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Lenz Family Farms seeing great things for its Colorado potatoes

By
Kathleen Thomas Gaspar

Harvest was well under way in mid-August at Lenz Family Farms’ northern Colorado potato operation, with Yukons shipping. The next yellows to ship from the Wray facility will be Alegrias and Tacomas, in that order, with reds starting the middle of September, the company said. Lenz ships fresh yellows and reds until mid-October, switching to storage at that time.

Started in 1973 by the late George Lenz Sr. and his wife, Betty, the family-owned-and-operated farms saw four of the couple’s eight children join with their father to grow spuds. The farm grew from its original “one marginal center pivot” to several thousand acres, eventually diversifying with corn, wheat, dry beans and Charolais cattle.

The family’s third generation now partners to grow, pack and ship potatoes nationwide. The partners are Mike Lenz, George Lenz II, Marty Buoy, Brian Meisner, Bevan Lenz, Corwin Lenz, Russell Heier and Matt Lenz, and other family members are also involved.

Bevan Lenz, who heads up sales, commented recently on the end of the 2020 season and this year’s start-up. He noted that overall last year was good for the company in both quality and yields, and he said because Lenz ships largely to repackers, the impact of COVID-19 foodservice was “not a major issue.”

Going into 2021 the shed added a dual tote filler, updated a five-pound bagger and added storage — all positives.

He said, labor is not a problem, “We are very fortunate to have a crew that returns each season, and finding additional labor is not an issue.” 

 As for transportation, he said the company continues to ship, “to the same receivers, but the cost of trucks has gone up a bit.”

Photo: Family farming through the Lenz lens: At Lenz Family Farms husband and wife teams work side by side. Shown are Corwin and Clare Lenz, Mike and Margaret Lenz, Russ and Hillary Heier, Yvonne and Marty Buoy, Bevan and Priscilla Lenz, George and Becky Lenz, Brian and Kylee Meisner and Matt Lenz.

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