Northarvest Bean Growers

The hundreds of thousands of acres planted in dry beans across North Dakota and Minnesota make up the Northarvest region. The families cultivating the produce – which is classified as a vegetable and a protein – comprise the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.

“My family has been raising dry beans since the late 1980s,” Justin Retterath, Retterath Ranch, said. “Our soil type here has been great at producing them. They have just been a great rotation for us.”

In 1960, the number of farmers raising dry beans in the Northarvest region could be counted in single digits. Today, Northarvest Bean Growers Association is a leading producer and shipper of dry beans with thousands of farmers included in the cooperative.

Farmers in the Northarvest region grow a variety of dry beans in great abundance — including pinto, navy, black, dark red kidney, light red kidney, white kidney, Great northern, pink, small red, and cranberry beans — thanks to the locally unique combination of very productive soil, abundant rainfall, warm summer days, and cold cleansing winters.

Watch the video to learn more about the people and the land in the Northarvest region.