1702 Badger Common'Tater

Page 1

Badger Common’Tater

February 2017



Volume 69 Number 2 $18.00/year $1.50/copy

2017 POTATO EXPO: PULSATING ACTION! BAYER’S “FEED A BEE” Plants 50 Million Seeds HARVEST FAMILY HARMONY Succession Planning Today BEGINNING FARMER Overcomes Barriers Four semi-tractor/trailers of potatoes can be loaded at a time in the Neumiller Farms loading and grading shed in Savanna, Illinois.


Tom Neumiller

Neumiller Farms, Inc.


1500 Post Road | Plover WI 54467 | (715) 344-4747 2022 W. 2nd Avenue | Bloomer, WI 54724 | (715) 568-4600



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Badger Common'Tater On the Cover: Built in 2015, the Neumiller Farms, Inc. potato loading/ grading shed in Savanna, Illinois is a design set up by Mayo Manufacturing in which four semi-trailers can be loaded at a time.


INTERVIEW: Tom Neumiller Though the farm is run as a business, Tom Neumiller of Neumiller Farms, Inc. says it’s nice that his family can work together. Tom is shown in front of an antique Mack B61 bulk truck. His daughter, Katie, says he likes to give the young guys a hard time about driving it, as there’s no power steering, two shifters and no air conditioning.

Departments: ALI’S KITCHEN................... 65 AUXILIARY NEWS.............. 53 BADGER BEAT................... 44





Exhibitors, keynote speakers and breakout sessions vie for attention.

Spudmobile welcomes its largest crowd ever at Starbuck Middle School

51 RETAIL PROGRAM KICKS OFF IN TAIWAN Slogan is: “Enjoy a Colorful Life with USA Potatoes!”

Feature Articles: 28 FEED A BEE PROGRAM continues efforts to promote pollinator health 38 FAMILY HARMONY is key to fostering solid farm succession planning 54 BEGINNING FARMER overcomes language barrier to grow vegetables 4

BC�T February

EYES ON ASSOCIATES....... 60 MARK YOUR CALENDAR..... 6 NEW PRODUCTS............... 56 now news...................... 46 NPC NEWS........................ 61 PEOPLE ............................ 24 PLANTING IDEAS................ 6 WPIB FOCUS .................... 60

Plainfield, WI • 715-335-4900 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 & Andy Diercks WPVGA Associate Division Board of Directors: President: Wayne Solinsky Vice President: Zach Mykisen

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: Joe Kertzman 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 Spudmobile Assistant: Doug Foemmel

Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Board of Directors: President: Paula Houlihan Vice President: Ali Carter Secretary/Treasurer: Gabrielle Okray Eck Directors: Kathy Bartsch, Deniell Bula, Marie Reid & Jody Baginski

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

Secretary: Cathy Schommer Treasurer: Casey Kedrowski Directors: Dale Bowe, Nick Laudenbach, Sally Suprise & Joel Zalewski

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 subscription rates: $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) 630-6213, or email: Joe Kertzman: jkertzman@wisconsinpotatoes.com. The editor welcomes manuscripts and pictures but accepts no responsibility for such material while in our hands. BC�T February


Mark Your

Calendar FEBRUARY 13-16 POTATO DC FLY-IN The Mayflower Hotel Washington, DC 21 NPPGA (NORTHERN PLAINS POTATO GROWERS ASSOCATION) ANNUAL MEETING, BANQUET AND RESEARCH REPORTING CONFERENCE Grand Forks, ND 21-22 MILLENNIUM BROKERAGE GROUP AND NATIONWIDE® “LAND AS YOUR LEGACY®” CONFERENCE Amber Grill, Stevens Point, WI (Feb. 21) 12 p.m.-1:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m. (food and beverage provided) The Refuge, Antigo, WI (Feb. 22) 12 p.m.-1:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m. (food and beverage provided) Contact/RSVP to jmoran@mbginstitutional.com or call 877-368-5709 22-23 INTERNATIONAL CROP EXPO Grand Forks, ND


13-15 MIDWEST FOODSERVICE EXPO Wisconsin Center Milwaukee, WI 13-16 POTATOES USA ANNUAL MEETING Marriott City Center Denver, CO 28-30 WPS FARM SHOW (57th ANNUAL) EAA Grounds, 1001 Waukau Ave. Oshkosh, WI




13-15 UNITED FRESH 2017 CONFERENCE & EXPO West Hall, McCormick Place Chicago, IL 17 FEED MY STARVING CHILDREN MOBILEPACK EVENT Noel Hangar Stevens Point, WI 23 SPUD SEED CLASSIC WSPIA GOLF OUTING Bass Lake Golf Course Deerbrook, WI Contact Karen Rasmussen, krasmussen@wisconsinpotatoes.com or 715-623-7683 to reserve space and/or sponsor the event



Planting Ideas I must admit that I didn’t quite know what to expect. It was my first Potato Expo, my first time in San Francisco, and from the agenda, I could see that Potatoes USA holds its winter meeting in conjunction with the Expo, the National Potato Council conducts its annual meeting, the United Potato Growers of America holds a Potato Business Summit and the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association has a reception for growers and their customers. How was I going to be at all those places? That doesn’t even count the keynote speakers—Rich Karlgaard, an economic and business innovation thought leader and publisher and columnist for Forbes, and Adam Steltzner, an engineer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory—or the incredible number of breakout sessions and topics, a dynamic (and what turned out to be hilarious) presentation by Ryan Smolkin, CEO of Smoke’s Poutinerie, and the Spud Nation™ Throwdown Cook-Off. Whew! Where would I start? Well, I made it to most of the activities, and even had time to man the Wisconsin Certified Seed Potatoes booth on occasion and walk the Potato Expo show floor to visit all the booths and meet the industry players. I returned to Wisconsin with a briefcase packed with contacts and brochures, a notebook filled with notes, a camera loaded with images and my head spinning. But, man, it is an amazing Expo, and the place was buzzing with activity. In all, I learned a lot and met some incredible people. See the complete coverage of Potato Expo 2017 in this issue. I also had the chance to sit down and talk to Denise Leach, account supervisor and public relations for Rhea + Kaiser, who invited me to the Bayer booth and introduced me to Vincent Restucci, director of Procurement & Business Technology at R.D. Offutt Company, and to Dr. Becky Langer, manager of Bayer’s North American Bee Care Program, and specifically, the Feed a Bee initiative. A full “Feed a Bee” feature article, also in this issue, resulted from that informative meeting. I hope you enjoy the Potato Expo articles. 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.

