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Badger Common’Tater

March 2016


Spring Planting Issue INTERVIEW: Mark Finnessy, Okray Family Farms, Inc.

Volume 68 Number 3 $18.00/year $1.50/copy

WPVGA SHOW COVERAGE Conferences, Trade Show, Awards BADGER BEAT Insect Pest Thresholds Auxiliary 40th Anniversary Part 4: 2005-2015

Mark Finnessy Okray Family Farms, Inc.

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Badger Common'Tater

On the Front Cover: Mark Finnessy with some of Okray

Family Farms’ bagged potatoes hot off the bagging machine.

Photo by Ruth Faivre

8 Badger cOMMON’TATER INTERVIEW: Mark Finnessy, Okray Family Farms, Inc.

Field signs stress the company’s conservation focus. Photo by Chris Okray

Departments: ALI’S KITCHEN.................. 76 AUXILIARY NEWS.............. 75 EYES ON ASSOCIATES....... 72


20 BADGER BEAT Insect Pest Thresholds

Conferences, Trade Show, Awards


GROUNDED ........................ 6 MARK YOUR CALENDAR..... 6


MARKETPLACE.................. 74

Part 4: 2005-2015

NEW PRODUCTS............... 58 NOW NEWS...................... 52

Feature Articles:

NPC NEWS........................ 66

24 SPRING PLANTING Photo Gallery 30 TOP FIVE STORIES for Farmers to Tell in 2016 38 WPVGA AWARD WINNERS & Hall of Fame Honorees 44 WPVGA BOARD New 2016 Board Members

PEOPLE ........................... 56


BC�T March

POTATO BOARD NEWS.... 68 SEED PIECE........................ 70 WPIB FOCUS ................... 69

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Call Wayne, Tom, Brion, Ann or Julie today! WPVGA Board of Directors: President: Mark Finnessy Vice President: Eric Schroeder Secretary: Gary Wysocki Treasurer: Josh Mattek Directors: Steve Diercks, Rod Gumz,Ron Krueger, Wes Meddaugh & Andy Wallendal Wisconsin Potato Industry Board: President: Heidi Alsum-Randall Vice President: Richard Okray Secretary: Bill Wysocki Treasurer: Keith Wolter Directors: John Bobek, Cliff Gagas, John T. Schroeder, Tom Wild and Dennis Zeloski WPVGA Associate Division Board of Directors: President: Wayne Solinsky Vice President: Zach Mykisen

www. Jay-Mar.com Plover (715) 341-3445 • 800-236-2436 Antigo (715) 627-4321

Secretary: Cathy Schommer Treasurer: Casey Kedrowski Directors: Dale Bowe, Nick Laudenbach, Sally Suprise & Joel Zalewski Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association Board of Directors: President: Eric Schroeder Vice President: Bill Guenthner Secretary/Treasurer: Jeff Fassbender Directors: Dan Kakes & Charlie Mattek

WPVGA Staff Executive Director: Tamas Houlihan Managing Editor: Ruth Faivre Director of Promotions & Consumer Education: Dana Rady Financial Officer: Karen Rasmussen Executive Assistant: Julie Braun Program Assistant: Danielle Sorano Coordinator of Community Relations: Jim Zdroik

Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Board of Directors: President: Paula Houlihan Vice President: Lynn Isherwood Secretary/Treasurer: Gabrielle Okray Eck Directors: Kathy Bartsch, Deniell Bula, Patty Hafner & Sheila Rine

WPVGA Office (715) 623-7683 • FAX: (715) 623-3176 E-mail Address: wpvga@wisconsinpotatoes.com Website: www.wisconsinpotatoes.com Like Us On Facebook: www.facebook.com/WPVGA

Mission Statement of the WPVGA: “To assist WPVGA members to be successful through education, information, environmentally sound research, promotion, governmental action, and involvement.” Mission Statement of the WPVGA Associate Division: “Our mission is to work in partnership with the WPVGA as product and service providers to promote mutual industry viability by integrating technology and information resources.”

Badger Common’Tater is published monthly at 700 Fifth Avenue, Antigo, Wisconsin 54409 Subscription rates: $1.50/copy, $18.00/year; $30/2 years. Foreign; $30/year; $50/2 years. Telephone: (715) 623-7683. Mailing address: P.O. Box 327, Antigo, Wisconsin 54409. Or, subscribe free online: http://wisconsinpotatoes.com/blog-news/subscribe/ ADVERTISING: To advertise your service or product in this magazine, call (715) 347-3755, or email: Ruth Faivre: rfaivre@wisconsinpotatoes.com. The editor welcomes manuscripts and pictures but accepts no responsibility for such material while in our hands.

BC�T March


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Calendar March 2016 7-9





14-17 USPB ANNUAL MEETING Broadmoor Hotel Colorado Springs, CO 15



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April 15-17


May June 1-2

EUROPATAT CONGRESS 2016 Brussels, Belgium www.europatatcongress.eu

18 FEED MY STARVING CHILDREN Mobile Packing Event Noel Hangar Stevens Point, WI 20 VIRUS DETECTION TRAINING WORKSHOP WSU Research Farm Othello, WA 20-22 UNITED FRESH 2016 CONVENTION McCormick Place Convention Ctr Chicago, IL

Chris Okray took this photo of Mike Finnessy and me at Okray Family Farms.

A light bulb went off in my head the other day when I was talking to a city friend about agriculture.

This person was spouting off about how growers are poisoning the land and the water. I waited until the tirade was done and asked a simple question, “Do you know where most growers live?” This person sputtered for a moment, but did not really know the answer to that question so I provided some enlightenment, “They live on or near the farms on which they grow their produce. And, not only do they live there with their families; but their friends, relatives and employees are also usually in close proximity.” I asked my friend to think about that for a moment and then said, “Do you really think a grower would do something that would put his (or her) own family, friends, relatives and workers at risk?” As I hoped, by avoiding rhetoric and long-winded commentary and relying on simple common sense instead, that conversation ended on a positive note. This is just another example, though, of how important it is to think about the issues facing growers and public perception of those issues. Then, think about ways to answer the questions or statements you may be faced with about those issues, but make your answers short and to the point. No one said life would be easy but perhaps you can make yours more livable by taking a proactive stance on public perception of who you are and what you do. It is time for all of you to develop a voice, which is why I included the article, “Top Five Stories for Farmers to Tell in 2016,” in this issue.


Most importantly, remember that you do not have to apologize for being a grower and that you fill an important role in our world.

13 ASSOCIATE DIV PUTT-TATO OPEN GOLF OUTING Bull’s Eye Country Club Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Please email me with your thoughts and questions. If you wish to be notified when our free online magazine is available monthly, here is the subscriber link: http://wisconsinpotatoes.com/blog-news/subscribe.


Ruth Faivre

Managing Editor rfaivre@wisconsinpotatoes.com

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Mark Finnessy Okray Family Farms, Inc. By Ruth Faivre, Managing Editor

Name: Mark Finnessy TITLE: Secretary of Board, Sales, Co-Owner COMPANY: Okray Family Farms, Inc. CROPS GROWN/ACREAGE: 1800 acres potatoes, 2936 acres sweet corn, 1890 acres snap beans, 905 acres peas, 64 acres field corn, 135 acres soybeans, 60 acres cranberries and 3 acres experimental grapes. LOCATION: Plover HOMETOWN: Eau Claire CURRENT RESIDENCE: Lanark YEARS IN PRESENT POSITION: Since October 2008 SCHOOLING: Bachelor of Science, Turfgrass, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI and 2012 graduate of Potato Industry Leadership Institute SOCIAL MEDIA: www.facebook.com/OkrayFamily-Farms-121961727861165 ACTIVITIES/ORGANIZATIONS: Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) - President 2016, WPVGA - Vice President 2015, United States Potato Board (USPB), Plover Area Business Association (PABA) – Board Member for five years and currently 2016 President AWARDS/HONORS: 2016 National Potato Council (NPC) Environmental Stewardship Award, 2016 WPVGA Young Grower of the Year award FAMILY: Wife, Shannon HOBBIES: Golf, hunting, fishing and watching hockey 8

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Mark Finnessy, new 2016 President of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) Board, assumes the reins of the position at a very volatile and demanding time for the industry, particularly in the battle for public perception. Consumers are more interested than ever before in knowing where their food comes from – how it was grown, produced and processed and unfortunately, are getting their facts about agriculture, not from growers, the source, but often from activist groups outside of agriculture. These groups normally do not rely on scientific facts but rather utilize fear-based tactics including exaggeration and continual repetition to promote a negative perception of agriculture. The real story of agriculture is that it provides an abundant and safe source of food to an ever-growing global population, while also insuring good stewardship of the land. Currently, however, WPVGA faces other massive challenges such as high capacity well legislation, which has grounded over 400 applications

for new wells and countless other permits for repair/replacement of existing wells. Additionally, the new Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule worries growers, dairy producers and others, on and off the farm, because language in the rule like “neighboring, contiguous, bordering or significant nexus” to real waters of the U.S. leaves a lot of wiggle room for EPA to pick and choose their regulatory targets on a “caseby-case” basis. Wisconsin Drainage Districts are experiencing problems with WOTUS right now as new legislation testing this ‘nexus’ language, promises to change 120 years of farm drainage systems with many districts experiencing a hold on permits for ditch repair and maintenance due to ‘perceived’ impacts. Farms throughout Wisconsin depend on these ditches for water drainage, particularly in the Central Sands area, where lands will be flooded when spring rains hit if there is no drainage available. continued on pg. 10

TOP: Mark Finnessy stands at the entrance to Okray Family Farms headquarters. The wooden sign above Mark’s head reads, “Przywitac,” the Polish word for “Welcome.” Photo by Ruth Faivre


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Interview. . . continued from pg. 8

Meanwhile, growers face increasing pressure regarding their use of GMO seeds, fertilizer and pesticide application and other factors vital to a healthy yield.

on over 7,500 acres including 1,800 acres of a wide assortment of potatoes: reds, whites, russets and yellows, grown for the fresh market.

However, Mark is well suited to help address these issues through the WPVGA Board President’s position for which he has chosen to serve.

Son of former Okray Family Farms’ President, Mike Finnessy, Mark has grown up in the 110-year old Okray Family Farms business, which is continually growing strong, not just in produce but also in management and principles as evidenced in their slogan, “A Growing Company.”

As Sales Manager for Okray Family Farms, Mark continuously deals with all levels of the industry from processors to the public who ultimately consume the operation’s produce. Okray Family Farms grows thousands of tons of vegetables a year, raised

Like many other members of the Okray Family Farms’ management team, Mark is involved in the industry at both state and national levels and is a Wisconsin representative for the United States Potato Board (USPB). Prior to becoming WPVGA Board President, Mark was 2015 WPVGA Vice-President and was active on the WPVGA Promotions Committee along with the Finance and Administration Committee. continued on pg. 12 Top: Aerial view of Okray Family Farms' headquarters. Middle: Okray Family Farms' headquarters has a steady stream of fresh market customers. Mark prepares a box of potatoes for a waiting customer. Photo by Chris Okray Bottom: ‘Grandpa Joe’ Okray sitting at his old desk ‘back in the day’.

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Interview. . . continued from pg. 10

This year, at the 2016 WPVGA Annual Banquet, Mark was named “WPVGA Young Grower of the Year.” He was also a participant in the Potato Industry Leadership Institute and regularly attends the NPC DC Fly-In, where growers meet with members of Congress and lobbyists on Capitol Hill. Mark recently attended the National Potato Expo where he and his father, WPVGA Hall of Famer Mike Finnessy, accepted the National Potato Council’s (NPC) and EPA’s Environmental Stewardship Award on behalf of Okray Family Farms. According to NPC, Okray Family Farms, a member of the UW’s Healthy Grown Potatoes program, demonstrated its commitment to stewardship of the land and protection of the shared environment while producing high-quality potatoes. They were also recognized for their outstanding achievement in reducing pesticides on the farm without compromising potato yield or quality. 12 BC�T March

Locally, Mark serves as President of the Plover Area Business Association (PABA) Board of directors, which fosters and advances business and community interests throughout the Greater Plover Area. It will be a busy year but with the WPVGA organization and its members working together with other groups and interests to address the issues facing the industry, fair and equitable solutions may be reached. Mark shares some of his thoughts and background within this interview as well as his 2016 WPVGA goals. Preparing for the next generation is never easy within a farming operation but Okray Family Farms proactively made a concerted effort

to ‘pass the baton’ during the last few years to ease this transition. Could you describe your role within the organization and detail how it has changed the last few years? Originally, when I first started in the office, I worked in transportation and spent time getting to know customers and adjusting to working in an office environment. It took me about two years working under Mike, Dick and Walt and observing them handling their jobs, to familiarize myself with our customer base and the needs that we helped them fill. Following Mike’s retirement in June 2015, I assumed the role of Secretary continued on pg. 14

Left: Mark serves on the Okray Family Farms' board as Secretary and is also a co-owner. He handles sales and marketing for the company. Photo by Ruth Faivre Above Right: Gabrielle Okray Eck, Granddaughter of Joe Okray, shown in Chris Okray’s Model T, part of the next generation transitioning into the ‘changing of the guard, does bookkeeping and administrative support for the company and is starting to take on higher profile duties and responsibilities. Photo by Chris Okray Bottom RIght: This vintage photo captures several family leaders: (L-R) Edward J. Okray, Joseph J. Okray, Joe Okray III, Dick Okray, Eddie Okray, Chris Okray, Al Peski, Jim Okray, Alois Okray (Jim Okray’s father) and Mike Finnessy.


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Interview. . . continued from pg. 12

of Okray Family Farms and within the office, now work primarily in sales and human relations. As mentioned previously, you were one of the recipients of the 2015 National Potato Council (NPC) Environmental Stewardship Award. What practices did you engage in and criteria did you meet to help you earn this award? Okray Family Farms is dedicated to agricultural policies and practices that conserve environmental resources, promote food safety, protect human health and preserve the family farm.

Starting by employing thresholds established by UW Systems when spraying pesticides, we utilize strategies such as P-days forecasting tools, severity values and sweep counts. We only apply chemicals that pose little to no threat to beneficial species and utilize a third party IPM specialist every season. Our chemical classes are rotated regularly to mitigate the formation of resistance in pests and crops alike. A four-year rotation schedule is in place, rotating potatoes between sweet corn, green beans and peas. We do not stop there either. Our employees’ safety is very important to us and all employees are licensed through the state with private applicator licenses. They are trained annually and

re-trained quarterly on safe chemical handling/disposal techniques. Most chemicals are not stored on site to reduce the risk of spills and contamination. All wells are sampled and tested for bacterial content and nitrates annually to ensure that they are maintained properly and pose no risk of contamination. We help prevent the leaching of fertilizer and pesticides into the groundwater through careful irrigation management practices. Additionally, our state-of-the-art plant nutrition analysis techniques adjust fertilizer applications to meet the needs of the plants and avoid over-fertilization, further reducing the potential for nitrate leaching. Soil conservation practices are one of our priorities as well. Tilling is continued on pg. 16

Left: Joseph Okray Sr. started Okray Family Farms then passed the baton to his son, Edward Okray (shown here, circa 1950), with Edward’s brother, Joseph Jr. taking over after Edward. Subsequently, Mike Finnessy assumed the reins as company president. Mike recently retired after more than four decades and his cousin, Dick Okray, now serves as Okray Family Farms’ president. Right: Mark takes a break between seminars at the 2016 Growers’ Ed Conferences to try his hand at Bushmans’ miniature golf exhibit at the WPVGA Trade Show. Photo by Ruth Faivre Bottom: Mark Finnessy (R) speaks from the podium at the National Potato Council Banquet with Mike Finnessy (L) in the background regarding Okray Family Farms’ 2016 National Potato Council award for Environmental Stewardship. Photo by National Potato Council 14 BC�T March

Interview. . . continued from pg. 14

only done when necessary and as minimally as possible to avoid overworking the soil.

of wind erosion and support beneficial insect species in our growing areas.

