Parkinson Seed Farm began in 1937 as a sole proprietorship when Keith Parkinson purchased the ground and began dry farming. Keith ran the ground until 1967 when his son, Bob, bought the ground. The farm was incorporated as Bob’s Farms Inc. in 1973. Bob ran the farm as a dry farm as well until he began to pump water from the Teton River in 1978. When we began irrigating we used hand lines to water approximately 2,000 acres. In 1983, because of the quality of the area, we began raising seed potatoes. We bought our first center pivots in 1987 and have been developing more ground into pivots since. In 1996, the same year that the name was changed to Parkinson Seed Farm in order to emphasize our commitment to seed potatoes, Bob Parkinson passed away in an airplane accident, leaving his son, Dirk Parkinson, to run and operate the farm. When Dirk took over the operations he became the third generation Parkinson to run the farm, while also becoming the fifth generation Parkinson to farm in Idaho.
Today joining him on the farm are his sons Jake, Josh, and Jud. Jake currently handles the shipping end of the farm, everything from new hires for sorting and trucking to deciding how to meet our customers’ demands for seed delivery/pickup as well as the custom cutting operation. Josh is the field man, anything that happens in the field is under his purview, from planting, through the irrigation season, harvest, and finally working the fields in the fall to prepare for the coming year. Jud currently assists Josh with the field operations and is in charge of all the chemical applications that occur on all three farms.
Also joining the Parkinson’s on the farm is John Hoggan. John has been associated with the farm for over twenty five years. John helps with monitoring current crop field health, disease management, as well as running the line selection work that is done. John has also helped develop the varietal program in place, assists in seed sales, and fully manages the organic potato program started at Parkinson Seed Farm under the name of Grand Teton Organics.
Having a team such as this has enabled Dirk to focus his attentions on the industry and development of a wider ranging market that isn’t as affected by local prices and demands as in the past. He has also been able to better serve customers by making more frequent trips to visit their farms and ensure that the seed is performing well. In addition to being able to focus more outside of day to day operations at the farm, Dirk has been able to help serve the industry. He is currently serving on the Idaho Crop Improvement board of directors and also helps to manage a local co-op that is working to expand exports of potato seed to foreign countries.
Going forward Parkinson Seed Farm would like to continue the positive growth seen in past years, further develop export opportunities, continue improving the quality of our product for our customers, and ensure that all involved, be they employee, customer, or observer, feel satisfied and an increase of confidence in the operations at Parkinson Seed Farm.