Joe Kertzman Managing Editor jkertzman@wisconsinpotatoes.com


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Foundation & Certified Seed Potatoes


Tom Neumiller, Neumiller Farms, Inc. By Joe Kertzman, Managing Editor

NAME: Tom Neumiller TITLE: President COMPANY: Neumiller Farms, Inc. LOCATION: Savanna, IL HOMETOWN: Franksville, WI YEARS IN PRESENT POSITION: 29 SCHOOLING: Graduate of UW-Stout, Business MEMBERSHIPS/VOLUNTEER WORK: Army National Guard, Carroll County Farm Bureau, Fishers of Men MinistriesKenya, Savanna Children’s Christmas, local animal shelters AWARDS: 2015 Conservation of the Year Award for Carroll County, and supplier and community service awards FAMILY: Wife, Wallene, and three daughters: Sarah, Jenny and Katie HOBBIES: Taking care of pets, developing wildlife habitats, antique tractors, cars and trucks


BC�T February

A third-generation potato and vegetable farm, Neumiller Farms, Inc. has its own mission statement. “The mission of our full-service farm is to supply world-class customers with quality agricultural products. We are committed to doing the job right with every crop, every load and every day.” Fred Neumiller began his family business in Wisconsin. In 1974, the Neumiller family expanded their operation to Hanover, Illinois, located in northwest Illinois. Five years later, land was purchased in Savanna, Illinois, located along the Mississippi River. The headquarters for the business was then moved to Savanna. The family purchased land in Cordova, Illinois in 1993, and in Erie, Illinois in 1996. In 1998, Tom Neumiller and business partner Paul Sproul, a North Dakota farmer, purchased land in Bath, Illinois, located in central Illinois. The potatoes grown on Neumiller Farms are for processing, salads and for making potato chips. Neumiller Farms has its roots in Wisconsin. Was Fred Neumiller your father, and how did he get his start and why in potato and vegetable growing? Our headquarters is in Savanna, Illinois. It was founded by

my father, Fred Neumiller. He farmed, trucked and brokered potatoes with his family. I started to help my dad as soon as I could get in a pickup without his help. I started working full-time with Neumiller Farms after college and became president of the business in 1988 after his death. Top: Goldrush potatoes are harvested for storage on Neumiller Farms using Challenger tractors, Spudnik harvesters and a Freightliner bulk truck. Inset Photo: Tom Neumiller (left) received this nice plaque from his daughter, Katie Neumiller-Floming (right), on Father’s Day in June 2015. It reads: “And on the 8th Day God Looked Down on His Planned Paradise and Said, ‘I Need a Caretaker,’ so God Made the Farmer.”

I graduated from The University of Wisconsin-Stout in 1971, where I met my wife, Wallene. My wife and I have three daughters, Sarah, Jenny and Katie, and we’re blessed with three good sons-in-law and four grandchildren. You have expanded several times. How many acres do you farm? Of potatoes? Other vegetables? Illinois only has pockets of good potato ground similar to Central Wisconsin. Because of this, we had to develop our farm in different locations. We grow around 3,000 acres of potatoes every year. We have expanded because of our customer needs. We are always looking to improve our farm with good land, better rotation, updating our equipment and attracting employees who can contribute. We like to have a three-year rotation of crops, so we also grow snap beans, field and sweet corn, soybeans and occasionally other crops that our customers ask us to grow. How many people do you employ full-time and seasonally? We employ around 45 people full-time and a few more seasonally.

a business, it is nice that our family can work together. My wife, Wallene; daughter, Katie; brother, Ron; sister, Carrie; son-in-law, Matt; and nephew, Scott, are the family members who work for the farm.

How was the 2016 growing season? Your yield and quality? Our 2016 growing season was a good one with most of our yields exceeding our goals.

They all have their specific areas to focus on for the good of the company. Our trucking area has worked well for our business. We can respond quickly to our customers’ needs.

Do you take pride in the fact that the operation remains in the family, and if so, why? Though our farm is run as

I understand you grow for the processing, chip and salad market segments. Can you give

Above: Using a Western Star with EZ-Tarp, a Challenger tractor and Spudnik harvester, these potato plants are harvested while still green on Neumiller Farms and then shipped to a canning factory. Soybeans are planted on the field after the potato harvest.

me more details? Where do most of your potatoes and vegetables go? The customer base we supply potatoes to is quite diversified. Our potatoes are used for chips, French fries, mashing, salads, canning and soups. We also grow some small potatoes and some fresh market varieties. continued on pg. 10

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Interview. . . continued from pg. 9

Our farm is a long-term, full service operation. We use this philosophy in relations with our customers, employees, suppliers and friends with whom we have been able to grow our business for over 50 years. How do you remain competitive in the business? Trying to stay competitive is an ongoing issue. We work with our suppliers to make the most of our inputs, and we always

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10 BC�T February

keep communications open with our customers and their changing needs.

Above: Standing proudly amid a collection of International tractors are Tom Neumiller (left) and his daughter Katie Neumiller-Floming.

The key is to respond quickly to the changes from customers in quantity, quality and scheduling. If they are happy, we’re happy. As stated before, our goal is for long-term customer and supplier relationships.

Below: Tom Neumiller (left) and his brother, Ron (right), stand united under blue skies and in front of a RoGator sprayer in May 2015.

Has your farming operation advanced technologically and how? To remain a potato grower in today’s

markets, you need to embrace technology and make long-term investments for the success of the business. Are the challenges of being a grower

the same today as they were, and how have they changed or remained the same? In all areas of our farming operation (seed, irrigation, chemicals, fertilizer, the working of the ground, trucking and our office), to remain competitive, we have to look for what is most effective and efficient yet still stay environmentally friendly. That issue has moved more into the forefront than when we first started farming. We are also looking at a lot more dollars. You don’t have the option of making mistakes, it’s just too costly. Yet, as in the past, it comes down to doing a good job for your customer. continued on pg. 12 Right: “I liked the idea that potato chips were once thought of as a health food,” relates Tom Neumiller, posing in front of his collection of vintage potato chip tins. “You could get your vitamins, and they were considered a diet food. My dad, Fred, also supplied many of these customers on the tins. Maybe at one time, the tins had our chips in them.”

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Interview. . . continued from pg. 11

You’ve been a grower member of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association, and have supported the association over the years. Why, and how or why is that important to you? The Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association is a great organization. We have always looked to it for support and up-to-date information. Every year we send a group to their meetings and they always come back with heads full of new ideas that we can incorporate into our farm. We find not only the growers association helpful, but also the associate members. Throughout the years,

they have been a source of info and friendship. Even though we are across the state line, we feel we are all a part of a unique niche of agriculture. We all have the same questions, issues and concerns that the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association helps us with. What does 2017 and beyond promise for Neumiller Farms? In this coming 2017 growing season, we are faced with the same challenges as in the past. We aren’t afraid of the future, we look forward to it. We are staying on course to our commitments and customers.

We are fortunate in partnering with Paul Sproule in our Bath operation and having Dave Ames as our manager down there. They are exceptional men who we are proud to not only work with, but call our friends. Although it is a great feeling to have supplied some of our customers for over 50 years, it is even a better feeling that a lot of our employees have been with us for 40 of those years. No matter how well we manage and make plans for our sustainability, it really comes down to our employees and how well they perform. We believe that if Neumiller Farms succeeds, then our employees succeed. It’s a win-win situation. We are now seeing the younger family members of our employees seeking to work with us and we are bringing them onto our team and looking forward to utilizing their talents. Above: The crew makes headway during harvest at Neumiller Farms. Left: Shown here in July 2016, as part of the Neumiller Farms trucking end of the business, the trucks are all loaded with potatoes and ready to roll.

12 BC�T February

Potato Expo 2017 Makes Splash in the City by the Bay From dynamic speakers sharing ideas to innovative products and solid solutions, the Expo had it all By Joe Kertzman, Managing Editor Not even rain and fog in San Francisco could dampen the enthusiasm of industry professionals who gathered at Potato Expo January 4-6, 2017. Flights might have been delayed, but the packed show went on as exhibitors and attendees

shared ideas, information and visions for the future. More than 1,700 growers and industry reps attended the trade show, where exhibitors were eager to show off their latest tools of the trade.