Cover crops such as rye, Sudan grass and winter wheat are planted after the crops have been removed from the fields to help decrease erosion over the fall, winter and spring months.

Wooded lands are maintained through MFL plans and prescribed cuttings to maintain natural habitats, encouraging wildlife proliferation.

Since 2000, we were one of the first farms to work with CWWP to plant over 25 miles of multispecies soft and hard wood windbreaks around our fields to greatly aid in the reduction

Prescribed burns are done in conjunction with the International Crane Foundation to attract native species. Banks of streams and ditches are continually repaired and restored to help retain the natural habitat of the

organisms that live there. As far as other pesticide risk reduction strategies, automated weather stations are utilized to predict pest outbreaks; thus, pesticides are applied only when and where needed. Okray Family Farms has a strong commitment to research: pestresistant plant cultivars are studied and reviewed yearly and we strongly consider leading candidates. In a pilot program with the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology, the farm has also planted grapes to extract resveratrol, which shows promise for cancer-fighting abilities. Water is essential to our operation and we respect it and use it wisely and responsibly. Our soils are carefully mapped so we can determine specifically how much irrigation is needed when and where, so irrigation can be delivered with pinpoint accuracy. Top: A glimpse into Okray Family Farms’ grading, sorting and packing production areas with Mark shown by 20 cwt containers of potatoes. Photo by Ruth Faivre Left: Mark helps load some onions for retail. Photo by Ruth Faivre Top Right: Mark consults with Randy Walbherr, regarding progress on the sorting/bagging line. Photo by Ruth Faivre

16 BC�T March

Our farming is now more data driven than ever before. We use many GPS-driven technologies to fine tune how things are grown, which helps minimize our ‘footprint’ on the environment. Sustainability is not just a ‘buzzword’ with us. It is a continuous way of farming that is constantly evolving as new practices and concepts are tested and once proven, integrated into our everyday procedures. As a long-time proponent of conservation and sustainability, what practices do you urge other growers to pursue in their quest to become even greater ‘good stewards of the earth’? Our variable rate irrigation is very important and has led to much more efficient water applications. Moisture sensors detect areas of fields that may require more or less water and the rate or irrigation is adjusted to match the needs of the land and the crop. Soil mapping technology is another scientific tool that increases ‘good stewardship’. Soil mapping identifies properties like organic carbon content, clay content, water table locations, native nutrient potential, catatonic exchange and more. This categorized information helps highlight high and low yielding areas, determines how much water the soil will store after rainfall and how fast you could expect runoff. Soil mapping can impact how growers manage their land and their crops in order to decrease costs and increase profitability. I would like to see wider-spread implementation of these tools and techniques going forward.

with a number of organizations and individuals for over a year to get the State of Wisconsin legislature to pass a fair and appropriate high capacity water bill that addresses the creation of new wells and repair/replacement of existing wells. We have made progress towards this goal but need resolution of this issue. The lack of a definitive water bill is devastating our industry and will result in adverse economic impact for Wisconsin.

I also recognize the need to increase general membership and member involvement on committees as well as spread knowledge of the positive points of our industry to the younger generation so that we encourage them to stay in the Ag world. Beyond water issues, what other problems affecting WPVGA growers loom on the horizon for 2016? To me, the second biggest issue facing the Ag industry is employment

Getting this issue resolved is my top

continued on pg. 18

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Interview. . . continued from pg. 16

– finding the right people to work in the various positions that occur on an annual basis. We are finding that as the younger generation enters the workforce, it gets harder to find people who are looking for work in our areas

of greatest need – manual labor, machine operation, etc. Meanwhile, as our farm worker population ages, more and more of these positions remain empty. It is particularly difficult to fill semi-truck driver positions.

What do you see as the biggest obstacles to the future of the potato and vegetable industry and what recommendations do you have to address these obstacles going forward? Currently, the UW Cooperative Extension is faced with a permanent $3.6 million annual base budget cut to their state funding.

Others know crop insurance.


The requirements for obtaining and keeping a CDL license grow increasingly complex with each year, making it harder and harder to acquire a license.

Even though no positions will be eliminated immediately, a cut of this magnitude will create changes and reorganization, beginning as early as this summer.

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I think it is critically important to maintain the great relationship we have cultivated with the UW Cooperative Extension system and other Ag-related UW departments, which includes help with funding when possible to keep the UW working with and for us going forward.

If you haven’t already, get to know Badgerland Financial. Let us prove why we’re the better option.

Left: Elizabeth Gonzalez (R), who is in charge of Quality Assurance and Compliance, meets with Mark. Photo by Ruth Faivre

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Right: Like everyone else at Okray Family Farms, Mark pitches in where needed. Here, he runs the forklift while one of the workers takes a short break. Photo by Ruth Faivre

18 BC�T March

What do you appreciate most about your involvement with WPVGA and what would you recommend to other growers as far as involvement/participation in WPVGA/other associations, local activities and legislative action? WPVGA is a fantastic network building resource. The connections I have made with other growers and Associate members are phenomenal. We are privileged to have some of the smartest minds in agriculture working with us through UW’s staff and our own grower and Associate members as well as the many related organizations who sit with us on many committees and task forces.

the Plover area and I try my best to give back to the community by participating in Plover Area Business Association events, area fundraisers, and other activities. I feel you get back as much as you put in. This is a time when it will require as many Wisconsin potato and vegetable growers as possible to band together to address universal issues that affect them as a whole. What suggestions might you have to help more growers join the organization and become more active in these issues?

I would urge growers and all members to use these people as a resource, through phone calls, emails, questions, general meetings attendance, individual consultation, etc.

My recommendation to other growers would be to be willing to put yourself out there if you want to see anything change. It takes involvement from everyone to get anything done, especially in government and politics, and helping merge into a united front will help us all accomplish more of our goals.

I am thankful to be able to work in

We, as an industry, need to do

a better job of telling our story to the general public who has a genuine appetite to hear what we have to say. If you are not on social media, do not have a website, blog page or create videos, you may want to consider these tools as an alternative and effective means to communicate with the public. You can share what goes on in your daily growing schedule, provide updates, research and development news, tips, techniques and share your overall pride in your industry. Tell them about your planting, cultivating and harvest, educating them as to the tremendous effort involved in raising a crop. Additionally, encourage related growers and businesses, who are not active in WPVGA, to join the organization. Share with them the benefits you enjoy in your interactions with WPVGA.

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Badger Beat

FOLLOW-UP ON INSECT PEST THRESHOLDS IN POTATO By Russell L. Groves1 & Amanda J. Gevens2 University of Wisconsin, Dept. of Entomology1 & Plant Pathology2 Email: groves@entomology.wisc.edu

Insect sampling is sometimes referred to as pest scouting or monitoring in a field or specific region. You might ask, “Why is sampling for pests and even potentially beneficial insects so important?” It is because it remains one of the most reliable measures for farmers and pest management practitioners to understand the onset, or even activity of insects in their crops and fields. Producers must have this information before they can make cost-effective and environmentally sound pest management decisions. Remember, the underlying concept of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is that no action should be taken against a pest unless the pest is present and poses a threat to the crop. Thus, the main objectives of insect monitoring and sampling (pest and beneficial) are to:

There are, of course, many insect sampling techniques and types of sampling equipment that can be used to detect insects dispersing in the air (sticky cards, suction traps), on plants (sweep nets, visual counts), and even on and beneath soil (pit-fall traps).

 Anticipate the arrival of species that are present in the crop

Scouts in the potato field will often use sweep nets to sample insects on plants, because sweep sampling (i.e. a given number of sweeps per sampling location) is quicker and more cost effective for larger fields than inspection of individual plants.

 Determine their population density and the stages of development present in the crop  Determine how they are distributed in the field  Assist in formulating a response to the presence of damaging insect levels 20 BC�T March

Small-scale vegetable growers more commonly would sample a given number of individual plants per sampling location in the field and may even count the number

of insects present on a set of plants. In lieu of direct insect observation, some scouts will obtain an estimate of the degree of defoliation present on the crop as a surrogate for direct damage caused by a specific density of insects. With enough samples collected over a management unit (e.g. field), this will provide a pest manager with a “relative” estimate of an insect’s abundance. Solutions to pest problems must also be location, crop and even pest specific in most instances. Given that all insects are considered cold-blooded (poikilothermic), the traditional techniques for managing agricultural pests and diseases have often depended on weather and climate information. Even the choices of crop, variety and location are influenced by climate and climatic risk and affect the pest complex that is encountered. During the growing season, many tactical pest management decisions are based on major synoptic weather

Figure 1: Vegetable Disease and Insect Forecasting Network user interface and homepage available at: http://vdifn.net/.

events and now forecasts. As one example, good water management can reduce damage from insects, mites, or pathogens; and current and future weather conditions determine suitability for making pesticide applications to control pests. Meteorological observations, forecasts and outlooks, coupled with plant and pest observations, are now used to anticipate or predict the development of key pests and this scheduling of control actions can help to prevent pest development and subsequent crop infestation. In the particular case of Wisconsin, we have begun the process of creating the new Vegetable Disease and Insect Forecasting Network (http://vdifn.net/) (Fig. 1). At this web page, we plan to make available disease and insect forecasting tools for producers to help characterize current and short-term forecasted risk for infection (disease) and infestation (insects). Wisconsin farmers can then access

the site and point to a specific location on the map to receive a current and forecast assessment of the predominant life-stage present in the crop, or risk of disease development.

Colorado potato beetle (CPB), past research has already identified the temperature-dependent requirements of this insect. To make projections on population development, we first estimate the

With the specific example of the


continued on pg. 22


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BC�T March 21

Badger Beat. . . continued from pg. 21

number of developmental degreedays (DD) required for the insect to complete the different stages of development. In the case of CPB, we know that the insect has a developmental minimum temperature of 50oF, and below this temperature, the insect will not continue to grow and molt to successive stages. Once the first adult beetles have emerged from the ground, mated and begun to lay eggs, we begin the process of accumulating a running total of the number of degree-days above the developmental base temperature (Fig. 2). For the insects to then develop from eggs to 1st instar larvae requires 185 DD50, from 1st to 2nd instar requires 240 DD50, 2nd to 3rd instar requires 300 DD50, and to complete the 4th larval instar requires 400 DD50.

Figure 2: Schematic representation of how to calculate the number of degree-days above and below specific development minimum (lower temperature threshold) and maximum (upper temperature threshold) temperatures that different insects possess. In the schematic, the proportion of hours (out of a total of 24 hours in a day) is summed over days to obtain an estimate of the accumulated degreedays (used with permission, http://jenny.tfrec.wsu.edu/opm/displaySpecies.php?pn=-50).

Once the insect completes the fourth instar stage of development, it drops to the ground and pupates until it accumulates 675 DD50 in the soil

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after which time it emerges as a new, second generation adult CPB. It is possible to repeat the process of predicting the development times

of the second generation, although this approach has less predictability since some beetles will attempt to overwinter even after the completion of this first generation. The later instar larvae of the first generation are considered the most damaging lifestages, which typically occurs in June and into early July. However, adults that emerge in midJuly, and signify the beginning of the next generation, also feed extensively on the foliage. Due to feeding, leaflets initially develop holes of varying sizes starting around the margins, but can lead to complete defoliation if left untreated. Several past reports have identified defoliation threshold levels to aid a producer in making decisions on when to spray to limit economic losses. Although these thresholds vary somewhat among reports, an average defoliation level of 20% before tuber

defoliation thresholds, are exceeded in the crop.

bulking, 10% during the first half of bulking, followed by 25% after bulking has been reported in the literature.

As a result, it becomes increasingly more important for pest managers to carefully scout and monitor the development of populations in the crop to ensure that products are applied to the most susceptible stages of the insect.

These thresholds were developed, however, when broad spectrum and fast-acting insecticides remained effective against all feeding stages of CPB and these included the organo-phosphates, carbamates and synthetic pyrethroids. Unfortunately, due to insecticide resistance, these products no longer have the same effect on resistant populations of CPB, and we now must use newer insecticides that do not have similar activity across all stages of CPB development. In fact, many of these novel compounds (e.g. abamectin, novaluron, spinosad, spinetoram) have their greatest impact when targeting early larval stages of CPB development, which occurs well before any of the established

Recall that earlier in this article, we suggested that an underlying concept of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) was to take no action against a pest unless the pest is present in a damaging stage and poses a threat to the crop. In our current system, we must adapt to these changes and effectively target several of these reduced-risk products ahead of damaging stages to ensure effective control and limit defoliation and economic losses. Email groves@entomology.wisc.edu for questions or comments.

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BC�T March 23

Spring Planting Photos of Area Potato Growers

24 BC�T March

Spring brings a yearly renewal of spirit especially when the bright sun warms the ground in preparation for planting season. Timing is everything, particularly here in Wisconsin, where our growing season is shorter. Once the soil hits the right temperature, potato growers put the pedal to the metal. Then, the race is on to prepare the fields, cut seed pieces, load them into trucks for delivery to planters in the fields and then plant them uniformly with even spacing throughout the fields to help control tuber size and maximize the highest economic yield for the desired market. To celebrate the upcoming season, we share these superb photos of planting potatoes and other crops (many provided by WPVGA grower members).

Above: Larry Alsum, Friesland, oversees Alsum Farm & Produce’s potato seed cutting, after which, the seed is loaded onto the planters as shown (below). Photos by Alsum Farm & Produce

continued on pg. 26

Opposite Page: The satellite-fed field data retrieved by the Plover River Farm tractors’ GPS systems not only helps insure precision potato planting at the exact depth and distance needed, but also allows the tractors to steer on their own. Operators then maintain a closer watch over the entire process. Once the field is mapped and calculated via satellite, the tractor can even leave the field and return to the exact spot where it stopped previously and the tractor will follow all the lines and curves laid out by the GPS system. Photo by Ruth Faivre Top of Current Page: Gumz Muck Farms LLC plants potatoes and other crops in the operation’s thousands of acres of deep, nutrient-rich muck soils. Photo by Gumz Seed Service, Endeavor BC�T March 25

Spring Planting. . . continued from pg. 25

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Top: A planting schedule can go south quickly if you do not check and double check your equipment diligently and maintain it properly. These Gumz Seed Service employees are giving everything the once over! Photo by Gumz Seed Service, Endeavor Bottom: Scott Worzella, Worzella & Sons, gets ready to head out to the fields. Photo by Worzella & Sons, Plover

Left: A load of seed is cut and ready to plant at Flyte Family Farm’s fields. Photo by Laurie Gabbert, Flyte Family Farm, Coloma Right: Gumz Seed Service incorporates GPS into their planting methods. Photo by Gumz Seed Service, Endeavor continued on pg. 28

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BC�T March 27

Spring Planting. . . continued from pg. 27

Left: Planters were rolling along at Alsum Farms & Produce, about halfway done with potato planting. Photos by Alsum Farm & Produce RIght: Kizewski Farms, Stevens Point, like many other area growers, plants cover crops between their main crops’ growing seasons. When preparing the fields for the main crop, they leave part of the live cover crop, as seen in this photo. Both practices help reduce soil erosion and prevent blowing dirt from reducing visibility on roadside traffic. Photo by Ruth Faivre

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TOP FIVE STORIES for Farmers to Tell in 2016

By Kari Barbic, Media Specialist for the American Farm Bureau Federation

The average consumer today may be three to four generations

removed from the farm, but they are far from indifferent when it comes to knowing how their food gets to the table. People want the facts about their food and being entrusted with those facts can help increase their trust in farmers, ranchers and other suppliers throughout the food chain.

