Swaz Potato Farms is currently owned by brothers Frank, Chet, and Stanley Szawlowski. Frank Szawlowski, pictured to the right, shared that potato farming is all he has ever known since he was a little boy. He grew up "eating dirt" and using the farm as his playground. He has worked on the farm his whole life and believes that the independence and freedom that comes with the job makes all of the hard work well worth it.
As active members in the community, Swaz Potato Farms donates over 100,000 pounds of potatoes to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts every year. They also offer seconds, or imperfect produce, to the Food Bank and other organizations at a discounted price. This allow their business to make money off of products that they would otherwise be throwing away and helps them decrease the amount of food waste they are producing.
Swaz Potato Farms was founded in 1910 by John Rupert Szawlowski and grows 3,000 acres of White, Red, Yukon Gold, and Russet potatoes in the Connecticut River Valley. The Szawlowski family business is based in Hatfield, MA and has been in operation for over 100 years. They are now one of the largest potato farms in New England. The provide potatoes to UMass Dining and many other businesses, including grocery stores and restaurants across the region.
At Swaz Potato Farms, they harvest their crops until late November but operate throughout the winter by storing, packing, and distributing potatoes grown on 2,000 acres by farmers across the country. This enables them to run a full-time farm in New England and to provide a variety of products for their customers 365 days a year. During their peak season in August, they harvest 500,000 pounds of potatoes every day and package 80 bags a minute at their facility.
Additionally, the Food Bank of Western MA works hard to increase food security in the Pioneer Valley by supplying local community meal programs with fresh, nutritious food.
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