Current Page: San Francisco hosted Potato Expo 2017 and things were smoking under the Golden Gate Bridge. The Expo, in conjunction with Phil Lempert, a distinguished author and speaker known as “The Supermarket Guru®,” hosted the Spud Nation Throwdown Chef Cook-Off. Competing was a diverse group of international chefs who used potatoes in dishes inspired by their distinctive culinary experiences. The winner, Ian Kittichai (shown above on the big screen), was honored for his recipe Massaman Curry. 14 BC�T February

Palletizing machines shared floor space with optical sorters; dehydrated potato products; fertilizers; video and booth displays showing insecticides, fungicides and herbicides at work; irrigation equipment; bags and baggers; potato varieties; digital displays and solutions; seeds; planters and much more. If you couldn’t find it at Potato Expo, you weren’t looking hard enough. But it’s also the keynote speakers and breakout sessions that attract attention, and Potato Expo 2017 addressed many pressing issues facing the industry. The Expo serves as an ideal venue for Potatoes USA to hold a winter meeting, the National Potato Council (NPC) to conduct an annual meeting, the United Potato Growers of America to hold a Potato Business Summit and the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) to host an annual industry reception. KEYNOTE SPEAKERS From new ag technology and the political climate to the weather outlook for 2017, attendees heard from leading experts. Forbes editor Rich Karlgaard shared his perspective on megatrends, including the current political climate, affecting business success, as well as present and future opportunities for agriculture. Adam Steltzner, an engineer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, described the value of collaboration and teamwork based on his experience leading the group that landed the Mars rover Curiosity. Smoke’s Poutinerie CEO Ryan Smolkin energetically waxed poetic, Canadian style, on building and growing a successful brand of restaurants serving poutine and exciting toppings. The second Spud Nation Throwdown Chef Cook-Off, hosted by Phil Lempert, brought together an exciting fusion of tastes, cultures and flavors as a diverse group of

international chefs incorporated potatoes into dishes inspired by their distinctive culinary experiences.

The winner, Ian Kittichai, was honored for his recipe Massaman Curry. Tony de Graaf received second prize for Potato Involtini.

The cook-off, held January 4 between Tony de Graaf (Taiwan), Doris Goldgewicht (Costa Rica), Ian Kittichai (Thailand) and Wandy Robles (Dominican Republic), demonstrated the global passion for potatoes and showed each chef’s ability to blend traditional Asian or Latin foods with Western culture and ingredients. K File #1259

Attendees and exhibitors exclaimed that the 2017 meeting had extraordinarily thought-provoking speakers. The influence of being in a tech-savvy city was noticeable, as attendees downloaded the mobile app and used Twitter polls. continued on pg. 16




against chloride Growers Are Making the Switch to Protassium+ Many potato growers replenish their fields with K sources that contain high levels of potassium and chloride. While high potassium content is beneficial, high chloride content often leads to nutritional imbalances and nutrient displacement. To avoid the harmful effects of chloride, growers have turned to Protassium+™ sulfate of potash, a premium K source with more to offer. Muriate of Potash CHLORIDE SALT INDEX

Less than 1% 0.85 per unit of K 2 O* Lowest of all major potassium sources

47% 1.93 per unit of K 2O








8 grades







THE NEED FOR POTASSIUM Potatoes remove up to 56 lbs. of K 2O/100 cwt of yield1. Results show that replenishing fields with Protassium+ produces up to 5 Tons/acre more than fields treated with muriate of potash2 .

BETTER STORABILITY Protassium+ delivers nutrients that help reduce shrinkage and sprouting in storage. In fact, potatoes treated with Protassium+ have fewer sprouts per tuber after 200 days in storage versus potatoes treated with other K sources (like muriate of potash)3 .

TWO ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS Protassium+ provides potatoes the necessary nutrients for optimum yield, including 17% sulfate sulfur. The sulfate sulfur in Protassium+ can help keep potatoes healthy by inhibiting the spread of powdery scab disease4.

MORE U.S. NO. 1S Results show potatoes treated with Protassium+ yield 3 Tons more U.S. No. 1s per acre than potatoes treated with muriate of potash5 .

Contact your local retailer or Compass Minerals at 800.743.7258.

P R OTA S S I U M P L U S . C O M *Lower salt index has higher level of safety. ©2017 Compass Minerals. All rights reserved. 1 “Potatoes + K.” Potatoes: Surveying the Need. Compass Minerals. protassiumplus.com/ surveying-the-need-in-potatoes 2 “Proof Is in the Potatoes.” Field Trial Emphasizes Benefits of Potassium for Potatoes. Holland Agricultural Services. protassiumplus.com/knowledge-center/post/proof-is-in-the-potatoes 3 “How to Win the Potato Storage Loss Battle.” Colorado State University. protassiumplus.com/knowledge-center/post/how-to-win-the-potato-storage-loss-battle 4 “The Interaction of Sulfur and Scab Disease.” The Roles of Sulfur in Nutrient – Disease Interactions. Purdue University Department of Botany and Plant Pathology. protassiumplus.com/knowledge-center/post/the-interaction-of-sulfur-and-scab-disease in 5 “Proof Is in the Potatoes.” Field Trial Emphasizes Benefits of Potassium for Potatoes. Holland Agricultural Services. protassiumplus.com/knowledge-center/post/proof-is-in-the-potatoes

BC�T February 15 53275_1_CMP_ProPlus_Potato_4-75x7-25.indd 1

2017-01-04 10:56 AM

2017 Potato Expo. . . continued from pg. 15

“Coming to Potato Expo allows me to expand my network and my skills and become a better overall potato leader and steward of my business,” said Britt Raybould, a grower from Idaho. “Everyone in the industry should take note of this exciting event, and do whatever it takes to attend.”

Potato Expo 2018 will be held January 10-12 at Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida. Detailed information about the 2018 conference will be posted on the website www.potato-expo.com in the fall. continued on pg. 18

Top Left: Larry Alsum (left) of Alsum Farms & Produce in Friesland, Wisconsin, poses with Alex Grimm (right), industry relations manager for Potatoes USA, at a break between sessions during the Potatoes USA winter meeting held in conjunction with Potato Expo. The winter meeting covered such topics as international trade in frozen fries, a domestic market update, global expansion of meal kits, delivery and takeout, recipes, nutrition and Potatoes USA’s domestic marketing initiatives. Right: Potatoes USA Global Marketing Manager for Retail, Ross Johnson (in purple), spoke at the United Potato Growers of America “Potato Business Summit,” held Wednesday morning of Potato Expo. Johnson explained that many millennial consumers seek out flavors and freshness in food, and not necessarily processed foods, and are focused on the “perimeter of the grocery store.” He also touched on Potatoes USA’s “Potatoes Power Performance” initiative, approved by the USDA, and talked about millennials moving to urban populations and eating out at restaurants, the growth in fresh and frozen potatoes and foodservice, expansion of meal kits and “grocerants” (restaurants now popping up in grocery stores). Johnson took time out to play some foosball at the Potatoes USA booth with Frank Muir (in light-blue shirt) of the Idaho Potato Commission. 16 BC�T February


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2017 Potato Expo. . . continued from pg. 16

Top Left: A popular feature at the Ag-Pak booth during 2017 Potato Expo was a fully operational (complete with potatoes) Newtec Celox XT optical sorter. Top Right: The Wisconsin Certified Seed Potatoes booth was buzzing at Potato Expo, with University of Wisconsin Professor Emeritus Dr. Walt Stevenson (second from left) holding court and holding down the fort, and Heidi Alsum-Randall (far right) deep in conversation with WPVGA Director of Promotions, Communication and Consumer Education, Dana Rady, to Heidi’s left. Right: INNATE by Simplot exhibited examples of fresh whole potatoes, chips and dehydrated potato product at 2017 Potato Expo.

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18 BC�T February

Above: An economic and business thought leader, and publisher and columnist for Forbes, keynote speaker Rich Karlgaard shared his perspective on megatrends, including the current political climate, affecting business success, as well as present and future opportunities for agriculture.

