Finding Purpose in Produce: Farm in the Dell Empowers Individuals with Disabilities Through Agriculture

This year, RDO Caters Taters is partnering with Farm in the Dell of the Red River Valley (FITD), a nonprofit that uses the transformative power of agriculture to empower adults with developmental disabilities. 

FITD of the Red River Valley will receive 100% of the funds raised during this fall’s 25th annual pound-tato fundraising luncheon. These funds will support FITD’s core mission of cultivating joy and purpose for individuals living with developmental disabilities.  

 “These individuals were dealt a hand in life that no amount of money, hours in the field or boxfuls of produce will ever erase, but we can ensure they learn real-life skills and feel deeply seen, heard, valued and loved while earning a steady paycheck,” said Anna Sather, FITD’s executive director.

 The local chapter of FITD was founded in 2012 by a group of parents of teens with developmental disabilities. Dreaming of an environment where their children could do meaningful work and find a secure future, these parents visited Farm in Dell International, the original organization operating in Montana since the mid-80s. The parents returned to Moorhead inspired and invigorated, and FITD of the Red River Valley was born.

 “FITD closely partners with local families and agencies to support individuals who live with cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy or other circumstances,” Sather said. “We connect our Garden Engineers (team members with disabilities) with meaningful employment that fills their spirits, sharpens their minds and cultivates joy.”  

Red River Valley’s FITD chapter has consistently grown since its founding. Today, its community-supported agriculture (CSA) program is run on a 25-acre plot just north of Moorhead. Today, FITD’s Garden Engineers work part-time throughout the growing season doing all the tasks one would expect on a farm: planting, weeding, watering, harvesting, packing produce boxes for community members and more.  

In 2024 FITD marked these milestones:  

  • 30 Garden Engineers tended to 25 acres 
  • 100 local families received fresh produce through the CSA program 
  • 2,000-plus guests from the community celebrated and supported FITD during their annual Fall Festival and Table to Farm dinner series. 


“This year will forever be marked as pivotal for FITD as we partner with RDO’s Caters Taters,” Sather said. “This gift will help to expand our programming and Garden Engineer team in hopes of eventually extending our season, possibly into year-round employment.” 

 Since its beginning, RDO Caters Taters for Charity has raised more than $1 million for local nonprofits, including BIO Girls, Great Plains Food Bank, HOPE, Inc., Jeremiah Program and PATH ND.  

 Save the date for this year’s RDO Caters Taters for Charity: Monday, October 28, at the Holiday Inn Fargo.