A recent survey by the Center for Food Integrity uncovered this key to growing consumer trust in agriculture: transparency. Consumers are eager to learn more, straight from the farm, and the start of a new year is a great time to consider which of the top stories you can bring to the table in 2016. 1. EXPLAIN WHY YOU GROW WHAT YOU DO.

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A short post on Facebook or Twitter is a great way to show the pride you take in your brand of agriculture. One of the most direct ways to help consumers understand the value in all types of agriculture is to hear farmers discuss how they choose to grow what is on their land. Do you grow conventional crops? Organic? GMO? Talk about how the type of soil you work on, your local climate and your family's wellbeing all factor into these choices. Weave your farm story into the

"People want the facts about their food and being entrusted with those facts can help increase their trust in farmers, ranchers and other suppliers throughout the food chain." larger story of agriculture in your community and state to help consumers understand how all farmers work together to keep healthy and affordable food on the table. 2. SHOW HOW YOU KEEP YOUR ANIMALS SAFE AND HEALTHY. Many consumers are simply unaware of the in-depth expertise and careful planning that goes into developing nutrition and treatment plans for livestock. Talk about how you work with veterinarians and nutritionists to ensure your animals are getting the best treatment and diet to meet their needs. Explain the housing options you have chosen for keeping your animals safe and healthy. A quick Instagram post can go a long way in showing the clean and safe conditions you work so hard to provide in order to keep your livestock safe from the elements. 3. DESCRIBE WHAT GOES INTO KEEPING FOOD SAFE. Food safety is a top concern for consumers, trailing behind concerns

for cost of food, healthcare and energy. The Center for Food Integrity polled a sampling of consumers and found 62 percent ranked food safety highest on their list of concerns, ahead of food supply and animal care. Of course, this is not really surprising: we all want safe food. While you cannot control what happens beyond your farm, you can talk about the strict procedures you follow to produce safe and affordable food. Remind consumers that you are feeding what you grow to your family and neighbors, and that safety is your top priority for your family and theirs. The pride you take in producing safe and healthful food can shine through in posts you share from harvest to the dinner table.

Farmers have a great story of success in reducing environmental impact and should share it proudly. Have you developed plans with your local conservation district? Reduced pesticide use through GM seeds? Cut back on water or fertilizer through upgrades in technology? Let it be known that while others are talking about environmental stewardship, you are actually doing something about it. 5. TELL YOUR TALE OF TRADITION AND SUSTAINABILITY. Whether you are a sixth-generation farmer or the first in your family, you can share the importance of working together for the good of agriculture.


Talk about how the choices you make today are influenced by years of tradition or by your desire to pass the farm legacy on to the next generation.

As those who care for the land and local environment hands on 24/7, who better to tell the story of the careful work you do to conserve water and protect the soil and native species?

Consumers are looking for answers, even if they disagree on finer points in the end. Resolve to boost the voice of agriculture by keeping your message simple and straightforward in 2016.

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BC�T March 31

Forty Years & Flourishing!

Fourth Decade (2005-2015) By Paula Houlihan, Auxiliary President

The potato grows on! As the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary

(WPGA) entered its fourth decade, potatoes were back on the dinner plate, but those dinner plates were shrinking and found on the family dining room table less often than past generations had seen. With the rise of single parent families, lower number of children per family and a larger portion of the population entering retirement, the family unit was getting smaller. This created a need for smaller packaging. People were not buying twenty-pound bags of potatoes anymore. After-school programs and extracurricular activities for kids kept parents on the run. Soccer moms came on the scene. 'On-the-go' and convenience became THE new normal. The traditional sit down meal for most families was becoming a thing of the past and ‘grab-and-go’ became the mantra of the 21st century.

In this new age of information, consumers became more aware of food safety and environmental issues. E.coli scares in fresh produce and meat industries generated a public demand for food traceability.

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The ‘Farm-to-table’ or ‘Field to fork’ movement grew during this decade with people wanting to know all about the stages of food production: harvesting, storage, processing, packaging, sales and consumption. An emphasis on producing food locally mushroomed and remains a hot topic. Global warming became a household term and millions embraced the responsibility to reduce their individual carbon footprint. Along with the ever-increasing focus on environmental issues, water quality and its use in all industries, including agriculture, became another public focus. The recession caused purse strings to tighten nationwide. Dining out decreased, however, due to the demand for low-cost convenient food, the fast food market held its own. Value and cost were on the public mind. During these changing times, the potato industry faced new challenges Top: An old-fashioned potato sack race puts smiles on the faces of fourth-graders participating in the Kids Dig Wisconsin Potatoes program

and the Auxiliary was there to support our growers in facing these issues throughout this tumultuous decade. Believing that education is the key to encouraging the sale and consumption of Wisconsin potatoes, we continued our focus on our educational program, Kids Dig Wisconsin Potatoes.

issues, we combined efforts with Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA), WPVGA Associate Division and Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association (WSPIA) through the

Left: Kathy Bartsch prepares baked potatoes for the 2009 WPGA State Fair booth. Right: Gayle and Linda Bacon of G &L Bacon Farms, Inc., Hancock, conducted a workshop on Wisconsin agriculture in Weslaco, Texas. continued on pg. 34

Teaching children about potato nutrition and the economic value it offers to the dinner menu helps them grow into adults who value potatoes as part of their daily diets. We also focused our advertising efforts on promoting quick, lowcalorie, low-cost potato meals. In an added effort to meet the increasing demand for easy, healthy and low cost meals for the shrinking family unit, WPGA created new cookbooks and creative ways to include potatoes in one-dish meals and meals for two. WPGA conducted cooking demonstrations and distributed brochures throughout the state, boasting easy, fast and healthy ways to cook potatoes. To support the Wisconsin potato industry on environmental BC�T March 33

Forty Years. . . continued from pg. 33

Promotions Committee, to develop and create the Spudmobile, a mobile education unit. A striking ‘billboard’ for the industry, the Spudmobile travels across the state, educating the public about

Wisconsin potatoes, farming practices and our industry.

environmental resources of which our family farms are proud stewards.

WPGA also teaches children and adults alike about the new technologies agriculture uses to protect and wisely use the

We accomplish this through presentations with the Spudmobile visits to schools, organizations and events throughout the state. We also introduce the public to our member growers’ family farms and their agricultural practices, who grow the food that finds its way to the dinner plate. In addition, our most recent project, Feed My Starving Children Mobile Packing, has distributed over halfa-million potato-based meals to starving children around the globe. continued on pg. 36 Left: Cliff and Carole Gagas coordinated the Wisconsin Potatoes booth on behalf of WPGA at the WPS Farm Show held March 29-31, 2011 in Oshkosh. (L-R) Carole Gagas, Cliff Gagas, Marilyn Wierzba, Denise Firkus, Lonnie Firkus, Dorothy Pavelski and Dave Pavelski. The Pavelskis are Carole Gagas’ parents. Above: Lynn Isherwood and Deb Bacon staff the booth at the 2008 WPVGA Trade Show.

34 BC�T March

Left: WPGA accepted responsibility for organizing and coordinating the 2008 Feed My Starving Children mobile packing event. Shown here are WPGA members (L-R), Ali Carter and Paula Houlihan. RIght: Pictured at the 2013 WPVGA Trade Show Auxiliary booth (L-R): Jacquie Wille, Ali Carter, Jim Bacon and Paula Houlihan. All three women served on the 2013 Auxiliary board of directors.

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Forty Years. . . continued from pg. 34

This annual event demonstrates our desire to feed the world and share the caring heart of the Wisconsin potato industry. REMEMBERING OUR OUTSTANDING MEMBERS The Auxiliary acknowledges the outstanding members of our forth decade. These women were awarded Farm Woman of the Year: 2006 Charlotte (Nicky) Wirz 2007 Joan (Tippie) Williams 2008 Diane Wysocki 2009 Sara Stelter 2010 Caroline Wild 2011 Brenda Bula As the saying goes, “We’ve come a long way baby!” Cheers to our flourishing forty years promoting and supporting the Wisconsin potato industry and to the visionary women who made it all happen. We look forward to another forty years! Whatever the future holds, may the delicious and nutritious potato grow on! 36 BC�T March


Kaminski, Linda Bacon (Group Leader), Judy Beggs, Chris Maiorano, Judy Merola, Sue Boldig and Tina Bacon.

Top: Nick Somers and Governor Walker chat with Paula Houlihan and Dianne Somers in the August 2014 WPVGA Farm Tech Days booth held in Stevens Point.

CURRENT PAGE Left: WPGA board member Kathy Bartsch (left) explains the ins and outs of potato growing to a group of elementary school children at the Kids Dig Wisconsin Potatoes Harvest Party May 2012 at St. Thomas More Elementary School in Appleton.

Middle: 2011 was another successful year for the WPGA at the Wisconsin State Fair thanks to this hard-working volunteer group. Bottom: This 2007 State Fair Volunteer included, front row (L-R): Brenda Bula (State Fair Coordinator), Rita Fox, Cathy Kaminski, Terri Jorgenson and Jill Sheakly. Back row (L-R) John MN Seed ad 190297__119080 VPG.qxd 9/25/15

Right: Carol Gagas puts the finishing touch, cheddar cheese, on baked potatoes at the 2010 State Fair WPGA food booth. 9:37 AM Page 1

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BC�T March 37

2016 WPVGA AWARDS BANQUET Holiday Inn Convention Center, Stevens Point, February 3, 2016

Hall of Fame Inductees & Industry Awards Every year, the Annual Awards Banquet is the highlight of the UW Extension & WPVGA Grower Education Conference & Industry Show and 2016 was no exception! The banquet hall was packed to the gills with potato and vegetable growers and industry professionals with everyone celebrating a successful event despite old man winter’s efforts. Following a sparkling cocktail hour and fabulous dinner, Tamas Houlihan, WPVGA Executive Director launched into the highly anticipated award presentations. After greeting the audience, Tamas recognized Patrick Testin, Portage County's Republican Party Chairman, who is running for State Senate in the 24th Senate District in the November general election. He then turned the podium over to WPVGA Associate Division Board President Wayne Solinsky, who presented the Associate Division 38 BC�T March

Business Person of the Year Award to Chris Brooks of Central Door Solutions, Plover. ASSOCIATE DIVISION BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR Chris Brooks dedicated a great deal of time and effort to integrate more fully, the Associate Division with the Wisconsin potato and vegetable industry. During 2015, Chris served as the Associate Division Board President and was very active as an industry leader at numerous Associate Division events as well as serving as Chairman of the WPVGA Promotions Committee. Chris made tremendous contributions toward the Spudmobile project and really helped establish this new traveling billboard and mobile trade show booth as the focal point of the WPVGA’s promotional efforts. He serves as a backup voluntary driver when the industry needs

Associate Division Business Person of the Year Award winner, Chris Brooks, Central Door Solutions, Plover. Photo by Ruth Faivre

someone to drive the massive Spudmobile. He also recently began writing a new column in the Badger Common’Tater magazine, Eyes on Associates, which highlights the many valuable activities of the Associate Division. He has gone above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to supporting the Wisconsin potato industry.

Auxiliary Appreciation Awards winner Dianne Somers, Plover River Farms, Stevens Point.

Jacquie Wille, Avis Wysocki’s daughter, received her mother’s Auxiliary Appreciation Award on her behalf posthumously. Both Avis and Dianne Somers were founders of the Auxiliary.

The WPVGA President’s Award went to Jordan Lamb of DeWitt, Ross & Stevens Law Firm and was presented in Madison.


Bancroft. According to Paula, “Avis had a quiet authority about her. She saw the strength in others and knew how to encourage you to be and do your best.”

and played an influential part in WPVGA history.

Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary (WPGA) President Paula Houlihan presented the 2016 Auxiliary Appreciation Awards to Dianne Somers and Avis Wysocki, founding members of the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary, which celebrated its 40th Anniversary in December 2015.

The wife of Louis Wysocki, Avis had lifelong friends in the potato industry

A founding member of the National Potato Council Auxiliary and the WPGA, Wysocki was a woman of vision. She made tremendous continued on pg. 40

Dianne Somers of Plover River Farms, Stevens Point, has been actively immersed in the Wisconsin potato industry for many years. Highly involved with the WPVGA Water Task Force, Dianne has done an outstanding job working with WPVGA and the rest of the industry on waterrelated issues. Dianne also participated on the Promotions and Spud Bowl Committees and led several political fundraising efforts. According to Auxiliary President Paula Houlihan, “Dianne always has the industry’s best interests at heart and strives to make sure the shrinking voice of agriculture is heard loud and clear.” Last October, the Wisconsin potato and vegetable industry lost a remarkable woman in Avis Wysocki of the Wysocki Family of Companies,

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2016 WPVGA Awards. . . continued from pg. 39

contributions to the industry and will be greatly missed and warmly remembered. PRESIDENT’S AWARD 2015 WPVGA Board President Andy Wallendal of Wallendal Supply, Grand Marsh, presented the President’s Award to Jordan Lamb of DeWitt, Ross & Stevens Law Firm, in Madison. Wallendal said Jordan performed an exemplary job helping the potato and vegetable industry work through a number of complex governmental affairs issues that have a profound effect on growers’ bottom lines. Wallendal said Lamb deserved the award “For outstanding service to the WPVGA as a great listener, grower advocate and translator of complex water and environmental issues.” VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR Heidi Alsum-Randall of Alsum Farms & Produce, Friesland, was named WPVGA Volunteer of the Year. Alsum-Randall has been a long-time member of the WPVGA Promotions Committee and has served for several years as a Director on the Wisconsin Potato Industry Board (WPIB). She has the distinction of being the first woman to serve as President of the WPIB after being elected to that position in June of 2014, and was reelected President in 2015. She is a Wisconsin representative on the United States Potato Board (USPB) and was a Wisconsin representative at the 2014 Potato Industry Leadership Institute. In 2015, she received a WPVGA President’s Award from her father, Larry Alsum. Heidi is a Sunday school teacher and a Big Brothers/Big Sisters Volunteer. She also volunteers at the Feed My Starving Children mobile packing event sponsored by the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary. 40 BC�T March

Heidi Alsum-Randall of Alsum Farms & Produce, Friesland, was named WPVGA Volunteer of the Year

Mark Finnessy of Okray Family Farms, Plover was named WPVGA Young Grower of the Year



Mark Finnessy of Okray Family Farms, Plover was named WPVGA Young Grower of the Year.

