Small Minnesota Packer Calls It Quits

Published online: Dec 02, 2004
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The Hollandale Marketing Association in Hollandale, MN, announced today that its operations will cease when it is finished shipping this year's crop. Shareholders voted to put the business on the market.

Changing markets and erratic weather patterns, including a major rain storm that left 12 inches of rain on September 14, were reasons for the decision.

The cooperative had 90 percent of its potato crop and 70 percent of its onion crop ruined by standing water.

The loss of HMA will have a huge economic impact on the little south-central Minnesota town of 290 people. It will put 25 out of work  The town is hopeful someone else will come and buy the site and continue production.

The Association is a farmer-owned co-op formed in 1926 following the reclamation of swampland in Freeborn County, MN, to market vegetables grown by its members. At one time there were 70 members. Today there are five who grew potatoes and three onions.

The co-op has storage for 400,000 cwt of potatoes, an integrated wash plant, and grading and packing line. In recent years potato and onion acreage was reduced as grower numbers declined and those remaining sought other crops to offset the difficult potato market.