Above: Potato Expo keynote speaker Adam Steltzner, an engineer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, gave a dynamic and quite fascinating presentation on the value of collaboration and teamwork when he was leader of the group that successfully landed the Mars rover Curiosity. Right: The dinner was delicious and the company good at the National Potato Council Awards Banquet. Seated from left to right are Richard Pavelski of Heartland Farms, Inc., Yi Wang, an assistant professor and researcher at the University of Idaho, and Lynn Dickman, a research agronomist at Heartland Farms. Below: During the National Potato Council Awards Banquet, held Friday evening of Potato Expo, the Spudman Emerging Leader Award (sponsored by YARA) was presented by Bill Schaefer (right) of Spudman magazine to Yi Wang (left), an assistant professor and researcher specializing in postharvest physiology at the University of Idaho’s Kimberly Research and Extension Center.

Growing Quality Seed for 63 Years!

continued on pg. 20

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BC�T February 19

2017 Potato Expo. . . continued from pg. 19

Above: Outgoing NPC President Jim Tiede (far right) presented Executive Committee Awards to his team for their hard work over the past year. From left to right are Dan Lake, Larry Alsum, Dwayne Weyers, Britt Rabould, Cully Easterday, Dominic LaJoie and Tiede.

20 BC�T February

Wisconsin Potato Reception a Hit at Potato Expo The reception was warm and the guests had a genuinely good time at the Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association (WSPIA) and WPVGA Chip Committee reception for Wisconsin’s potato growers and their customers, Thursday evening, January 5, of 2017 Potato Expo in San Francisco. The reception was held in the Golden Gate C Ballroom at the Marriott Marquis Hotel. As is tradition, University of Wisconsin Professor Emeritus Dr. Walt Stevenson served as master of ceremonies, welcoming guests and announcing winners of drawings for door prizes. Those who put their business cards in a container as they entered the reception were eligible for several door prizes, which included three $100 cash awards, two seed grower hats, an Amazon Fire tablet and case, an Amazon Echo smart speaker, a Wisconsin Certified Seed Potato shirt, and a Chromebook laptop computer. While the guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and refreshments,

Stevenson gave an update on Wisconsin’s growing season, weather conditions, potato crop acreage, yield and hundredweight per acre for seed potatoes, chip potatoes, fresh and frozen/fries potatoes. He explained that Wisconsin seed potatoes are grown on 8,874 acres and represent about 7 percent of all U.S.-produced seed. State growers produce red, round, russet, white flesh, yellow flesh and specialty market potatoes for a range of markets, including the organic sector. Stevenson drew attention to the Wisconsin Certified Seed Potato

Left: Master of Ceremonies at the WSPIA and WPVGA Chip Committee potato reception was University of Wisconsin Professor Emeritus Dr. Walt Stevenson, who drew a name from the bucket of business cards for a door prize. Right: Hors d’oeuvres of several kinds of sausage, specialty cheeses and potatoes were delicious at the Wisconsin potato reception held Thursday night of Potato Expo, with Dick Okray (right) whistling while he filled his plate.

Booth at Potato Expo, inviting guests to stop by for flash drives, pens, chips and conversation. The conversation at the reception continued, and the prizes, food and drinks were all well received. continued on pg. 22

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2017 Potato Expo. . . continued from pg. 21

Left: The WSPIA and WPVGA Chip Committee potato reception is a chance for people like Jay Warner (right) of Warner & Warner Inc. Packaging in Plover, Wisconsin, to sit down with customers and acquaintances to discuss business and catch up with each other. Right: It’s unclear which is more endearing, the potato bowtie or the smile on the face of Keith Jones of BPIA (Biopesticide Industry Alliance) during the Wisconsin potato reception, but Jones was obviously having a good time. Right: Wisconsin guests at the reception included John Hopfensperger (left) of Bushmans’ Inc. and Richard (fourth from right) and Jeremie Pavelski (second from right) of Heartland Farms, Inc.

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People Syngenta Announces National Ag Scholarship Winners In total, $20,000 was awarded to those persuing careers in agriculture Syngenta congratulates the national winners of the third annual Syngenta Agricultural Scholarship essay contest: master’s degree winner Sharon Perrone of the University of Minnesota and bachelor’s degree winner Abigail Arthaud of Oklahoma State University. Perrone and Arthaud were selected from approximately 200 eligible applicants who crafted essays about someone in their lives who inspired them to be rooted in agriculture

and how this person’s influence motivated them to pursue a degree in the industry. Each applicant discussed how they will pay it forward and encourage others to be rooted in agriculture as well. “The advancement of agriculture is contingent on its future leaders,” said Mary Streett DeMers, senior communications lead, Syngenta. “We are happy to have found two students who have been inspired to pursue careers in the industry, and to

Above: Oklahoma State University bachelor's level student Abigail Arthaud (left) and University of Minnesota master’s level student Sharon Perrone (right) were all smiles after being presented with Syngenta Agricultural Scholarship national winner plaques.

honor them and those who sparked their passion.” Perrone and Arthaud each received $1,000 in regional awards and $6,000 in national awards to assist them in meeting financial obligations and ultimately realizing their educational

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and career goals. “Sharon and Abigail are motivated and deserving, and it is a pleasure to present the two of them with the Syngenta Agricultural Scholarship,” said DeMers. “We’re looking forward to seeing where their promising careers take them as well as how they will pay it forward within our industry.”

central role of the selfless people that supported and guided me along my path of self-discovery in agriculture,” said Perrone. “It forced me to consider my role as a mentor and future educator, and I look forward to further exploring what it means to teach and support others in becoming agents of positive change in the food system.”

PAY IT FORWARD In her essay, Perrone describes her first time working on a farm, the development of her relationship with her teacher, who also served as a mentor, and how it inspired her to pay it forward.

Raised on a farm, Arthaud said she is continually amazed by the level of patience that her father possesses. Her essay focused on how his character shaped her perspective of agriculture and influenced her desire to tell the stories of farmers around the world.

“Participating in this contest enabled me to powerfully reflect on the

“It is both humbling and an honor to be chosen as the national scholarship

award recipient,” said Arthaud. “Receiving this award encourages me to continue to pursue a career in ag communications and become an advocate for agriculture.” Six additional students were each awarded a $1,000 regional scholarship prize. Recipients included Gilma Castillo (University of Florida), Leah Schwinn (The Ohio State University), Clara Ervin (Virginia Polytechnical Institute and State University), Jonathan Stephens (Pennsylvania State University), Eduardo Garcia (California Polytechnic State University) and Elizabeth Warren (Washington State University). For additional information about the winners and the scholarship, please visit www.Syngenta-US. com/Scholarships.