The WPVGA Researcher of the Year Award went to University of Wisconsin Horticulturist Dr. Jiwan Palta.

Newly elected as President of the WPVGA Board of Directors, Finnessy is Secretary of Board, Sales, CoOwner, Okray Family Farms, Plover. Mark has been active in the industry at both state and national levels. He was a participant in the Potato Industry Leadership Institute and regularly attends the Potato DC Fly-In, helping the national potato industry move forward by meeting with members of Congress and lobbying on Capitol Hill.

A Professor in the UW Dept. of Horticulture, Dr. Palta has served the Wisconsin potato industry for many years with his valuable research focusing on the impact of calcium and nitrogen nutrition on potato

He is a Wisconsin representative on the USPB and has been active on the WPVGA Promotions Committee as well as the Finance and Administration Committee. He recently attended the National Potato Expo where he and his father, WPVGA Hall of Famer Mike Finnessy, accepted the National Potato Council’s Environmental Stewardship Award on behalf of Okray Family Farms. Locally, he serves as President on the Board of Directors of the Plover Area Business Association.

The Agri-Communicator Award for excellence in communication and dedicated service in presenting a positive message about the agricultural industry was presented to John D. (J.D.) Schroeder.

on issues based on his knowledge and experience as a lawyer. He helped the WPVGA on legal issues and testified at a State Senate hearing on a high capacity well bill. He attended numerous Water Task Force meetings and has given sound legal advice as WPVGA worked through the language of multiple high capacity well bill drafts. A participant in the national Potato Industry Leadership Institute, J.D. has also participated in WPVGA governmental affairs, research and promotion committee meetings. INDUSTRY APPRECIATION AWARD A special Industry Appreciation Award was presented to WPVGA Financial Officer Karen Rasmussen of Antigo.

The WPVGA Researcher of the Year Award went to University of Wisconsin Horticulturist Dr. Jiwan Palta.

A special Industry Appreciation Award was presented to WPVGA Financial Officer Karen Rasmussen of Antigo.

tuber quality and yield under heat and drought stress.

He received a law degree in 2011 from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Working in the areas of molecular biology, crop physiology and postharvest quality, Dr. Palta has been involved in collaborative potato breeding and variety development activities to enhance farm sustainability.

According to WPVGA Executive Director Tamas Houlihan, Rasmussen serves as Financial Officer for WPVGA and does an outstanding

J.D. offers a very astute perspective

continued on pg. 42

His research program recently led an effort to understand the mechanism of action of a natural lipid that acts as a bio regulator to help improve the shelf life of fruits, flowers and vegetables. AGRI-COMMUNICATOR AWARD The Agri-Communicator Award for excellence in communication and dedicated service in presenting a positive message about the agricultural industry was presented to John D. (J.D.) Schroeder. The son of John T. and Judy Schroeder, J.D. works at Schroeder Brothers Farms in Antigo. He graduated from Antigo High School in 2004, and then attended UWMadison, graduating in 2008 with a double major in Agricultural Business Management and Political Science.

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2016 WPVGA Awards. . . continued from pg. 41

Dave Cofer, son of Charlie Cofer accepted his father’s WPVGA Hall of Fame award on his behalf posthumously.

Bobbi and Jackie Guenthner, daughters of Bob Guenther accepted their father’s WPVGA Hall of Fame award on his behalf since he was vacationing in Florida.

job handling a very large workload while performing her duties in a timely manner. “She is always on time, never quits early, extremely organized and as reliable as the day is long,” Houlihan said. “2015 marked her 20th year of full-time work at WPVGA, and the industry is fortunate to have such a hardworking, dedicated, loyal employee.”

to John and Mary Cofer. He graduated from Bruceville High School in 1936. After graduation, he joined the Navy, serving during World War II. When he returned from the Navy, he married Ann Cline on November 12, 1947 in Columbia, Tennessee.

HALL OF FAME WINNERS This year, WPVGA Hall of Fame honors lifetime achievement in the development of the state’s potato industry. It is the intention of the WPVGA to continue to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the potato industry in Wisconsin by making annual Hall of Fame inductions.

His life in the potato business began in Knox County, Indiana. He would drive trucks to Wisconsin, buy loads of potatoes and return to Indiana to sell them. Charlie was offered a job selling potatoes for Arrowhead Potato Company in Antigo, Wisconsin in 1953. He accepted this position and moved there with his wife, Ann and children. He was employed at Arrowhead Potato for several years.


He founded Pack Right Foods under the Alamo brand, and later established Antigo Auction Sales. He was past president of the Wisconsin Short Horn Association, and Belgian Horse Association of America.

Charles A. (Charlie) Cofer was born in Bruceville, Indiana in 1917,

In 1968 and 1969, Charlie worked seasonally for Kerr & Rebel, brokering

The following is a brief biographical sketch of this year’s WPVGA Hall of Fame inductees.

42 BC�T March

potatoes out of Florida. During this time, he also farmed with Circle P Farms, and started contracting with Old Dutch Foods. He continued to rent land, farming potatoes privately. In 1975, he began purchasing land in Adams County around the Coloma area and became an early innovator in growing chip potatoes. Charlie, along with his son, Dan, farmed 600 acres. Another son, Bill, helped when needed. In 1965, he founded Farmers Potato Exchange in Antigo, Wisconsin, acting as a broker for farmers throughout Wisconsin and other areas of the country. His son, Dave, joined the brokerage division of the business in 1979. Farmers Potato Exchange continued to operate successfully with sons Dave and Dan for many years. The Adams County farm was sold in 2006, ending the farming portion of the business.

The Farmers Potato Exchange is still in full operation today, owned and operated by Dave Cofer. Charlie passed away on July 27, 1993 at the age of 75. He is survived by his two sons Dave (Dee) Cofer Antigo, Wisconsin and Dan (Lisa) Cofer, Ekalaka, Montana; two daughters: Debbie (Jim) Mattek, Deerbrook, Wisconsin and Dianne (Bill) Zelinski, Plover, Wisconsin; Daughter-in-law Betty Cofer, Rochester, Minnesota; and many grandchildren. His wife, Ann, passed away in 1995, followed by his son, Bill, in 2012. Cofer is thought of often and greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. ROBERT J. GUENTHER Robert (Bob) J. Guenthner was the first child born to Joseph F. Guenthner and Carol Dawley in Antigo, Wisconsin. Joe and Carol owned and operated a potato farm in Antigo. The farm was founded in 1926 by Bob’s grandfather Joseph S. Guenthner. Bob and his wife, Cheri own and operate the farm today. Guenthner Potato Company, Inc. currently grows certified seed potatoes, along with oats, rye grass and red clover on 800 acres of land. Bob graduated Magna Cum Laude from UWO in 1972 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Physics.

He graduated from Antigo High School in 1968.

Darling, Steve Slack, Bob Slattery, Tom German and Amy Charkowski.

Bob was elected and served two terms as a board member of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA). He was elected President of the WPVGA in 1979 and again in 1980.

This list is a 'Who’s Who' of outstanding potato researchers. Bob was also the grower chairman of the committee that recommended hiring Wisconsin’s current plant breeder Dr. Jeffery Endelman.

He received the WPVGA Young Grower of the Year award in 1983. He served for many years as a member of the WPVGA Research committee.

In his spare time these days, Bob is very active in serving as a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. He has qualified and is certified in both Wisconsin and Florida as a Coxswain, a telecommunications operator, a watch stander, an Aids to Navigation Verifier and a vessel examiner.

He was elected to the board of the Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association (WSPIA) and served two terms as a board member. Bob was also elected President of WSPIA. Bob created the present WSPIA board structure of standing committees. He served as Chairman of the seventh Annual North American Seed Potato Seminar, which was hosted by Wisconsin in December of 1988. Along with a grower from Montana, Bob developed the Universal Seed Potato Contract. Bob was the first potato grower in the US to demonstrate and use the Norwegian built Underhaug cup potato planter. This planter soon became very popular in Wisconsin and throughout the US. Bob had the great pleasure of growing certified seed potatoes while the following individuals were among the Directors of the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program: Henry

Bob has taken part in sixteen search and rescue operations. Bob’s mother Carol, his sisters Margy and Carolyn and brother Jack live in and around Antigo. Bob’s brother Joe is a University of Idaho Professor Emeritus and lives in Idaho. Bob’s pride and his joy are his wife Cheri, daughter Bobbi, her husband Mike and children Sam, Mallory and Max, along with daughter Jackie, husband Chad and their children Kaylen, Chase and a sixth grandchild to be born in March or April. Bob is deeply moved by the great honor of being included as one of the members of the WPVGA Hall of Fame.

SUPPORT YOUR FELLOW WPVGA MEMBERS When you need goods or services, please consider asking our Associate Division Members for quotes or explore what they have to offer. Together, we make a strong organization and appreciate how wonderful we are as a group. BC�T March 43

NEW YEAR, NEW FACES! New WPVGA Board of Directors Named Rod Gumz, Gumz Muck Farms LLC., and Wes Meddaugh, Heartland Farms, Inc., were elected to serve three-year terms to fill two vacated WPVGA Board of Directors seats starting in February 2016. Gumz and Meddaugh will replace Larry Alsum, Alsum Farms & Produce,

Friesland and Jeremie Pavelski, Heartland Farms, Inc., Hancock, both from District 3, have each completed six years on the board and were therefore, not eligible for re-election since directors are limited to two consecutive three-year terms. Alsum and Pavelski were key directors

who played important and vital roles in helping build WPVGA to its current position of strength and integrity in the midst of many WPVGA and Wisconsin agricultural world changes and challenges. WPVGA Board Vice President Mark Finnessy, Okray Family Farms, Inc., Plover, District 2; and Treasurer Josh Mattek, J.W. Mattek & Sons, Inc., Deerbrook, District 1, who both completed their first terms, were re-elected to the Board. The new 2016 WPVGA Board now consists of President Mark Finnessy, Okray Family Farms, Inc.; Vice Top: Front row (L-R): Treasurer Josh Mattek, J.W. Mattek & Sons, Inc., Vice President Eric Schroeder, Schroeder Bros. Farms, Inc.; President Mark Finnessy, Okray Family Farms, Inc. and Secretary Gary Wysocki, Wysocki Family of Companies, Vice. Back row (l-R): Board members Andy Wallendal, Wallendal Supply Inc.; Steve Diercks, Coloma Farms Inc., Rod Gumz, Gumz Muck Farms LLC. and Wes Meddaugh, Heartland Farms, Inc. Missing from the photo is board member Ron Krueger, Eagle River Seed Farm, LLC Left: WPVGA Executive Director Tamas Houlihan honored Larry Alsum of Alsum Farms & Produce for his six years of service on the WPVGA Board of Directors.

44 BC�T March

President Eric Schroeder, Schroeder Bros. Farms, Inc.; Treasurer Josh Mattek, J.W. Mattek & Sons, Inc.; Secretary Gary Wysocki, Wysocki Family of Companies and Board members Andy Wallendal, Wallendal Supply Inc.; Steve Diercks, Coloma Farms Inc.; Rod Gumz, Gumz Muck Farms LLC.; Wes Meddaugh, Heartland Farms, Inc. and Ron Krueger, Eagle River Seed Farm, LLC. The board will be moving ahead with several focuses: legislation for high capacity well concerns including transfer of ownership, repair, replacement, reconstruction or new well construction; Little Plover River Conservancy Project; financial assistance for UW research scientists; addressing the EPA’s restrictive Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, Ag work force needs and much more. The 2016 WPVGA Board of Directors hopes to work towards creating

WPVGA Executive Director Tamas Houlihan also honored Jeremie Pavelski of Heartland Farms, Inc. for his six years of service on the WPVGA Board of Directors.

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67th annual WPVGA

Industry Show

February 2-4, 2016 Article & Photos by Ruth Faivre, Managing Editor

Even a major snowstorm proved to be no match for the pulling

power of the 2016 UW Extension & WPVGA Grower Education Conference & 67th Industry Show. Predictions of up to twelve inches of snow for the first day of the show caused many people to arrange to stay overnight in advance.

Although the storm produced a blinding blizzard and several inches of snow, it did not reach the projected twelve inches and everyone hunkered down, attending the numerous conferences and Industry Show vendors who reported record numbers of visitors to their booths, producing new leads and quality time with current customers. The Grower Education Conferences were filled with growers determined not to let the storm keep them from important information regarding the issues that face them in the coming year. Old favorites and new presenters focused on a variety of subjects including the all-important water issues of high capacity wells, recharge studies, irrigation technologies and conservation practices; pesticides, insecticides and fungicides; reports on 2015 projects; handling infections and rot; late blight; Wisconsin’s Healthy Grown program; soil mapping and supplements; new crop varieties and much more. The luncheons, cocktail hour appetizers and Annual Banquet meals produced numerous compliments about the superb quality of the Holiday Inn’s food and drinks. The icing on the cake was the wonderful Annual Banquet entertainment, “Piano Fondue,” a dynamic and interactive dueling piano group, who performed following the awards ceremony. 46 BC�T March

Bob Ebben (L) and his sons, Jim (middle) and Joe (R), have been attending the WPVGA Industry Show for more years than they can remember. Bob is an Investments/Retirement Planning consultant for Edward Jones, Jim is Operations Manager for Paramount Farms and Joe is a sales consultant for Scaffidi Trucks. Top: Many new vendors like CSS Farms, exhibited at the 2016 WPVGA Show along with returning vendors like Keller, Inc. Opposite Page, Bottom Right: Bill Zelinski, Big Iron Equipment, Inc. (middle) takes a quick break from the heavy show traffic to relax and chat with Tom Schmidt (L) and J. T. Schroeder.



Steve Tatro poses with two of his customers in his company’s booth, T.I.P., Inc.

Agricair, LLC BMO Harris Bank Ceres Certifications, International Crop Production Services Infinity Foods, Inc. Jay-Mar, Inc. McCain Foods Roberts Irrigation Company, Inc. Syngenta Thorpack, LLC Volm Companies Wisconsin Farm Bureau

SILVER SPONSORS Ag World Support Group, Inc. Allen Supply Company, Inc. Altmann Construction Co., Inc. Crop Care of Langlade County, LLC Nelson's Vegetable Storage Systems North Central Irrigation Ron's Refrigeration & AC, Inc. Rural Mutual Insurance Company SunRain Varieties, LLC

BRONZE SPONSORS The ThorPack, LLC booth was a constant beehive of activity but Dick Thorpe, CEO (far right) and Marty Kolpack, President (2nd from far right) finally got free enough to take a picture with their staff in front of their colorful and striking displays.

Badgerland Financial/United FCS Clifton Larson Allen LLP United Phosphorus Windridge Implements

SILENT AUCTION SPONSORS Ansay & Associates Big Iron Equipment Calcium Products Crop Production Services (CPS) Holiday Inn Insight FS Jay-Mar Precision Water Works The Ridges Golf Course

continued on pg. 48 BC�T March 47

2016 WPVGA Industry Show. . . continued from pg. 47

Top Left: (L-R) Growers A.J. Bussan (RPE), Steve Diercks (Coloma Farms) and J.T. Schroeder (Schroeder Bros. Farms), take a moment to chat about the potato industry. Middle Left: Paul Cieslewicz, Sand County Equipment (R), takes a moment for a photo with some of his customers. Below: Nelson Irrigation’s booth was another busy site growers visited. Top Right: Butch Fencil, Fencil Urethane Systems, celebrates his ‘hole in one’ at Bushmans’ miniature golf display. Middle Right: (L-R) Growers like Jeremie (L) & Alicia (R) Pavelski and Brian Wysocki (2nd from left) of Heartland Farms and Mark Klish, Farm Fixation LLC (2nd from right), constantly shuttled between conferences and Industry Show. Bottom Right: Jeff Sommers (R), Wysocki Produce Farm, visits with the crew operating the Jay-Mar booth.

