jackson, the executive director for the Community Food Basket, “They were trucking food in to help us feed our families, and so we’ve really held on to that partnership and that collaboration because we’re all trying to do the same thing and make sure that families have food, so we might as well work together.”
In addition to potatoes, the Taylorview Farm grows durum wheat, white wheat, red wheat, alfalfa, mustard, canola and sweetcorn.
Brad Backman, the Idaho Falls South Stake first counselor, says all are welcome to volunteer to help bring food to families in need.
“We want the community to know we’re willing to work with anybody and let anybody come out here and serve and work together,” Backman said, “My opinion, and I believe the opinion of many that serve out here is, this is the Savior’s way in being able to help our brothers and sisters, and we’re all brothers and sisters.”
The upcoming potato harvest will begin Sept. 29. To get involved with the Taylorview Farm, call (208) 522-0584.