Frank Seidl Remained Active on Farm Until Age 87 Frank Seidl, of Pickerel, Wisconsin, died Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at Rosalia Gardens in Antigo under the care of LeRoyer Hospice and his family. He was 88 years old. He was born on March 15, 1928 in Antigo, a son of Arthur and Evelyn (Hruska) Seidl. He married Irene Solin on February 14, 1953 at St. Wencel Catholic Church in Neva. She survives. He was a graduate of Antigo High School with the class of 1946. After high school, he worked in Chicago for two years. In 1948 he returned to Bryant and began farming with his father. Frank operated Seidl Farms in Bryant and Neva for many years. He continued to be an active member of the farm until age 87. He was proud to have his son, Art, and two grandsons, Jeff and Ryan, continue the family tradition. In 1985 Frank and Irene moved to Pickerel. He enjoyed fishing, golfing, hunting and playing cards. Frank was

a member of St. Wencel Catholic Church, Neva, and St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Pickerel. WPVGA MEMBER He was a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks Lodge #662, Antigo, the PickerelPearson Lions Club, and the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association. Survivors include his wife, Irene; daughter, Peggy Fassbender of Bryant; son, Art (Gay) Seidl of Neva; 10 grandchildren: Ashley (Mike) Darr, Antigo; Stephanie Fassbender, Bryant; Scott (Brittney) Fassbender, Suamico; Jeff (Aly) Fassbender, Deerbrook; Ryan Fassbender, Bryant; Ann Marie (Adam) Chrudimsky, St. Louis Park, Minnesota; Jennifer (Jason) Abrahamzon, Maryville, Tennessee; Liz (Al) Marien, Neva; Diane Seidl, student at UW Milwaukee; and Mark Seidl; as well as five greatgrandchildren, including Will and Jimmy Darr; Luella Fassbender;

Paisley Fassbender; and Sam Abrahamzon; a brother, Thomas (Kitty) Seidl, Antigo; and a sister, Denise Gaudette, Haines City, Florida. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son-in-law, Jim Fassbender, a sister, Betty Ann (Donald) Schroepfer, a brother, Barney (Audie) Seidl, a brother-in-law Howard Gaudette, and step-mother, Leota Seidl. A funeral Mass was celebrated on Friday, January 6, at St. Wencel Catholic Church, Neva, with Rev. Dave Zimmerman officiating. Burial took place in the parish cemetery. continued on pg. 26 BC�T February 25

People. . . continued from pg. 25

Tong Family Member Joins Sales Division Having grown up watching the family business grow and develop, Alice Tong joins the sales department of Tong Engineering. Alice Tong, daughter of Chairman Charles Tong and sister to Managing Director Edward of Tong Engineering, has joined the long-established family-run vegetable handling equipment manufacturing business. In her new role within the sales department, Alice will be based at the main offices in Spilsby, Lincolnshire, UK, and will work alongside the Tong sales team, liaising directly with the company’s growing client base. “As the business sees continued growth and we build relationships with leading growers and packers throughout the United Kingdom and overseas, our dedication to providing outstanding sales support and customer service meant we had an opportunity within our sales department to help maintain our momentum,” explains Edward Tong.

“The timing has been ideal for my sister, Alice, to join our team and play a key role in communicating with our customers throughout the sales process. I am confident her commitment to the family business will make her a great asset and invaluable support to our existing

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sales team, as well as an additional point of contact for our customers," Edward adds. Alice, who gained her degree at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln, has grown up with the family business on the doorstep. As a partner with an innate passion for the potato industry, her new role has brought the natural next step in her career. “While I'm still getting to know everyone here at Tong Engineering, I know a lot of faces from the times I visited the offices and factory as I grew up! It’s really nice to see so many of those faces still here after so many years and I’m really excited to be an official part of the team here now,” Alice says. “Alice is a young and enthusiastic addition to our sales department, and of course I am delighted that my daughter can now play a role in the family business,” adds Charles Tong. For more information contact Carole Metcalfe at Tong Engineering, phone: 01790 752771, or email carole@tongengineering.com.

WPVGA Hall of Fame Member John H. Schroeder Passes Away John H. Schroeder, age 81, of Antigo, Wisconsin, died from complications associated with Parkinson’s disease, Monday, January 16, 2017, at his home surrounded by family. John was born on May 24, 1935 in the Town of Rolling to the late Henry and Martha (Weix) Schroeder. He was united in marriage to Jaclyn Cousineau on November 16, 1957 in Madison. She survives and resides in Antigo. John was raised on a dairy farm homesteaded by his greatgrandfather in 1879. The farm was 80 acres, including 20 acres of potatoes. John was a graduate of Antigo High School class of 1953. He then enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in Alaska until 1957. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned a degree in Agricultural Economics. John returned to Antigo working as an agent with Prudential Insurance Company. He also established Schroeder’s Farm Market and owned and operated the Blackjack Steakhouse with his wife for 40 years. In 1970, John returned to farming with his father. They expanded the farm from 350 acres of potatoes along with rotational crops to the present Schroeder Brothers Farms, cultivating 2,300 acres. The farm is currently operating under the 5th and 6th generation of the Schroeder family. John served on the board of directors for the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA), the Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association and was a delegate on the National Potato Council. He was also a member of the Fidelity Marine Bank Board of Directors and a member of the Jaycees.

John was a member of Peace Lutheran Church, where he served as an elder. HALL OF FAMER Inducted into the WPVGA Hall of Fame in February of 2011, John was always trying to promote and improve the marketing of Wisconsin potatoes. He served two complete terms on the WPVGA Board of Directors from 1989-1994, and was the board treasurer for four years. John was very proud that Schroeder Bros. Farms received awards from Frito-Lay as the top seed grower in multiple years, and that Schroeder Bros. Farms is the largest Frito-Lay seed producer in the United States. He said he felt fortunate in his retirement to see the family doing such a wonderful job of carrying on the “Schroeder Brothers Tradition.” John continued to enjoy visits to the farm after his retirement and seeing his family advance in farming. He also enjoyed wintering in Florida with Jackie, and watching his grandchildren in their many activities. In addition to his wife, Jackie, John is survived by his children, John T. (Judy Diercks) of Antigo; Jennifer (Jim) Horton of Maple Grove, MN; Peter (Gina Doucette) of Antigo; Robert (Susan Draeger) of Antigo;

11 grandchildren: Alyssa, Jaimie, and Alec Horton; John D. (Hannah) Schroeder; Jason (Amy) Schroeder; Jenna (Peter) Walker; Eric (Theresa) Schroeder; Andrew Schroeder; Alexis, Lucas and Sophia Schroeder; four great-grandchildren: Parker, Jax, John Winston and Henry Schroeder; and two sisters, Colleen Schweitzer of Manitowoc and Janice Jesse of Neenah. In addition to his parents, John was preceded in death by a brother, Thomas Schroeder. Funeral services were held on Saturday, January 21, at Peace Lutheran Church in Antigo. Vicar Jarod Koenig and Jeff Nielson officiated. Military honors followed the service at the church. A memorial has been established in John’s name. Friends may visit online at www.strasserrollerfh.com.





+ BC�T February 27

Bayer and the Wildlife Society Continue “Feed a Bee” Program by Planting 50 Million Seeds

Plantings in Texas, Kansas, Illinois and Florida educate communities and establish more forage By Bayer and Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater Sometimes, as Old Man Winter sets in, the snow falls and the ice forms, it’s nice to dream about springtime, the budding flowers, green grass and awakening of wildlife. But many of these natural spring events wouldn’t occur without the hard work put in by pollinators.