48 BC�T March

Top Left: Charlie Sankey, Worzella & Sons, meets with the representatives of Volm Companies. Top Right: Despite the wintry storms, conferences rooms remained filled on a continuous basis. Attendance appeared much busier than previous years. Above: James Wehinger, Rural Mutual Insurance, donated a chainsaw for a giveaway at the company’s WPVGA show booth and is shown here delivering the prize to Sara Hildebrandt, who works for Wysocki Produce Farms. Upper Middle: James Drought P. H., GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc., shown here with his fellow hydrogeologist, Ellie Stapleton, was a first time booth exhibitor and a presenter discussing “advancing water management strategies using groundwater flow models.” Lower Middle Left: Conference presenter Dr. Amy Charkowski, UW/Plant Pathology, spoke about the Biology and management of bacterial soft rot and common scab resistance in potatoes. Lower Middle Right: A.J. Bussan, PhD, one of the previous researchers in charge of UW projects and now Senior Production Agronomist, Wysocki Produce Farm, Inc., addressed managing nutrients in mixed dairy and vegetable production systems as well as deficit irrigation of potatoes and processing vegetables. Bottom: Amanda Gevens, UW/Plant Pathology, examined a number of topics: late blight management, sources of inoculum, factors influencing surface disorders in muck grown potato including black dot and silver scurf and stemphylium pathogen in dry bulb onions. continued on pg. 50

2016 WPVGA Industry Show. . . continued from pg. 49

Top Left: Paul Mitchell, UW/Agricultural and Applied Economics, covered the implications of GMO potato oversupply, buyer restrictions and concessions in acreage. Top Right: Russ Groves, Ph.D., UW/Entomology, reviewed foliar applications of genetic pest control options, potential biological insecticides for control of onion insect pests and optimizing pest thresholds for insect control. Above: Jed Colquhoun, UW/Horticulture, examined weed management in muck grown potato and weed management and resistance. Middle Left: Felix Navarro, Ph.D., Hancock Ag Research Station/UW-Madison delved into new variety profiles and results from the Wisconsin Variety Trial, spectroscopic determination of potato variety and PVY infection status and potato variety and advanced germplasm selection. Middle Right: Margaret Krome, Policy Program Director, Michael Fields Institution, presented information regarding Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) insurance basics, eligibility and paperwork requirements, premiums, subsidies and incentives for diversified operations together with Harriet Behar, Senior Organic Specialist, MOSES and Roxann Brixen, Operations Unit Manager, Great American Insurance. Bottom: Patrick Testin, Portage County's Republican Party Chairman, who is running for State Senate in the 24th Senate District in the November general election, is shown here with Andy Diercks, Coloma Farms and Jim Wysocki, Wysocki Family of Companies. The 24th Senate District includes parts of Adams, Marathon, Portage, Marquette, Wood and Waushara counties. Testin spoke at the lunch. 50 BC�T March

Top Left: New WPVGA Associate Board President, Wayne Solinsky, Jay-Mar, Inc., took over the podium at the WPVGA Show luncheon from outgoing President Chris Brooks, Central Door Solutions. Chris received a plaque earlier in the program, which honored his efforts in 2015. Top Right: Jeff Endelman, UW/Horticulture reviewed ensuring clean seed for variety development along with potato breeding and varietal improvement. Left: Wayne Solinsky presents WPVGA Associate Board member, Butch Fencil, Fencil Urethane Systems Inc. with a plaque honoring him for all of his contributions over the last four years. Bottom: OJ Wojtaleicz, Wysocki Produce Farm, Inc., won one of the limited edition Lenco models Big Iron Equipment provided as a door prize for the luncheon.

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Now News North Central Irrigation Receives Performance Plus Dealer Award from Valley® Irrigation Valley® Irrigation announced that North Central Irrigation of Plainfield, WI is now a Valley Performance Plus Dealer at the company’s 2016 National Sales Meeting. North Central Irrigation earned this honor for excelling in the areas of Service, Aftermarket Support and Sales. The Valley Performance Program accredits dealerships that meet the highest standards across a variety of criteria. Evaluations are based on customer service ratings, goal achievements and core requirements in relation to dealership growth plans. 52 BC�T March

Additional measure is considered in respect to the complete customer experience and support after the sale. "The honor of being known as a Valley Performance Plus Dealer exemplifies the dedication of the dealership to Valley products and the commitment to providing superior service to our customers before and after the sale," stated Rich Panowicz, Vice President of North American Sales, Valley Irrigation. Valley, the leader in mechanized irrigation, encourages their dealers to set the bar in their industry,

delivering the highest standard of service and product support to their irrigation customers. Panowicz continued, "We are proud to recognize our dealers for their excellence in these areas. We believe as our dealers challenge themselves from year to year that we will be recognizing them for greater levels of achievement. The Valley Performance Program allows us the opportunity to reinforce the valuations that lead to success." Top: Valley Dealer Members pictured with Len Adams, Group President, Valmont Global Irrigation.

Syngenta acquires Ag Connections to Enhance Whole-Farm Management for Growers • Preserves Ag Connections’ performance and agility while strengthening long-term relationships and opportunities • Enables proven digital solutions to expand and scale up • Maintains existing data privacy and protection policies After a 14-year relationship, Syngenta is making Ag Connections a wholly owned subsidiary to accelerate growth of digital solutions and enhance whole-farm management. Ag Connections provides farm management software solutions and works extensively with Syngenta on its AgriEdge Excelsior® program, which integrates products, services, risk management and technology for growers. The collaboration between Syngenta and Ag Connections remains focused on providing growers better tools within their farming operations to empower confident decision-making. This stronger link will enable more agility and speed in decision-making, and direct access to resources needed to scale up and meet grower needs. “The past 14 years speak for themselves in terms of the level of commitment both Syngenta and Ag Connections have to meeting growers’ needs and providing them February 2016

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with tools for success,” said Dan Burdett, head of customer marketing at Syngenta. “We have a 96 percent grower retention rate with AgriEdge Excelsior. Now we are in an even better position to strengthen our digital agriculture offerings and serve more growers’ needs in an increasingly complex and competitive area of agriculture.” While the acquisition allows for fully using the breadth of the Syngenta portfolio to meet the whole-farm needs of growers, it also brings both organizations closer together and enables accelerated innovation. It is business as usual for employees and customers. Ag Connections’ operations will continue in Kentucky, and there is no job loss as a result of this transaction. Ag Connections’ employees and systems remain separate from Syngenta. Most importantly, both the Ag Connections Privacy Pledge and the Syngenta Privacy Pledge remain intact, ensuring growers must authorize use of their data. Pete Clark, co-owner and president of Ag Connections, said becoming a separate subsidiary of Syngenta simply means more support for driving the growth and innovation required to deliver on grower needs.

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“Ag Connections has built its reputation around protecting grower data,” Clark said. “We know Syngenta shares that principle and the policies we follow to be certain growers maintain control of their data. Our priority is to ensure growers have the information they need to make the best decisions possible for their farms.” Both Syngenta and Ag Connections signed and support the Agriculture Technology Providers “Privacy and Security Principles for Farm Data” of the American Farm Bureau Federation. For more information about Syngenta, visit www.syngenta.com. About Syngenta Syngenta is a leading agriculture company helping to improve global food security by enabling millions of farmers to make better use of available resources. Through world-class science and innovative crop solutions, our 28,000 people in over 90 countries are working to transform how crops are grown. We are committed to rescuing land from degradation, enhancing biodiversity and revitalizing rural communities. To learn more visit www. syngenta.com and www.goodgrowthplan.com. Follow us on Twitter® at www.twitter.com/Syngenta About Ag Connections Ag Connections develops and continuously updates crop management software solutions that make clients’ lives easier and their farms more efficient and compliant. Experienced crop management specialists help farmers get these systems up and running with a mix of on-site training, web-based training, video tutorials and friendly, knowledgeable phone support. continued on pg. 54

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Now News. . . continued from pg. 53

Important Virus Detection Training Workshop Monday, June 20, 2016 | WSU Research Farm | 1471 West Cox Road, Othello, WA The workshop will cover field identification of PVY (strains O, N-Wi and NTN), including visual identification of foliar symptoms on 40 major cultivars. It will also have samples of different tuber symptoms from PVY, PMTV and TRV. In addition, new diagnostic assays for viruses and soil-borne vectors of some of the viruses will be discussed and demonstrated. Additional workshops planned for the week include the WSU Commercial Seed Lot Evaluation (Tuesday, June 21) in Othello, the OSU Potato Field Day at the OSU Research and Extension Center, 2121 S. 1st Street,

Hermiston, OR (Wednesday, June 22) and the WSU Potato Field Day in Othello (Thursday, June 23). Come and make a week of it! University and USDA experts at the Virus Detection Training Workshop will include Stewart Gray (USDAARS/Cornell), Mark Pavek (WSU), Jonathan Whitworth (USDAARS/ID), Amy Charkowski (UWI), Alex Karasev (UID) and Nina Zidack (MTSU). The workshop is part of a USDA NIFA Specialty Crops Initiative award titled “Biological and economic impacts of emerging potato tuber necrotic viruses and the development of

comprehensive and sustainable management practices”. The recent standardization of seed certification programs across the U.S. includes the requirement for documentation of inspector training, but this training will also be beneficial to growers, people who rogue and industry in general, so please sign up early. To register for the event please visit http://bit.ly/wsupotatovirusworkshop. For more information about the workshop, please email pbg-potatovirus@ cornell.edu.

New Whole Farm Revenue Protection Crop Insurance Can Help Growers For years, many specialty crop growers have been among the most diversified farmers in the nation, often with complex crop rotations. Many such growers would be the first to say that such rotations and more diverse farms make common sense, by spreading risk. Such diversity helps suppress insect pests, weeds, and simultaneously creates healthier soil that better absorbs water and resists droughts. Add to that the increased risk of flooding, early killing frosts, hail, drought, and other weather-related losses, not to mention market variability, farmers who grow a more diverse mix of crops, with or without 54 BC�T March

livestock, have less at risk if one enterprise has a poor year. Nevertheless, federal crop insurance policy has not made diversification easy in the past. Specialty crop growers often grow numerous crops that have not been covered by traditional multi-peril crop insurance policies. Several years ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture began experimenting with more flexible crop insurance programs; after the Farm Bill passed two years ago, USDA launched a program that not only provides crop insurance for diversified operations but actually reduces the federal crop insurance premium the more crops a farm has.

This Whole Farm Revenue Protection Program, available in every county of the nation, now offers crop insurance for a farm’s entire revenue source, rather than on a crop-by-crop basis, based on the farm’s tax filings over the previous five years. The program has relevance for a wide range of farm types. Many specialty crop growers, who have struggled to get coverage on all the crops they grow, are likely to be eligible for WFRP and may find this program suited to their needs. The Department created more flexible record-keeping requirements this year for direct-marketing farmers, many of whom are fresh fruit and vegetable growers.

The program offers protection against marketing as well as weather-related losses, unless they were the result of negligence or human error. Sign-up is not difficult, with much of the information required coming straight off a farm’s tax records for the past five years. However, the deadline for Wisconsin farmers to sign up for Whole Farm Revenue Protection is March 15, so growers should contact their crop insurance agent immediately. Because it is a new program, if your crop insurance agent is not familiar with the program, you can find one at http://www.rma.usda.gov/tools/ agent.html. For more information about this program, USDA has several fact sheets and lists of frequently asked questions on their website: http:// www.rma.usda.gov/policies/wfrp. html.

IN THE FAMILY. IN THE BLOOD. When the second generation of Kaiser Family Farm approached Ruder Ware on leaving the farm to their sons, our experienced team of ag attorneys knew where to begin, and how much a smooth transition meant to them. We know that farms are highly specialized businesses requiring careful planning to minimize potential disagreements and “surprises.” But we also know that to some, a farm is more than just a business. It’s a treasure and a tradition.

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BC�T March 55

People Insight FS advocates for agriculture On January 27, employees from Insight FS participated in Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Ag Day at the Capitol. Ag Day is the largest gathering of farmers and agribusiness professionals from across the state representing a variety of groups. Attendees are given the opportunity to have face-to-face discussions with their state legislators and hear about hot topics within the industry. These individuals met with Representatives Nerison and Horlacher and staff for Representative Czaja and Senator Tiffany to discuss the propane assessment program, implements of husbandry, centralized agriculture lien filing and the Ag Chemical Cleanup Program (ACCP). The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Secretary Ben Brancel spoke at the program luncheon and emphasized the importance of talking to your legislators and sharing your story. The Rural Mutual Insurance Company and GROWMARK Inc. are major sponsors of the event. Cosponsors of the event with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau include a variety of other dairy, beef, pork, horse, corn, soybean, cranberry, potato and vegetable groups. In addition to attending Ag Day at the Capitol, Insight FS was the proud recipient of the 2016 Wisconsin Agri-Business Association (WABA) Distinguished Organization Award for exemplary industry professionalism. They were recognized at the 56 BC�T March

(L-R) Joel Zalewski, northern area manager; Brian Koenig, retail division manager; Kevin Skemp, projects manager; Bruce Barganz, risk and procurement manager; Scott Eastwood, credit manager and Joe Sikora, Director of Safety, Environmental, and Regulations.

Wisconsin Crop Management Conference and Agri-Industry Showcase in January for their efforts in supplying information, data, and opinions to WABA, state agencies, and local municipalities pertaining to new regulation for Implements of Husbandry (IOH), taking an active role in committees that help with new and revised regulation and legislation for the industry, hosting a legislative tour at their Jefferson, WI facility last fall, and being actively involved with

and supporting WABA and the agribusiness industry. Insight FS believes agriculture is a dynamic industry with value that needs to be understood, recognized, and advanced among industry stakeholders and the general public and will continue to actively promote agriculture and take an active interest in the issues faced by the cooperative, their patrons and the agricultural community.

Carole Metcalfe Promoted to Marketing Manager for Tong Engineering Tong Engineering, the UK’s leading designer and manufacturer of quality handling equipment, has announced the promotion of Carole Metcalfe to Marketing Manager, as she continues to oversee and develop the marketing of Tong's handling equipment to the vegetable and recycling industries. Since joining Tong Engineering in 2010, Carole has worked closely with the Tong Sales Team, developing the company's marketing across all areas, including online and offline marketing communications, as well as the company's exhibition presence and PR. More recently, Carole spearheaded the company's rebrand from Tong Peal to Tong last year, and the development and launch of the company's new website at the beginning of this year.

equipment for customers worldwide, and I look forward to playing a key role in contributing towards

“Carole has played a key role in developing our marketing communications over the 5 years she has been with us, and we are very pleased to see her in this new position,” said Edward Tong, Managing Director

the company's current and future business goals in the UK and beyond."

