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Gregg HalversonGregg Halverson
BS ’71, animal science
Honorary doctorate ‘12
2018 Alumni Achievement Award
The Alumni Achievement Award is presented to an individual who has achieved distinction in their professional field.

Gregg Halverson is president and board chairman of Grand Forks-based Black Gold Farms, a family owned business that produces potatoes and other crops on 12 company owned farms in 11 states.

Raised on the family farm near Forest River, N.D., Halverson followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather at an early age.

While still in high school, Halverson started raising registered Angus cattle, champion breeding stock that he showed all over the United States and Canada. That same year, he founded Black Gold Farms.

Halverson’s love for agriculture brought him to North Dakota State where he played in the Gold Star Marching Band, was active in Greek life, student government and developed many life-long friendships.

Today, the business produces more than 25,000 acres of potatoes and another 12,000 acres of commodity crops annually. The company’s production encompasses 12 farms in 11 states - all owned and operated by Black Gold Farms.

Under Halverson’s leadership, Black Gold Farms has become the largest producer of fresh-crop chipping potatoes in the world. Black Gold Farms is fully integrated from production to consumer packaging and marketing, and has diversified to also become among nation’s largest producers of sweet potatoes.

A major supplier to the chip potato supply chain, Black Gold Farms has earned many national awards for its innovation, potato quality, and customer service.

Over the years, Halverson has received many local, national and international honors for his leadership and service to agriculture and for his farming practices. In 1982, Halverson was named the North Dakota Outstanding Young Farmer. His other honors include: the National Potato Growers Award for Environmental Stewardship; the 2010 NDSU Harvest Bowl Outstanding Agriculture Award, and the World Potato Congress Industry Award in recognition of significant contributions to the global potato industry.

In 2011, Halverson was elected to the North Dakota Agriculture Hall of Fame and the following year, he was awarded an honorary “Doctor of Agriculture” degree from NDSU. Chuck Gunnerson, president of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, said an appropriate moniker for Halverson is “Gentleman Farmer,” and he offered these words: “Gregg is the kind of individual who is easy to like, down to earth and gracious in all of his relationships. He always has a smile, a kind word and time for everyone he meets.” Halverson has three children, John, Eric and Leah, who are all active at Black Gold Farms. Halverson and his wife, Dr. Yvonne Gomez Halverson, enjoy traveling and spending time with their eight granddaughters.

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