That’s why in the fall of 2016, the Bayer Feed a Bee program continued its efforts to promote pollinator health by providing bees with some of their favorite things—native wildflowers and dedicated areas of diverse forage options throughout the nation. Feed a Bee and The Wildlife Society (TWS) embarked on a six-week autumn tour to establish additional pollinator forage at four locations across the United States. Announced at TWS’ annual conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, October 15-19, approximately 50 million wildflower seeds were planted at strategic locations in Texas, Kansas, Illinois and Florida, where TWS has a robust regional presence. “The Feed a Bee program is tackling a really important need for pollinators by conducting plantings across the nation,” said Ken Williams, chief executive officer of TWS. “At TWS, dedicated chapter members in each region worked to identify the optimum mix of wildflower seeds

28 BC�T February

to plant in each location to ensure pollinators have access to a wide variety of diverse nutrition sources when bloom occurs in the spring.” BUSY SOCIAL NETWORKING BEES The original goal established for the Feed a Bee program in 2016 was to generate enough social , actions through “Tweet a #FeedABee” to plant 25 million pollinator-attractant wildflower seeds. Each share of the bee emoji and #FeedABee online triggered additional, real wildflower seeds being tallied for the fall plantings. Thanks to overwhelming support from the public and partner organizations, the four plantings took place across enough land to plant 50 Current Page: An attendee at a “Feed a Bee” planting event hand-scatters seed, and a bee forages on a Feed a Bee wildflower mix—both examples of the successful Bayer Feed a Bee program. Opposite Page: Director of Procurement & Business Technology, Vincent Restucci of R.D. Offutt Company (left) stands in a potato field during an aerial calibration clinic in Park Rapids, Minnesota, in May of 2015.

million wildflower seeds total. Feed a Bee partners planting native wildflowers in the fall of 2016 included: • Texas Tech University Department of Plant and Soil Science in Lubbock, Texas • McCarty Family Farms in Scott City, Kansas • Salem4youth in Flanagan, Illinois • The Packers of Indian River in Fort Pierce, Florida. The pollinator tour kicked off in October in Lubbock, Texas, where the Texas Tech University (TTU) Department of Plant and Soil Science hosted an educational pollinator field day that highlighted new native bee and habitat research being conducted by graduate students. Attendees, including local growers, TTU students and representatives from the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service also helped establish new forage areas for pollinators at the Quaker Avenue Research Farm, the 130-acre farm operated by the department. “Pollinators, including native bees, honey bees and more, play an important role in agriculture and our ecosystem as a whole,” said Dr. Scott Longing, assistant professor of entomology at TTU and member of the Texas Chapter of TWS. “By continuing to research ways to combat the challenges they face and planting additional forage in the meantime, we can help promote and protect pollinator health in a variety of ways,” he noted. Now in its third year, Bayer’s Feed a Bee initiative has rallied more than 900,000 individuals and 117 partner organizations, including R.D. Offutt Company, to plant more than 2 billion wildflowers across the United States, creating and expanding forage areas for pollinators. R.D. Offutt Company is a sixth-generation family farm

headquartered in North Dakota that plants 50,000-60,000 acres of potatoes a year. At the 2017 Potato Expo in San Francisco, January 4-6, the farming operation reaffirmed its commitment to supporting pollinator health by leveraging its potatoproducing land to create more forage for honey bees and other pollinators.


Since 2015, R.D. Offutt Company has planted wildflowers in collaboration with Feed a Bee and other forage initiatives on over 1,200 acres of its farms’ dry pivot corners and is expanding it forage footprint, planting 250 more acres in 2017, which equates to upwards of 500,000 wildflowers.

“Protecting pollinators is critical to the future of the world’s food supply, and through the Feed a Bee partnership with Bayer, we’re working together to promote and preserve the overall health of pollinator species for generations to come,” he explained.

“Honey bees and other pollinators are small but mighty, playing an essential role in pollinating the many fruits, nuts and vegetables that contribute to a healthy diet,” said Vincent Restucci, director of Procurement & Business Technology at R.D. Offutt Company.

continued on pg. 30

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Feed A Bee. . . continued from pg. 29

While potato plants are not pollinated by bees, potato growers can play a strategic role in providing pollinators sustainable habitats and diverse food sources—necessities for thriving pollinator populations. With strategic wildflower plantings through Feed a Bee, potato farmers have a unique opportunity to protect pollinators, promote land stewardship, and enhance agricultural sustainability. “We decided to respond to all the talk about pollinators with action and go out and commit resources [land, equipment and people] to make it happen,” Restucci remarked. “It helps us to be a good neighbor in the communities in which we farm.” “We have planted wildflowers in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota,” he added. “We not only plant them on pivot corners, but

also along paths and walkways, near hospitals and roadsides, under powerlines, or areas where we cannot economically farm commercial crops.” Restucci says R.D. Offutt Company

Above: Dr. Becky Langer, manager of Bayer’s North American Bee Care Program, addresses a crowd at a planting event.

has provided seed to other farmers and put Bayer in contact with those who want to participate in the program. “Our Feed a Bee partners are critical to enhancing forage opportunities for pollinators and preserving the agricultural options available to us today, especially as the population increases,” said Dr. Becky Langer, manager of the North American Bee Care Program. POLLINATOR PASSION “We are passionate about working with R.D. Offutt Company and other partners from all sectors to continue spreading awareness of the importance of pollinators and the adequate forage they need to flourish,” Langer added. Bayer has established Bee Care Centers in North America and Europe to promote and protect the health of pollinators through research, education, partnerships and stewardship. Complementing the North American Bee Care Center are three dedicated field technology stations designed to ensure Bayer’s research efforts include a representative perspective

30 BC�T February

of North American apiculture. “For nearly 30 years, Bayer has been dedicated to understanding the science, implementing the stewardship and finding the solutions that help keep bees safe and healthy,” Langer said. “We have a full research program focused on pest/pathogens and best management practices for beekeepers.” Langer adds, “Pollinators need access to diverse sources of food and nutrition to be properly nourished and better able to withstand the multiple stressors they face. Individuals can get involved by planting wildflower seeds of their own to establish more forage for pollinators. Every little bit helps, whether it is a flower pot, a blooming shrub, a tree or acres of land.” In addition to R.D. Offutt Company, the National Potato Council has also partnered with Bayer and TWS on the Feed a Bee initiative.

continued on pg. 32

Above: Shown here in July 2015, the sunflowers were planted by the Department of Transportation in Mebane, North Carolina.



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Feed A Bee. . . continued from pg. 31

“Partners may include farmers; golf courses; hospitals; schools/colleges; cities; conservation organizations [i.e. The Wildlife Society, Pheasants Forever and the National Wild Turkey Federation]; churches/non-profits; lawn care companies; industry

organizations; beekeepers; pest control companies; master gardeners; seed companies; utility companies; departments of transportation and individuals,” Langer suggested. “R.D. Offutt Company strives to be good stewards of the resources we have been entrusted with. We want to leave them in better shape for future generations,” Restucci commented. “It just makes sense to do all we can for the environment.”

“We have no plans to stop participating in this program,” he concluded. “We continually monitor the habitats and are working with etymologists to understand the positive impact we are having to agriculture and pollinator health.” For more information or to pledge to plant pollinator patches, visit www.FeedABee.com. To learn more about Bayer bee health initiatives, including Feed a Bee, please visit: www.Beehealth. Bayer.us.

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Top: Brassica (a genus of plant in the mustard family) thrives after being planted between almond tree rows at a research farm in Fresno, California, in 2015. Bottom: The beekeeping equipment was used by a beekeeper during a Bayer/The Wildlife Society Feed a Bee planting event.



