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Fresh local produce

Skyline ranch profits from direct sale strategy

North Dakota operation sells more than 100,000 of produce a year at farmers markets.

How would you like to sell more than 100,000 pounds of a produce annually at farmers markets in the Dakotas?

That what the Dwight Duke family does
They operate Skyline Ranch, Hensler, N.D. His father-in-law started the produce business in 1940s. He and his wife, Patsy, came back to the farm in the 1980s and continued the business. They grow produce almost exclusively in hoop houses and green houses and sell 100,000 pounds of 60 different kinds of produce annually at farmers markets in Beulah, Hazen, Washburn and three locations in Bismarck.

Learn more by watching a video about Skyline Ranch produced by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture.

He says that selling direct to the consumer has been a good business plan. Their customers like knowing where their food comes from, and that it was likely picked the same morning before it was brought to the market. The Dukes are able to sell their produce for about twice what the grocery store would pay, and their retail prices are still competitive with the retail outlet.

The only complaint they sometimes hear is that they don't have enough produce, Duke says.

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture produced the video about Skyline Ranch.

Doug Goehring, North Dakota agriculture commissioner, says the state is committing to promoting all kinds of agriculture. "We…support all efforts to shorten the distance between the field to the table, while gaining a greater a greater understanding and appreciation of where your food comes from," he says.

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