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Despite being new to the engineering scene when she first joined Tong Engineering back in 2010, Carole has quickly gained a wealth of knowledge in the company’s wide range of equipment. "In the past 5 years I have learnt more about handling vegetables and waste than I could have ever imagined! During this time, my role in the promotion and marketing of Tong Engineering has advanced to include all aspects of our marketing strategy. Tong is a local, family business, manufacturing quality handling

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New Products

International Truck Launches HX™ Series New Class 8 Vocational Truck Models International Truck launched the International® HX™ Series, a new line of Class 8 premium vocational trucks designed to deliver the strength and endurance required for the severe service industry. This is the first all-new vehicle introduced by International Truck since 2010.

most punishing jobs, while making operators more productive.”

“The launch of the HX Series is an opportunity for International to recapture a leading position in the vocational market – a segment we previously led,” said Troy Clarke, President and CEO, Navistar, Inc. “The launch of the HX Series underscores our commitment to innovation, our dedication to uptime and our position as a leader within the industry.”

Four HX Series models will be offered, with both set-forward and setback front axle models in either short or long hood, depending on the application. Three models were unveiled at World of Concrete:

The new truck series, unveiled at the World of Concrete trade show, will replace the International® PayStar® model. “The design of our new HX Series is based on in-depth discussions with leading users of severe service applications,” said Bill Kozek, president, Truck and Parts, Navistar, Inc. “Each of the four models in the series has been engineered to deliver unmatched performance for the 58 BC�T March

International is taking orders for this vehicle immediately. The first vehicles will be delivered this spring HX SERIES ADDRESSES FULL RANGE OF APPLICATIONS

• The HX515 is a 115" BBC Set-forward Axle Straight Truck with primary vocations including concrete mixer, construction dump, refuse/roll-off and crane. • The HX615 is a 115" BBC Set-back Axle Truck or Tractor with primary vocations including construction dump, concrete mixer, platform stake/crane and refuse/roll-off. • The HX620 is a 120" BBC Set-forward Axle Truck or Tractor with primary vocations including heavy haul tractor, construction dump and platform stake/crane. The fourth model, the HX520, is a 120"

BBC Set-forward Axle Truck or Tractor with primary vocations including heavy haul tractor, construction dump and platform stake/crane. It will be formally unveiled at Truck World in Toronto in April. The HX515 and the HX615 models are powered by Navistar® N13 engines, while the HX520 and HX620 models offer the Cummins® ISX15 engine. Each model in the HX Series delivers on four key principles of design: maximum strength and durability, driver productivity, bold styling and superior uptime. STRENGTH AND DURABILITY • Each model has a huck-bolted frame and cross members, which produce superior clamping force to minimize vibration and maximize structural integrity. • An available industry-leading 12.5" x .5" single rail delivers 3.5 million RBM at 13% less weight than a 10" rail, allowing room for a heavier load. • The industry's only dedicated vocational aluminum cab offers better durability than steel.

• The three-piece Metton hood is stronger and lighter than fiberglass and is designed to resist cracking. • Doors feature stainless steel piano hinges for superior strength. • The industry's strongest tow pin is rated at 150,000 PSI for extreme recovery towing.

easy reach to controls. • There is easy access to cup holders and the overhead console. • The standard tilt/telescoping steering column adjusts to accommodate any size driver.

• Driver Productivity

• Gauges are designed and positioned to deliver optimal visibility and vital information at a glance.

• The maneuverability and visibility of each truck in the HX Series is best in class.

• LED lighting is standard throughout, as are air conditioning, power windows and power locks.

• A 40-degree wheel cut on both right and left turns allows for improved maneuverability, while angled fenders provide greater wheel clearance to help power through challenging grounds.

• Industry-leading Uptime

• The hood's low angle makes for the industry's best front forward visibility, and the larger rear window compared to the company's prior model allows for superior rear visibility. • The HX Series is equipped with the all-new DriverFirst™ Cab Air Suspension, designed with 52" springs to produce a supremely comfortable and quiet ride reducing driver stress and improving productivity. • For faster and more convenient access, the HX Series hood has an assist mechanism requiring little effort to open.

• Consistent with the International mission, the HX Series has been tested and validated to provide industry-leading uptime, with the sort of durability and endurance that customers demand. • At the Navistar Proving Grounds in Indiana, the HX Series was subjected to accelerated life testing, which simulates 10 years of wear and tear and vibration in extreme duty cycles. • Vehicles underwent staggered bumps testing, which generated torsional twist in the chassis, to ensure suspension components were stabilized and equalized.

• Each model was also subjected to severe duty ditch event, in which a fully loaded vehicle is run through four ditch events that are 12" in depth. For more information on the HX Series contact Mid-State Truck Service or visit InternationalTrucks.com/ HXSeries. About Mid-State Truck Service, Inc. Mid-State Truck Service, Inc., a family owned business since 1965 with six locations in Central and Western Wisconsin, provides the region with a wide selection of new and used medium and heavy-duty commercial trucks in addition to IC commercial and school buses. Mid-State also offers full service commercial truck leasing and daily truck rentals, through IDEALEASE® of Central Wisconsin; maintains a highly skilled and dedicated full-service center servicing all truck makes and models; operates two full service body shops; offers 24-hour statewide towing for any size truck application; and houses a complete, full service Parts departments carrying over 6MM in inventory. About Navistar Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV) is a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates produce International® brand commercial and military trucks, proprietary diesel engines, and IC Bus™ brand school and commercial buses. An affiliate also provides truck and diesel engine service parts. Another affiliate offers financing services. Additional information is available at www.Navistar.com. All marks are trademarks of their respective owners. continued on pg. 60


BOLD AND AGGRESSIVE STYLING • Hoods and grilles across the entire lineup are designed to look great and stand out on the road and at the worksite. • Customers will have options for bright finishes. • The interior was ergonomically designed to offer more room for driver comfort and productivity. • The contoured door handles add hip room and storage space. • The central console is angled for

85 HP diesel tractor (32 hrs) includes loader, cab w/heat & air, power shuttle trans w/left hand reverser, FWD w/rear wheel weights & fluid in rear tires, heavy duty bucket w/bolt on scraper edge & quick tach bucket. Manufacturer’s warranty left!

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New Products. . . continued from pg. 59

New XUV590i Gator™ Offers Greater Speed & Utility for Crop & Livestock Producer Need New features cater to crop and livestock producers for increased productivity The John Deere Gator™ XUV590i and XUV590i S4 Crossover Utility Vehicles, designed for crop and livestock producers who desire performance, comfort and customization. Equipped with a powerful twincylinder engine, independent fourwheel suspension and availability of more than 75 attachments, the XUV590i provides an unparalleled balance of performance and work capability in the mid-size class. “The XUV590i and XUV590i S4 fourpassenger models were designed to get more chores checked off your to-do list, in a more comfortable setting,” said Mark Davey, John Deere marketing manager, Gator utility

vehicles. “Producers can now get from task to task even faster with a top speed of over 45 mph, thanks to quick acceleration powered by a 586 cc, 32 horsepower, liquid-cooled inline twin-cylinder gasoline engine.” The two new Gator models boast performance features ideal for getting work done around the farm. The XUV590i offers operators 10.5inch minimum ground clearance, 800 lb. load capacity and 1,100 lb. towing capacity. Likewise, the XUV590i S4 has a 9.3inch minimum ground clearance; 1,200 lb. load capacity and is capable of towing up to 1,100 lb. The Gator XUV590i and XUV590i S4 also come standard with an 875 watt, 65-ampere alternator to run auxiliary attachments, such as lights, winches and sprayers, without the fear of discharging the battery.

Operators and passengers alike will appreciate the low noise and vibration levels on the new Gator XUV590i and XUV590i S4. These benefits are achieved by isolating the powertrain and utilizing sounddampening material around the engine and CVT intakes. The operator station has classleading ergonomics and legroom for the operator and passengers. The Gator XUV590i and XUV590i S4 feature a large, 7.4-gallon fuel tank to keep the vehicle running longer between fill-ups. The instrument cluster is backlit and provides critical vehicle information, such as speed, engine rpm, fuel level, coolant temperature and warning lights for information, such as power steering, maintenance reminders and seat belt reminder. The Gator XUV590i and XUV590i S4 utility vehicles are currently available at your local John Deere dealer. For more information, visit www. JohnDeere.com/Gator. Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land - those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world’s dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at www.JohnDeere.com. Top: With a top speed over 45 mph; the Gator XUV590i is ideal for getting more chores done in less time. Left: The new Gator XUV590i S4 is perfect for conveniently transporting up to four passengers.

60 BC�T March

Deere Announces New Software Release for the Operations Center Easy Access to Farm Information SeedStar Mobile and continue to view that performance information after a job is done.

The John Deere Operations Center is a set of online tools that enables growers to easily access farm information for better management of their operations. Users are able to see performance over time and collaborate with partners to gain insights, increase profits and direct their plans with more precision in the field. The new software release for the Operations Center allows growers to reduce their reliance on desktop software (such as Apex™) and eventually to adopt one system for their farm data management needs. This update will also more seamlessly connect in-cab monitoring technology such as SeedStar™ Mobile with Job Monitor and the 4600 CommandCenter™ Display. “The latest release of the John Deere Operations Center is a big step forward for our customers,” says Tyler Hogrefe, senior product manager, John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group. “We’re making machine and agronomic information available to users where they want it and when they need it. Users will be able see how their operation is performing, direct and adjust operations in the field, and seamlessly collaborate with trusted partners in order to increase efficiency and profitability.” The new tools and features available in the Operations Center include: Prescription Creator by Agrian® - New functionality added by a connected partner (Agrian) to the Operations Center so that growers can easily make management zones and variable rate prescriptions for

Center replaces the Recent Activity Panel to provide a place to contain alerts, notifications and other information, with the ability to filter those messages.

seeding and application operations. 4600 CommandCenter doc data compatibility - Agronomic data captured from the 4600 CommandCenter can now be stored and viewed in Operations Center. SeedStar Mobile integration with Job Monitor – New functionality in Job Monitor offers growers the ability to remotely monitor planter performance through the use of

Data cleanup tools - New editing functionality available for users to adjust documentation data received, such as crop type, variety and crop season. Setup Builder enhancements Capabilities of the Setup Builder are improved to include new functions such as templates and profiles. Shapefile export of application data - New ability to export all application data from Operations Center as a shapefile. continued on pg. 62


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New Products. . . continued from pg. 61

“The most significant update is our partnership with Agrian, which gives our customers an opportunity to optimize their placement of inputs through the Prescription Creator,” explains Hogrefe. “This closely-integrated tool, available at no extra cost, allows growers and their consultants to easily construct management zones and variable rate prescriptions based on yield and moisture data. Prescriptions based on soil types will also be made available later in February 2016.” The resulting prescription is then available in the Operations Center where it can be sent directly to the machines through Wireless Data Transfer (via JDLink™ Connect) or Mobile Data Transfer, downloaded to a USB stick, or shared with a partner

directly within the application.

About John Deere

“The new software for the Operations Center also shows our commitment to opening up our platform to new apps and software that end-users are requesting,” says Hogrefe.

John Deere (NYSE: DE) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land - those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world’s dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at www.JohnDeere.com.

“We are committed to providing the best information through the John Deere Operations Center to help our customers gain more efficiency and profitability in their operations. The Prescription Creator by Agrian is the first of many partner tools that will be made available to users through the Operations Center in the future.” For more information about the new software update in the Operations Center, contact your local John Deere dealer, or visit www.JohnDeere.com.

About Agrian Founded in 2004, Agrian Inc. provides a unified, web and mobile software solution bringing together both compliance tools with a deep agronomy offering. Agrian’s single uncomplicated platform delivers record keeping; field sampling and lab analysis; management zones; imagery; yield, application, and planting data; soil nutrient and crop protection recommendations; and advance field analytics all backed by the largest manufacturer indemnified label database. For more information, please visit www.agrian.com.

Growers Can Try Valley® BaseStation3™ for Free The days of driving to the field in the middle of the night to check on center pivots are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Gone are the days of missing vacations, children’s ballgames and family time. In addition, it is all thanks to remote monitoring and control technology. Now growers interested in adding irrigation remote monitoring and control to their operations can try Valley® BaseStation3™ for free. BaseStation3 allows growers to manage and control their irrigation equipment from any computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone with the option of no monthly or annual fees. A new Demo gives growers a hands-on, no-commitment test drive of BaseStation3. The Demo puts growers in control of a simulated farm so they can dig into 62 BC�T March

BaseStation3’s capabilities. They can create a step program, discover Destination ETA and Valley-exclusive

Cruise Control™ and explore the Auxiliary Link control and monitoring features.

Growers can log in to the Demo at www.valleyirrigation.com/ TryBaseStation3.

powerful control the app offers, and experience the bright, clean layout and intuitive design.

“We work hard to make sure our technology keeps making farmers’ lives better and easier,” said John Campbell, Valley Irrigation manager of technology advancement and adoption. “BaseStation3 provides more control, more freedom and better quality of life.”

David Segars, a grower from Hartsville, N.C., is a big fan of BaseStation3 and the mobile app.

A free Demo of the BaseStation3 mobile app is also available. Growers can download the app from the Apple or Android app store, then click on the Demo button to discover the

“The mobile app is extremely userfriendly,” Segar said. “I’m using it on my iPhone® and iPad® now and hardly ever use my desktop anymore. I do not know how I ever irrigated without it. I can even go on vacation now.” The cutting-edge technology of BaseStation3 also means growers can choose an Internet-connected

or stand-alone installation, and select data radio, cellular modems, Internet protocol or a combination of technologies – a choice no one else offers. Another BaseStation3 exclusive: A typical installation does not require any recurring fees. About Valley Irrigation Valley Irrigation founded the center pivot irrigation industry in 1954, and our brand is the worldwide leader in sales, service, quality and innovation. With historical sales of more than 200,000 center pivots and linears, Valmont-built equipment annually irrigates approximately 25 million acres (10 million hectares) around the world. We remain dedicated to providing innovative, precision irrigation solutions now and into the future. For more information, please visit www.valleyirrigation.com.

Kuhn Krause releases new Gladiator 1205M strip tillage system The new 3-point mounted Gladiator 1205M offers the superior strip tillage performance expected from Kuhn Krause equipment, incorporating several new features that increase productivity and decrease machine maintenance, while improving agronomic performance and exceeding customer expectations. Now available in 4- to 16-row configurations, the Gladiator 1205M Strip Tillage System features a brand new toolbar designed to reduce maintenance, facilitate serviceability and improve transport dimensions. Hardened pins and bushings at pivot points on the folding toolbars and the lift assist option eliminate daily greasing, while hydraulic cylinders and hoses are now mounted externally allowing easy access for service or replacement. Folding toolbars use a specially designed hinge (patent pending) allowing the wings to fold slightly forward when folding over-center improving transport dimensions. This angled hinge also causes wings to resist upward movement in field

working position, thereby helping to maintain target depth. An optional lift assist system is available for 6- to 16-row units. This system has been designed to provide excellent ground adaptation in transport and when entering /exiting fields, while at the same time allowing the Gladiator to remain fully mounted to the tractor's 3-point linkage. The ST-PRO™ row unit continues with its industry leading design as used on the Gladiator for many years. Zero maintenance and the ability to make adjustments quickly and without using tools make these units simple to setup and run. The Drop Zone™ nutrient placement system ensures fertilizer is placed exactly where it is needed and the patented Strik'r® soil

conditioner breaks clods while at the same time preserving the berm and resisting plugging. Kuhn North America, Inc., of Brodhead, Wisconsin, is a leading innovator in agricultural and industrial equipment, specializing in spreaders, mixers, hay tools and tillage tools. Kuhn, Kuhn Knight and Kuhn Krause products are sold by farm equipment dealers throughout the United States, Canada and many other countries. continued on pg. 64 BC�T March 63

New Products. . . continued from pg. 63

New Kuhn Krause LANDSAVER® 4810 Coulter Chisel The new LANDSAVER 4810 Coulter Chisel provides farmers the superior Primary Tillage performance expected from Kuhn Krause equipment, incorporating several new features that increase productivity and decrease machine maintenance, while improving agronomic performance and exceeding customer expectations. Available in seven to 25 shank configurations, the LANDSAVER 4810

Coulter Chisel features new coulter gang assemblies including PEER® TILLXTREME™ maintenance-free bearings and innovative, constantflow hydraulic down-pressure. A completely redesigned K2000TM Spring Reset shank option provides customers with 32’’ of underframe clearance and a true 2000-pound static point load for uncompromised compaction removal. Kuhn Krause exclusive STAR WHEEL™.