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By Dana Rady, WPVGA Director of Promotions and Consumer Education

Wisconsin Potatoes Win the Hearts of Racine Students Between Potatopalooza and community events, October 2016 proved a busy month for the Spudmobile as it traveled from one location to another, touting Wisconsin potatoes all along the way. One of the many successful events during that month was a visit to Starbuck Middle School in Racine,

Wisconsin, on October 6, which had stemmed from an introduction the year before. In October 2015, the Spudmobile visited several retail stores during Potatopalooza, many of them in the Milwaukee area. One visitor was Kedric Lewis, a teacher at Starbuck Middle School. He was grocery shopping with his family at the Piggly

Wiggly store in Racine and took a stroll through the Spudmobile. Intrigued with what he saw and the information the staff presented, Lewis contacted the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) to schedule a visit during a time when it was convenient for the school and when it would fit into current curriculum topics. LARGEST SPUDMOBILE CROWD That scheduled time came about one year later and proved to be more than a valuable visit. On that day, the Spudmobile welcomed its largest crowd ever at a school, bringing in 600 students between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. When asked about the Spudmobile experience, Lewis said, “All I have heard from staff and students is that they loved it and all went well. The Spudmobile staff members are great. They are so patient, funny and personable. I have already had Above: Jim Zdroik (center with white shirt) explains the Field to Fork exhibit to students at Starbuck Middle School in Racine on October 6, 2016. Left: Starbuck Middle School students enjoy the bug game on the interactive touch table in the Spudmobile on October 6, 2016, in Racine, Wisconsin.

34 BC�T February

students ask if they can come back.” Although the schedule was extremely tight, the Spudmobile and its offerings were very well accepted. Once another visit is scheduled, it will likely take place over the course of two days to allow more time per group! What resonates most with me about this story, though, is the extent of the Spudmobile’s impact following Lewis’ first visit, and he is just one of thousands of consumers who has come through the Spudmobile since its 2014 debut. It’s an impact that resonated with him for almost a year after his initial visit, one he could have forgotten about and didn’t. I’d say that speaks volumes for the effectiveness of the Spudmobile and the efforts of the staff. And with requests that continue to come in, I am confident other consumers are experiencing the same. continued on pg. 36

Above: Students at Starbuck Middle School in Racine anxiously enter the Spudmobile to learn about Wisconsin potatoes and the importance of buying local.

BC�T February 35

Marketplace. . . continued from pg. 35

UPDATE: 2017 Food Safety Training Dates/Fees Set be offered in 2017 to accommodate.

Changes are once again occurring in the food safety realm with new requirements under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and consequently, WPVGA is adjusting the training classes that will

Details around two new rules have come to light in recent months that correlate with FDA FSMA. They are Produce Safety and Preventive Controls.

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Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) To shed light on each, “the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) is a collaboration between Cornell University, FDA and USDA to prepare fresh produce growers to meet the regulatory requirements” that are part of FSMA, according to the Produce Safety Alliance website, www.producesafetyalliance.cornell. edu. The Produce Safety rule sets “standards for growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption,” according to the Food and Drug Administration’s website, www.fda.gov. It has five key requirements: • Agricultural Water •B iological Soil Amendments • S prouts (preventing contamination of) •D omesticated Wild Animals •W orker Training and Health and Hygiene For further details on the Produce Safety rule, please visit: http:// producesafetyalliance.cornell. edu/ or http://www.fda.gov/ Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/ ucm334114.htm. Please note that according to the FDA’s website, potatoes are listed as an exempt commodity under the Produce Safety rule. This said, WPVGA will still be offering this class to growers who don’t pack or wash as a means of helping the industry stay proactive. Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) According to the Illinois Institute of Technology, the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) is “intended to ensure safe

manufacturing/processing, packing and holding of food products for human consumption in the United States” (https://www.ifsh.iit.edu/ fspca/fspca-preventive-controlshuman-food). The above-mentioned site also goes on to say that “the regulation requires that certain activities must be completed by a preventive controls qualified individual who has successfully completed training in the development and application of riskbased preventive controls.” While potatoes are exempt under the Produce Safety rule, they are not exempt under Preventive Controls. Therefore, anyone in the potato industry who packs or washes must attend the Preventive Controls class, in addition to having an up-to-date HACCP certificate on file. It’s important to understand that HACCP is a component of Preventive Controls, but one does not replace the other. Both are needed for the completion of a successful food safety audit. The final deadline for FSPCA to be implemented is January 2018. Following is a list of classes that the WPVGA will be offering in 2017: Produce Safety Date: Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Location: Grand Lodge Waterpark Resort (805 Creske Ave., Rothschild, WI 54474) Hotel Accommodations: $85/night Note: Hotel reservations should be made on your own. Cost per person: $100 Includes: books, certificates, lunch and breaks, 1 day (duration = 8 hours to complete training), Suggested for any grower, especially those who only grow. HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) Date: Wednesday, March 8-Thursday, March 9, 2017 Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. each day Location: Grand Lodge Waterpark Resort (805 Creske Ave. Rothschild, WI 54474) Hotel Accommodations: $85/night Note: Hotel reservations should be made on your own. Cost per person: $100 Includes: books, certificates, lunch and breaks, 2 days (same person must attend both days to receive certificate), Required for anyone in the industry who packs or washes. Preventive Controls Date: Monday, March 20-Wednesday, March 22, 2017 Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. first two days;

9 a.m.-noon the third day Location: Grand Lodge Waterpark Resort (805 Creske Ave., Rothschild, WI 54474) Hotel Accommodations: $85/night Note: Hotel reservations should be made on your own. Cost per person: $100 Includes: books, certificates, lunch and breaks, 2.5 days (same person must attend all 2.5 days to receive certificate), Required for anyone in the industry who packs or washes. If you are interested in attending any of the above classes or have questions, please contact Dana Rady at 715-623-7683 or drady@wisconsinpotatoes. com. Stay tuned to WPVGA’s weekly newsletter, Tater Talk, for updates regarding 2017 Food Safety training.


BC�T February 37

Harvesting Family Harmony Managing and nurturing relationships within the family is a key to solid farm succession planning By Louis S. Shuntich, JD, LL.M. Director, Advanced Consulting Group Nationwide® Over the next 20 years, 70 percent of farmland will transfer to the next generation1, but it is estimated that only 30 percent will stay as family farms2. When asked why there is such a poor success rate at keeping farms in the family, an elder rancher put it plainly that, “Our technical and business skills are fine; it’s our people skills that need help!”3 In other words, ranchers and farmers are telling us that their weakest link in succession planning is not technology or information, but rather

human relationship management. ESSENTIAL COMMUNICATION When it comes to succession planning, there is a demonstrated close relationship between how well a family communicates and its probability of success. In that regard, healthy family businesses share decision making and have excellent communication skills. The problem, however, is that many family members are reluctant to begin the process of open



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communication because they fear change or they associate communication with conflict or as a threat to their control of the enterprise. Yet it is critical to discover the expectations of all family members, as each individual needs to think about and share with the others what they would like to see happen regarding the future ownership and management of the business. MISSION STATEMENT A necessary outgrowth of this communication is the creation of a mission statement that outlines the basic purpose of the enterprise and summarizes what is done, who it is done for and how the organization conducts itself.4 In that respect, while this kind of abstract thinking is difficult, Above: Contributing to family harmony are the positive feelings family members have towards each other. These create a basis for agreement on a farm succession plan.

an effective way of accomplishing it is to have family meetings that bring the stakeholders together to discuss issues that are important to the family and the business. To be effective, however, such meetings must be well structured. This means that each meeting should have an agenda that is distributed in advance so that each participant has a chance to prepare for the meeting. Further, the attendees should come prepared and willing to listen while sharing information openly with each other. Here it should be noted, there are three overlapping and sometimes conflicting systems at work in a family business. They are the management system, the ownership system and the family system. The management system is focused on the daily activities of the business, such as production and marketing, while the ownership

system is concerned with returns to current and future investors. The family system, on the other hand, is concerned with maintaining family harmony in terms of unity and personal relationships that involve emotional feelings and generational authority.5 In this context, one of the great risks

It takes a lifetime to build a farm. But just a few short weeks or months after you’re gone the whole thing could be gone. Which is why planning for your succession calls for a legal partner that understands farming, and farmers. Contact Ruder Ware and talk with one of our experienced ag attorneys. They understand that your farm is not just a business, it’s the accomplishment of a lifetime.

