Future potato farmer has lunch at White House event | TSLN.com

Future potato farmer has lunch at White House event

Stella Halverson, 8, with her father, Eric, on the White House steps as they leave the Kids’ “State Dinner." Stella won the North Dakota “Healthy Lunchtime Challenge” with her recipe for “Red Potato Boat with 3-Bean Bison Chili.” Photo by Jerry Hagstrom/The Hagstrom Report

Stella won the North Dakota "Healthy Lunchtime Challenge" with her recipe for "Red Potato Boat with 3-Bean Bison Chili." One of the 56 children whose recipe won a state Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and a trip to White House today for the Kids' "State Dinner" has a special reason for the ingredients in her dish: she is the descendant of potato growers and plans to be a potato grower.

The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge features a contest in each of the states and territories, and Stella Halverson, 8, from Grand Forks, N.D., won the North Dakota contest with a recipe entitled "Red Potato Boat with 3 Bean Bison Chili."

In an interview on the steps of the North Portico of the White House, Halverson said she had to start with potatoes because "we grow them and I am going to be a fifth generation potato farmer."

Halverson added that she chose bison because it "roams where we live." She chose the three beans — kidney, pinto and black — because North Dakota produces them, she said.

The girl said her favorite experience at the White House was visiting the Blue Room.

Halverson was accompanied by her father, Eric, the CEO of potato grower-shipper Black Gold Farms.

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Eric Halverson succeeded his father, Greg Halvorsen in 2014, although the elder Halvorsen remained president of the company's board of directors.

Eric Halverson, formerly the company's vice president of technology, has been prominent in the potato industry, representing North Dakota on the board of Potatoes USA, a marketing organization.

–the Hagstrom Report