Treaders are an available attachment for customers desiring additional residue mixing and anchoring to achieve a more level seedbed. For complete machine specifications and additional details visit www. KuhnNorthAmerica.com. Kuhn Krause, Inc., a subsidiary of Kuhn North America, Inc., is a leading innovator in the field of agricultural equipment, specializing in tillage and grain drill equipment. Kuhn Krause products are sold through farm equipment dealers throughout the United States, Canada and many other countries.

Landoll Introduces 6231 Series Tandem Disc Harrows With the introduction of a new line of 6231 Series models; Landoll Corporation has taken Tandem Disc Harrows to a whole new level, in part to handle the demands of today’s heavy residue and cool soil conditions. Available in widths from 21 to 36 feet, 6231 Series Disc Harrows are available with a choice of 24-, 26- or 28-inch diameter disc blades on most 64 BC�T March

models, as well as a choice of 7-inch or 8¾-inch blade spacing. Both the 7-inch spacing and 28inch blade diameter represent new options to provide customers with more tillage choices, whether the desire is for high-residue primary tillage applications or simply preparing a smooth, level seedbed in preparation for planting. “Like the existing 6200 Series tandem

disc harrows, the 6231 Series features a high ratio of weight per foot for penetration and residue cutting in the fall, as well as walking tandems with heavy-duty tires for added flotation, and a single point hydraulic depth control for a secondary page in the spring,” says Jamie Meier, Ag Manager at Landoll. “However, based on feedback from producers, we have developed a conditioner reel as an optional rear attachment for those

desiring a smoother finish. The capacity of the fore/aft leveler has been increased for heavier rear attachments and provides better front/rear stability in the field and during transport. We also added the option of hydraulic raise and lowering of the available chevron conditioner reel on all 6231 models.” Other new features include increased access for adjusting the front gauge wheels, a front-accessible grease bank for the walking tandem axles, and scraper arms that have been increased in thickness to 1¾ inches. “It’s all about adding more versatility

to our products and improving the ability to multi-task, which, in turn, provides our customers with a greater return-on-investment,” Meier concludes. “And, like the original

6200 Series, the new 6231 Series discs are true multi-taskers.” For more information on the new 6231 Series Tandem Disc Harrows or other Landoll products, call 785-738-6613 or visit www.landoll.com.

ICON Grader/Box Scraper Models Built for the Ag Sector With the promise of spring just a few months away, farmers and ranchers are thinking about cleaning out cattle pens, rebuilding terraces and other conservation work. Fortunately, Landoll offers a pair of grader/box scrapers built specifically for the agricultural sector. Moreover, the ICON Models 1230 and 1632 are not just built for spring and summer projects, but are designed and built for year-around use. “Standard-equipment fold-down box

ends on both models essentially give the customer two machines for the price of one,” says Jamie Meier, Ag Division Sales Manager for Landoll Corporation. “As a grader or a box scraper, the 1230 and 1632 can be used for every job on the farm — including building ponds, cleaning ditches, grading roads, moving snow, digging irrigation ditches, leveling fields and clearing brush. “In addition to offering two different sizes of units, ICON also offers a rear steer option on the 1632, marketed as the 1632RS,” he adds. “A special pivoting rear frame pivots with the aid of a hydraulic cylinder, allows the unit to steer up to five feet to the left or right of center, providing an additional 18 degrees of angle for greater blade reach and increased versatility.” While the 1230 features a 12’ X 30” blade with a standard 6” cutting edge, the 1632/1632RS have a 16’ X 32” blade with a standard 6” cutting edge. All three models include a weight

box over the axle that holds approximately one-half yard of concrete, or about 1,500 pounds, for stability against side draft. A hydraulic cushion valve also provides blade breakaway for built-in protection upon solid impact. “Three-way blade operation provides raise/lower, side-to-side tilt up to 15 degrees and up to 45 degrees of rotation— more than any other grader on the market — for the optimum cutting position, no matter what the job,” Meier adds. “In addition, the unique design and rugged lift cylinders provide plenty of ground clearance when it’s needed — up to 18 inches on the 1230 and up to 30 inches on the 1632/1632RS. “Equally unique, the transport width on all models is 9’-6”. “Consequently, they not only move material quickly and easily, but they can be quickly and safely moved between locations, as well.” For more information on the ICON 1230, 1632 or 1632RS grader/box scraper or other ICON products, call 785-738-6613 or visit www.landoll. com/icon BC�T March 65

NPC News

Potato Growers Select 2016 NPC Leadership At the National Potato Council’s (NPC) 2016 Annual Meeting, held January 14-15 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jim Tiede from James Tiede Farms of American Falls, Idaho, was elected to serve as NPC’s President for 2016 and to lead the council’s Executive Committee. NPC delegates also approved Dwayne Weyers from Center, Colorado, as First Vice President and Vice President of the Grower and Public

66 BC�T March

Relations Committee. Additional members of the Executive Committee include Cully Easterday of Pasco, WA, as Vice President of the Trade Affairs Committee, Larry Alsum of Friesland, WI, as Vice President of the Finance and Office Procedures Committee and Dominic LaJoie of Van Buren, ME, as Vice President of the Environmental Affairs Committee. Britt Raybould of St. Anthony, ID

is a new member of the Executive Committee and was elected as the Vice President of the Legislative and Government Affairs Committee. NPC’s 2015 president Dan Lake of Ronan, MT, will continue to serve on the Executive Committee as the Immediate Past President. As President, Tiede will host the 2016 NPC Summer Meeting, July 13-15, in Park City, UT.

NPC Provides Input on FAST Act Two weeks ago, NPC and 106 other national, regional and state organizations sent a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx that provided input on developing key metrics as required by the FAST Act. Last December, NPC and other industry allies sent a letter to every member of Congress in the House and Senate in support of the FAST Act, which became public law shortly afterwards. The bill requires DOT to collect data on the cargo handling performance of ports. This data will allow a more rigorous evaluation of the possible impact of strikes and work slowdowns on port performance. The labor disputes that began in October of 2014 at the West Coast port terminals resulted in a significant slowdown in the loading and unloading of cargo ships, which ultimately turned into economically damaging shipping delays and backlogs.

The U.S. potato industry's frozen potato products exports were reduced by nearly half during that time.

Having efficient, modern ports is important for the free flow of international trade for both imports and exports.

By establishing sound baseline measurements, businesses can develop plans and programs to improve productivity for port and container terminal operations.

NPC believes that using sound data to improve port efficiency will positively impact growers who rely on their produce arriving to its destination in a timely manner.

NPC Praises Legislative Proposal Federal Preemption for Food Labeling The National Potato Council (NPC) today praised the release of a legislative proposal by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts that would create permanent federal preemption for food labeling requirements NPC urged Congress to consider and approve the legislation quickly to avoid confusion and increased costs in the marketplace. Consumers, businesses and farmers all need uniform standards based on federal determinations for food label requirements for all foods including

those made with genetically modified organisms (GMO). A patchwork of various state food labeling laws will increase costs to consumers by increasing processing and packaging costs without any associated benefit. Vermont’s mandatory labeling law for foods containing ingredients that have been genetically modified takes effect in July and unless Congress acts swiftly, families, farmers and food companies will face confusion and higher food costs in the market place – with low-income Americans being

hit the hardest. “U.S. potato growers thank Chairman Roberts for introducing national labeling legislation that is a reasonable, common-sense approach that provides consumers easy access to product information and will not result in increased food costs,” said John Keeling NPC Executive Vice President. “We look forward to working with both sides of the aisle to ensure that this legislation is approved by Congress in a timely manner.” BC�T March 67

Potato Board News Travis Howard Joins USPB as Executive Chef Experienced Culinary Professional Leads Spud Nation Food Truck Program The United States Potato Board (USPB) announces the hiring of Travis Howard as the Executive Chef of the recently launched Spud Nation Food Truck program. Spud Nation is the first food truck owned by farmers to inspire consumers with a field-to-fork potato adventure. This innovative new approach to potato marketing was unveiled to an excited audience by USPB CEO Blair Richardson during POTATO EXPO 2016 in Las Vegas. Howard has 18 years of experience in the culinary industry. He most recently served seven years as a Culinary Instructor for Keiser University, Tallahassee, FL. He has also fulfilled chef, and executive chef roles for four restaurants in Florida’s capital city. “I love potatoes!” Howard exclaims. “I am excited to cook, eat and teach

people all about potatoes. I am thrilled to be a part of a project like Spud Nation because it is a message that I really believe in and can truly get behind. I look forward to bringing our brand to Denver and beyond. It’s going to be a great adventure.” As a Culinary Instructor, Howard taught daily and nightly courses to classes ranging up to 25 students. He was responsible for curriculum planning, teaching and academic counseling. He partnered with the university’s Dean of the Culinary Department to grow and develop courses and culinary instruction programs. “My culinary experience and passion for creating new and exciting menus has prepared me for this new venture with the Spud Nation food truck,” Howard said.


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N3581 Wirz Lane • Antigo, WI 54409 68 BC�T March

“I led and executed all special occasions and catering events on Keiser’s university campus and at offsite locations too. Some of these events were for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and the Florida Chamber of Commerce. I’ve also conducted live demonstrations for television morning shows, and radio program interviews.” Howard also has strong experience as a purchasing agent, working closely with foodservice suppliers including Sysco, US Foods, Adams Produce, Chapman Produce, Royalty Foods and Community Coffee. He has established relationships with these organizations, and knows building and maintaining trust with these important foodservice partners is vital. Howard holds an associate’s degree in culinary arts from Sullivan University, Louisville, KY. He is a ServeSafe certified food safety manager, and is a medal winner from the American Culinary Federation, Inc. for multiple years. He was recognized with an Evelyn C. Keiser “Instructor of Distinction” award through Keiser University.

Spud Nation Welcomes Chef Derek Johnson USPB Food Truck Program Builds Staff for Denver Operations Chef Derek Johnson joins the Spud Nation Food Truck, introduced by United States Potato Board (USPB) CEO Blair Richardson at POTATO EXPO 2016 in Las Vegas. Johnson joins USPB Executive Chef Travis Howard on the truck, traveling around Denver, inspiring consumers with field-to-fork potato adventures. Johnson has worked in the culinary industry for seven years in Colorado and southern California. “I value this chance to expand my expertise in the cooking field,” Johnson shares. “I enjoy food, meeting new people, working hard and taking this opportunity to learn more about America’s favorite vegetable, while interacting with the public on behalf of Spud Nation and the USPB.” Johnson received a cull culinary arts certificate while in high school and holds an associate of arts degree from Front Range Community College, Fort Collins, CO. For more information on Spud Nation and the USPB’s mission to “Strengthen Demand for U.S. Potatoes” by creating positive change in the industry through innovative and inspiring approaches, please visit www. uspotatoes.com. In an effort to enhance diversity of

the Board, USDA encourages women, younger growers, minorities and people with disabilities to seek positions on the board.

WPIB FOCUS Wisconsin Potato Assessment Collections: Two-Year Comparison Month































































$851,666.86 BC�T March 69

Seed Piece 2016 WSPIA New Board Members

Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association (WSPIA) elected new 2016 board members at its January meeting Annual Meeting at North Star Lanes, Antigo with 2016 board members pictured here (L-R): Jeff Fassbender (Secretary/Treasurer), Bill Guenthner (VicePresident), Dan Kakes (Director), Charlie Mattek (Director) and Eric Schroeder (President).

Several UW research scientists were on hand at the annual WSPIA meeting to present updates on current projects, conduct presentations and answer questions. (L-R) Dr. Amy Charkowski, UW/Plant Pathology; Jeff Endelman, UW/Horticulture; Amanda Gevens, UW/Plant Pathology; Alex Crockford, WSPIA Program Director and Russ Groves, Ph.D., UW/Entomology.

Nominate Potential Members for WPIB Potato growers in three Wisconsin Potato Industry Board districts have until April 1 to nominate three members to the industry’s market order board. Growers in Districts 1 and 2 are eligible to nominate board members or to be nominated. Nominations also are being taken for a Director-at-Large, who can reside in any county and be nominated by producers from throughout the state. Growers can find nomination forms online at datcp.wi.gov. Click on the “Businesses” tab, then “Market Orders and Boards” and then on the link for the potato board. Eligible growers also can request nomination forms by contacting Market Orders Coordinator Stacie Ashby at 608-2245116 or Stacie.Ashby@Wisconsin.gov. Each nomination form must include signatures of at least five eligible 70 BC�T March

potato growers, other than the nominee, from the district in which the nominee is running for office. An Affidavit of Eligibility is located on the nomination form and must be completed and notarized. Completed forms must be sent to Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Marketing Order Program, P.O. Box 8911, Madison, WI 53708-8911. The forms must be postmarked on or before April 1, 2016. The open positions represent the following counties: DISTRICT 1: Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Brown, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Door, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Florence, Forest, Iron, Kewaunee, Langlade, Lincoln, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Oneida, Pepin, Pierce, Polk,

Price, Rusk, Sawyer, St. Croix, Taylor, Vilas, and Washburn counties. DISTRICT 2: Marathon, Outagamie, Portage, Shawano, Waupaca and Waushara counties. DIRECTOR-AT-LARGE: Producers from throughout the state. DATCP will conduct the Wisconsin Potato Industry Board election from May 15 to June 10. Elected board members will serve from July 1, 2016 to June 20, 2019. The nine-member board is responsible for collecting and allocating about $1.3 million in annual assessment fees paid by Wisconsin potato growers. The money is used to support the industry through research, market development and consumer education.

SPUD SEED CLASSIC Formerly the Tony Gallenberg Memorial Golf Tournament Since 1998, this tournament has raised thousands of dollars for Wisconsin potato research.

Friday, June 24, 2016 Bass Lake Golf Course Deerbrook, WI (Just North of Antigo)

TEE TIME – 1:00 pm

4-Person Scramble (Best Ball Position) Free Drinks at the WSPIA - sponsored Watering Hole! All Ladies Only Teams Will Receive 8 Strokes Subtracted From Their Scores Mens/Ladies Combo (2 Each) Will Receive 4 Strokes Subtracted From Their Scores

Cash Prizes for 1st, 2nd, 7th, & Last Place! Prizes for every golfer! Proceeds from this event will be donated to the Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association Entry fee includes: 18 holes of golf, cart and main meal to follow golf.

