Northern State University to host conversation with RDO Equipment Co. leaders

Farm Forum

ABERDEEN, S.D. – Northern State University invites you to join in a conversation with Christi Offutt, RDO Equipment Co. CEO, and Ron Offutt, founder of RDO Equipment Co. and R.D. Offutt Company, 5:30-7 p.m. Feb. 19 in the NSU Student Center Centennial Rooms.

The Offutts will share their story and business philosophy at the event, which is free and open to the public. The event is sponsored by the NSU school of Business and NSU Center for Entrepreneurship and International Business, located in NSU’s Lincoln Hall.

RDO Equipment Co. began when third-generation potato farmer Ron Offutt had the opportunity to expand the family enterprise. This led to the purchase of a John Deere agricultural dealership in Casselton, N.D. Offutt leveraged the assets he had by selling 160 acres of farmland and a potato warehouse and taking a loan from his grandmother.

Given Offutt’s natural business style, along with his understanding of what customers needed to succeed, the store soon prospered. Customers in the area came to know Offutt’s store as a trusted industry resource and a place where they would receive individualized care and respect — characteristics still ingrained in the company’s business practices today. With the knowledge gained from launching the initial store, RDO Equipment Co. grew to become a provider of state-of-the-art products and support for the agriculture and construction industries.

RDO Equipment Co. remains a family-owned and operated business with the next generation fulfilling important leadership roles. Ron’s daughter, Christi Offutt, has served as the company’s CEO since 2006 and as COO from 2001 to 2006.

Today the company owns and operates more than 60 dealerships in nine states, selling quality brands such as John Deere, Vermeer and Topcon. In fact, the company runs the largest network of John Deere stores in North America, employing more than 1,800 people who focus on agriculture, construction, environmental, tree care, underground and positioning technology. In addition, the company currently operates in several international partnerships, including multiple locations in Russia, Ukraine and Australia.

Alongside the equipment company, Offutt continues to be involved in his potato operations. Today R.D. Offutt Company encompasses farming operations producing more than 60,000 acres of potatoes, a French fry factory producing around 500 million pounds of frozen fries, a fresh-pack potato operation, and majority ownership of a company with dehydration facilities that produces instant mashed potatoes and other flake potato co-products. R.D. Offutt Company has multiple potato processing facilities in four states, including the investment in Idahoan Foods, the nation’s top seller of flavored instant mashed potatoes.

For more information and to RSVP to the Feb. 19 event, contact Patricia Kendall at 605-626-2401 or