Call Jim Pukall, Bass Lake Golf Course, (715) 623-6196 today to sign up. This event will be capped at the first confirmed 100 golfers.


500 Cash Prize $

Closest to Pin on Par 3 Hole

BC�T March 71

Eyes on Associates By WPVGA Associate Div. President, Wayne Solinsky, Jay-Mar, Inc.

At the WPVGA Annual Banquet, Steve Bohm, WPS Agriculture Department, was recognized for years of dedicated service on the WPVGA Associate Board.

Hello All, With the changing

of the guards, the oncoming of a new season, the passing of the baton, we have a new face as President of the WPVGA Associate Division. Chris Brooks has done an outstanding job, but now his term is complete and I serving in his stead. My name is Wayne Solinsky from JayMar Inc. and I was elected to be the WPVGA Associate Division President this next year. I have worked for Jay-Mar Inc. for 23 years, farmed for 15 years prior to that and have degrees in soil science, crop management and dairy nutrition so I bring a solid Ag background to my new position. The health and well-being of our potato and vegetable industry is one of my primary concerns and I have been involved in many aspects regarding the building of that health and well-being. There are many needed roles that we can serve to represent our industry, particularly in letting our voices be heard. I thank you ahead of time for

72 BC�T March

providing me and other Associate members with the opportunity to serve you and our great industry we work in and rely on to sustain our local economy. With the 2016 WPVGA Grower Education Conference and Industry Show just completed, I want to say to everyone involved, “Thank you for helping make this event such a great success again.” It was well attended even with the forecasted major 2016 snow event. While it did not dump as many inches as was forecast, it did produce whiteout blizzard conditions and create hazardous driving conditions. Our Associate Division held its first ever, silent auction by Amber Grill to help drive traffic down the hall and in doing so, provided a great opportunity for us to create a new and special scholarship In memory of Avis M. Wysocki. The Avis M. Wysocki scholarship serves as an addition to the regular scholarships to which the Associate Board contributes and then distributes to outstanding applicants with connections to our industry and

its members. We raised a little over $3000 through this new silent auction and all proceed will go to the Avis M. Wysocki scholarship. Thanks again for all your generous bids that help support such a great cause. The 2016 WPVGA annual banquet was enjoyed by all and Piano Fondue, the dueling piano players’ entertainment we provided this year, were as brilliantly funny as they were musically talented. To those one hundred or so WPVGA members who stayed to enjoy Piano Fondue’s music after the banquet, it was one heck of an enjoyable night. Everyone was singing and clapping along and a fun time was had by all. My hope is that more people can continue to enjoy and partake in the entertainment we help provide at future banquet events. This year, two of our outgoing Associate board members served their full allotted terms on the Associate Board and have stepped down from the board: Chris Brooks, Central Door Solutions, who served as 2015 President and board

member, Butch Fencil, Fencil Urethane Systems Inc. They will be missed for all of their contributions over the years. Our newly elected WPVGA Associate board members are Casey Kedrowski, Roberts Irrigation (Treasurer) and Nick Laudenbach, Fencil Urethane Systems Inc. (Board Member). In addition, our full scope of 2016 board members elected to return to their positions include Cathy Schommer, Badgerland Financial (Secretary); Zach Mykisen, Big Iron Equipment Co. (Vice-President); Dale Bowe, Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (Board Member); Joel Zalewski, Insight FS (Board Member); Sally Suprise, Ansay and Associates LLC (Board Member) and myself, Wayne Solinsky, Jay-Mar Inc. (President). Additionally, at the WPVGA Awards Banquet, Steve Bohm,

Front row L-R: Casey Kedrowski, Roberts Irrigation (Treasurer); Wayne Solinsky, Jay-Mar Inc. (President); Cathy Schommer, Badgerland Financial (Secretary) and Zach Mykisen, Big Iron Equipment Co. (VicePresident). Back row L-R: Dale Bowe, Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (Board Member); Sally Suprise, Ansay and Associates LLC (Board Member); Nick Laudenbach, Fencil Urethane Systems Inc. (Board Member) and Joel Zalewski, Insight FS (Board Member).

WPS Agriculture Department, was recognized for years of dedicated service on the WPVGA Associate Board. Welcome your board members and

thank them for their commitment and contribution to our Industry. As always, please contact any of our board members with any thoughts or ideas you may have for us to consider.

ASSOCIATE DIVISION BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR AWARD The WPVGA Associate Board chose Chris Brooks, 2015 Associate Board President and General Sales Manager/ Owner for Central Door Solutions, Plover, for this highly regarded honor this year. Chris dedicated a great deal of time and effort to integrate more fully, the Associate Division with Wisconsin’s potato and vegetable industry. Chris is married to his high school sweetheart, Tammy Brooks, and together they have two daughters, Shelby (9) and Peyton (7). Chris is very involved in coaching both girls’ softball league teams and Shelby’s Plover Travel Softball Team. Shelby races snowmobiles and Chris sets up her sled for her. Additionally, Shelby and Peyton are involved in 4-H and dance. Chris, who has been involved in stock

car racing for 15 years, drives in special events and serves as a tech official. This past year, he served as Associate Board President and was very active as a great industry leader at numerous Associate Division events as well as serving as Chairman for WPVGA’s Promotions Committee. Chris made tremendous contributions towards the Spudmobile project, helping establish this exciting traveling billboard and mobile trade show booth as the focal point of the WPVGA’s promotional efforts. He serves as one of the backup volunteer drives when Jim Zdroik needs someone to drive the massive vehicle. He also originated the Associate Division’s Eyes on Associates column for the Badger Common’Tater. Overall, Chris went above and beyond

Chris Brooks served as a fantastic Master of Ceremonies for the 2015 Associate Division Putt-Tato event. Here, he gives the green light to the golfers, launching them on their way to this fabulous golfing event and major fundraising effort for the Associate Division!

the call of duty when it involved supporting the Wisconsin potato and vegetable industry. Thank you, Chris! BC�T March 73

Marketplace Wisconsin Potatoes Harley Davidson a Hit at Grower Education Conference By Dana Rady, WPVGA Director of Promotions and Consumer Education

At the 2015 Grower Education Conference, the potato industry had the opportunity to meet and experience the Wisconsin Spudmobile. One year later, they were not only able to see digital upgrades made to the Spudmobile, but were also able to meet the 2015 Fat Bob HarleyDavidson motorcycle that will serve as a giveaway during Wisconsin’s Potatopalooza month in October! Decked out in the Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes logo, the bike sports a classy black with green and red flames coming off the logo. It is

74 BC�T March

the epitome of a Wisconsin product that will eventually make its home at a retail store come Fall 2016. The bike will be awarded to the retail store with the best and most creative Wisconsin Potatoes display as the Badger State works to expand its partnership with stores through this initiative. The contest is also a creative way of spreading and encouraging the buy local movement to states in the eastern part of the country. The winning store can utilize the bike as a way of bringing in traffic or may

choose to give it to a worthwhile organization. Either way, the impact of positive PR is a given for that particular store as well as for the Wisconsin potato industry. Help us spread the word to your area retailer/customer base. For details on the contest, visit http:// wisconsinpotatoes.com/retail or call WPVGA at 715-623-7683. Left: Jeremie Pavelski, Heartland Farms, said he wished he were a retailer and could qualify for this prize. Right: This Harley is sure to spur on several retailers to find new ways of spreading the word about the goodness of potatoes.

AUXILIARY NEWS By Lynn Isherwood Numerous founding and current members of the Auxiliary attended the WPVGA Industry Show in February. Highlighted and honored at the banquet were founding members Dianne Somers and Avis Wysocki (represented by her daughter Jacquie Wille) with a special award. Many of the hard-working early members also attended and were recognized along with many current members. Current President Paula Houlihan noted early projects and focuses of the Auxiliary with a backdrop of pictures through the 40 years of promoting and educating the public about the Wisconsin potato industry in all of its past and present activities. The focus has been to tell the story of the potato, its nutrition, how and when to include it in our daily meals, the potato’s easy availability and low cost, and with it to dispel the image of potatoes as fattening, beginning long ago with the “all potato” feast they prepared for a past governor of Wisconsin.

the anniversary articles in the Badger Common’Tater, which have been rich with all the activities of the Potato Women through the decades of the Auxiliary’s existence.

our industry. This issue contains the reporting of the fourth decade of our 40 years. Now it is forward to the future and many more projects to come.

We thank all of the founding members for their efforts to reach out to the public and touch the average Wisconsinite to promote

We welcome anyone to join in our efforts, there is a new generation out there waiting to help with those future projects.



We hope you have enjoyed these presentations and that they brought back pleasant memories. The history is well known through

Above: Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary (WPGA) President Paula Houlihan presented the 2016 Auxiliary Appreciation Awards to Dianne Somers and Avis Wysocki, founding members of the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary, which celebrated its 40th Anniversary in December 2015. Dianne accepted her plaque in person. Jacquie Wille, Avis Wysocki’s daughter, received her mother’s Auxiliary Appreciation Award on her behalf posthumously. Photo by Ruth Faivre

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Ali's Kitchen Column & Photos by Ali Carter, WPVGA Auxiliary Member Recipe instructions written by Alicia Pavelski, Guest Chef POTATO CHIP POTATOES Recently Mike and I were invited to the home of Jeremie and Alicia Pavelski to enjoy an evening of conversation, laughter, and a good meal.


Jeremie and Alicia are one of the most welcoming young couples you will ever hope to meet. If you do not yet know these two, I encourage you to seek them out at one of the next potato events.

INGREDIENTS: 6 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes

Jeremie is good-natured and shares his knowledge with a jovial sense of humor and Alicia is truly beautiful inside and out. And...these two are pretty talented in the kitchen! They prepared for us a wonderful meal, which included a side dish called Potato Chip Potatoes. Alicia shared a bit about this dish,

1-1/2 cup crushed potato chips ½ cup chopped onion 2 tablespoons of butter, melted ¾-teaspoon salt (to taste)

"I found this recipe a few years ago when I became a potato grower’s wife and started working at Heartland Farms. I have made a few tweaks over the years to the recipe and it is always

¼ teaspoon pepper (to taste)

INSTRUCTIONS: In a large bowl, combine peeled and cut potatoes, 1 cup of crushed potato chips, onion, butter, salt and pepper. Use salad tongs or hands to toss the mix to combine. Transfer to greased SHALLOW 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle top with remaining potato chips. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for one hour or until potatoes are tender. When fully cooked, the potato chips on the top will be getting golden brown and crispy. For added flavor, add shredded cheese on top with crushed potato chips or try using your favorite flavor of potato chips in the recipe. Enjoy! This recipe can easily feed 8-12 people as a dinner side dish. I like to use sea salt, but normal table salt works well too.

Advertisers Index AG Systems, Inc...........................28 AG Systems, Inc...........................35 Allied Cooperative.......................75 Badgerland Financial...................18 Baginski Farms, Inc......................61 Big Iron Equipment......................23 Blaskey Family.............................59 Certis USA, L.L.C..........................17 Compass Minerals.......................11 CPS Great Lakes...........................13 Dagen Heritage Seed Potato Farms.......................26 Fencil Urethane Systems, Inc.......32

a hit. I love the simple ingredients and how much flavor is packed into each bite. The crushed up chips give the dish a great flavor and texture. The ingredients are simple and available at almost any grocery store. The preparation is also very simple, which is great when cooking a large dinner or having a cookout‌basically cut everything up, mix everything together and throw in the oven.

Firkus Farms................................30 Gowan Company (Eptam)..............3 Gowan Company (Zing).................7 J.W. Mattek & Sons, Inc...............29 Jay-Mar, Inc....................................5 K & K Material Handling..............41 Mid-State Truck Service...............31 Minnesota Certified Seed Potatoes..............................37 Nelson’s Veg. Storage Systems....21 North Central Irrigation...............19 Oak Ridge Foam & Coating Systems........................................22 Oasis Irrigation............................80 Riesterer & Schnell......................51

GET INVOLVED, STAY INFORMED, BE AWARE! Join Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) and keep abreast of what is happening in your industry.

Roberts Irrigation..........................2 Ruder Ware LLSC.........................55 Rural Mutual Insurance...............45 Sand County Equipment..............39 Schroeder Bros. Farms, Inc............9 Swiderski Equipment...................57 ThorPack, LLC..............................15 T.I.P., Inc.......................................27 United Potato Growers of Wisconsin................................79 Wick Buildings, LLC......................33 Wirz, Inc.......................................68 WPVGA Membership...................77

Find out how to become a member today. Go to: wisconsinpotatoes.com/about/members

WPVGA Subscribers.....................53

Stake a claim in your future today!

WPVGA Spud Seed Classic...........71

WPVGA Support Our Members...43 WSPIA..........................................78

You’d be healthier, too, if you spent your winters in Hawaii.

100% of Wisconsin Seed Potatoes must be winter tested to be eligible for certified seed tags.

• While all state seed potato associations winter test their foundation lots, some do not winter test 100% of their certified seed lots. • Wisconsin does, and this assures you get only the top-quality seed. • With the Wisconsin Badger State Brand Tag, you get one grade, one standard–certification that counts.

Don’t bet your farm on untested seed potatoes. Check the winter test results and Begin with the Best — Wisconsin! WISCONSIN CERTIFIED SEED POTATOES

Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association, Inc.

P.O. Box 173 • Antigo, WI 54409 • 715-623-4039 • www.potatoseed.org

For a directory of Wisconsin Certified Seed Potato Growers, scan this code with your smartphone.


• The lawsuit is settled! Come on back & let’s make a stack of $$$! Our organization works for you, providing the information you need to make the best decisions and return profitability to your farm. • Enjoy membership access to complete data packages including critical supply and demand usage. • Wisconsin does a wonderful job of marketing and keeping grower returns at a premium. • We offer communications for marketers, which are a crucial tool and a by-product of United of Wisconsin. • The Grower Return Index (GRI) you receive will pay for your dues tenfold. • We hold weekly marketing calls! • Grower-only communication calls provide you with inputs, ideas and opinions. Everyone stays in tune.

Balancing supply with demand generates positive returns. Plan your 2016 plantings wisely!

United Of Wisconsin Thanks Our Grower Members For Their Continued Membership & Support: • Alsum Farms • Coloma Farms • Fenske Farms • Gagas Farms • Hyland Lakes Spuds

• Isherwood Co. • J-J Potatoes • J.W. Mattek & Sons • Okray Family Farms

• Plover River Farms Alliance • Schroeder Bros. • Ted Baginski & Sons • Wagner Farms

• Worzella & Sons • Woyak Farms • Wysocki Produce Farm • Yeska Brothers

UNITED OF WISCONSIN THANKS THE FOLLOWING LOCAL SPONSORS: Omernik & Associates, Inc., Mid State Truck Service, Warner & Warner, Big Iron Equipment, Sand County Equipment

For details on membership & Grower/Marketing calls, Contact Dana Rady, Cooperative Director drady0409@gmail.com or 715-623-7683

P.O. Box 327 Antigo, WI 54409

Non-Profit Org U.S. Postage Paid Stevens Point, WI 54481 Permit No. 480





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