Above: One of the great risks to a successful farm operation succession plan is if the father always presents himself as the “boss” in the family business, and then the child feels like the “hired help” with no say in decision making.

to a successful succession plan is having business conversations framed as parent/child exchanges that continued on pg. 40

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BC�T February 39

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conflict. In other words, “If you can’t tell that person face-to-face what you are thinking, then don’t tell anyone else.”7 Further, the avoidance of gossip helps with family trust that leads to mutual understandings about the appropriate behavior of family members in developing a succession plan. AVOID GRUDGES If the unfortunate does happen and family members become angry with one another over an issue, they should not carry grudges. Rather, they should get it out in the open and discuss it in a positive manner, respectfully giving the reasons for their views, and then move on. This will enable them to avoid turning a disagreement into a family fight that will end their relationship and any hopes for an amicable succession plan. This brings to mind the old adage to pick your fights carefully or,

better yet, don’t fight. SELECT LEADERS A most significant part of any succession plan is determining who takes leadership in the next generation. The family should consider whether the candidate has strong leadership skills. Further, does he or she have the requisite assertive nature or are they reserved to the point of being ineffective? Keep in mind that leadership requires boldness and decisiveness. Lastly, do they have personal issues that will impede their ability to lead the family business to success by making decisions that will be in the best interest of the business? This leaves the question of how the parent develops an understanding of whether any particular candidate has the necessary qualities. The answer is to make that determination by testing them with farm or ranch responsibilities.

Essentially, the parent should give the candidates duties to show if they can handle them and who is best at it before making the decision. The key is that the parent does not leave it to the candidates to decide among themselves who is best suited to lead, since they will fight and destroy the family. Rather, the parent must look at the situation and make the determination as to who will lead. The candidates may not like the result, but they are used to taking orders from the parent. And while they may not all like the result, they are more quickly willing to forgive the parent for a decision they don’t like than each other. FAIR vs. EQUAL Next, what is to be done for those who do not get a leadership position on the farm or ranch? This is one of the most difficult issues parents face continued on pg. 42

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Harvest Family Harmony. . . continued from pg. 41

in terms of whether to treat them fairly or equally. That is because equal treatment eliminates the fear that one child is favored over any other and is a safe position to take, but that may not be possible if the business is to be handed down as a viable entity. Consequently, a fair arrangement may not necessarily be equal. In any case, factors to be considered include8: • the value of family non-business assets • the importance of passing down the business completely intact • what has already been given to family members • what various family members have already contributed to the business • what opportunities various family members have already given up for the business

It should be noted that the objective of passing on the business entity completely intact means that the inheritance going to farm children should come from assets that are not central to the farm or ranch operation. This is complicated by the fact that farm participating children will want to see capital reinvested in the

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operation, while non-participating children will want to see cash. A common way of satisfying the demands of the off-farm children is through the purchase of life insurance. In any case, in pursuit of fairness, it is not usually a good idea to give the off-farm children a passive interest in the farming operation. The active children will need freedom of operation to succeed. Further, like any closely held business, a farm or ranch only pays income to those actively involved in the operation. This means that, unlike publicly held companies, it does not pay dividends to passive owners. Worse yet would be if passive owners were involved in issues of tax reporting, financial statements and banking issues for which they receive nothing in return, which is a prescription for family resentment and animosity. Another possible point of contention with the non-participating children is their emotional attachment to the family home. The way to deal with that problem is to have regular and












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Above: It is not usually a good idea to give the off-farm children (or in this case past hired help) a passive interest in the farming operation. The active children will need freedom of operation to succeed. Shown is Nick Somers (right), of Plover River Farms, with former employee Todd Wanta (left), and Nick and Plover River Farms have no immediate or near future succession plans.

fun family functions at the home that everyone looks forward to. The goal of this is that everyone involved should feel appreciated and not taken for granted.

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Farmers and ranchers spend their lives nurturing crops and animals while maintaining their properties. Yet, some fail to realize the importance of nurturing and maintaining family harmony for purposes of succession planning. Consequently, to be effective, an essential part of the products and services we provide in connection with succession planning must include instruction and coaching on how to build and maintain family harmony as a part of the succession planning process. The following is a short checklist of steps that should be followed by clients to help them through the planning process: • Schedule a family meeting • Define goals and objectives • Identify possible successors • Set a timeline for succession • Get buy-in from family members

February 21, 2017

February 22, 2017

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(food and beverage provided) 410 State Highway 64 Antigo, WI 54409 Session 3: 12 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Session 4: 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m.

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RSVP which session you would like to attend by emailing jmoran@mbginstitutional.com or calling 877-368-5709.

012 Census of Agriculture, Preliminary Report 2 Highlights, agcensus.usda.gov.Publications/2012/ Preliminary_Report/Highlights.pdf 2 http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1TOL/is_9/ ai_n25102493/, (03/2011) 3 Journal of Extension, Robert J. Fetsch, Extension Specialist, Human Development & Family Studies, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Fort Collins, Colorado, www.joe.org 4 Successful Family Business Transitions, Rodney Jones, Prepared for the 2005 Agricultural Lenders 1

So, join us at one of the no-obligation seminars to learn how you can take control of your legacy. We’ll cover topics such as the benefits of having a transition plan, who needs one and what you need to do to get your plan in place.

Conference, Manhattan, KS, September 2005 Supra 2. 6 Some Do’s and Don’ts for Successful Farm and Ranch Family Estate Trans, Extension Journal, Inc. ISSN 1077-5315, http//www.joe.org/ joe/1999june/iw2.php 7 “Midwest Producer,” Seven most common mistakes that lead to family farming failures, February 8, 2012, Ron Hanson, professor of Agribusiness, University of Nebraska-Lincoln 8 Supra 2. 5

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Badger Beat

How an Optimal Nitrogen Rate for Potato is Determined By Mark Ruark, Department of Soil Science, UW-Madison

Potato is a notoriously high-nitrogen-(N)-demand crop and has the highest N fertilizer recommendation of any crop in the state of Wisconsin. Historically, it is likely that fertilizer recommendations for potato were made from fertilizer rate studies and analyzed with analysis of variance for every year and location.

After reviewing all this information, an expert opinion was formed regarding what the optimal rate would be. Analysis of variance (or ANOVA) is a statistical approach that compares the yield at each N rate to the yield of every other N rate. In this scenario, the optimal N rate would be the lowest N rate that produced yields that were not statistically less than the highest yield obtained in the study. For example, if a rate of 200 lb.-N/acre yielded 550 cwt. (hundredweight)/acre, and this was not statistically different than the 560 cwt./acre obtained from 250 lb.-N/ acre, then 200 lb.-N/acre would be

considered an optimal rate in studies where all N rates less than 200 lb.-N/ acre had yields that were statistically less than 560 cwt./acre. The current approach (e.g. current N recommendations for corn in Wisconsin) for determining an optimal N rate is to have studies that have a lot of N rates (five or more) and use regression analysis to determine an optimal rate.

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DATA CURVES A typical approach may be to evaluate several different regression curves (linear, quadratic and plateau curves) and then pick the one that best represents the data. A linear regression curve is a straight line. If the response is linear, it would indicate that the N rates in the study did not go high enough and the study would not be valuable in determining an optimal N rate. Quadratic curves are those that curve up and eventually down. These are helpful in finding an optimal N rate, as the peak of the curve is the optimal N rate. However, from a biological perspective, it is more likely that yields increase with additional N fertilizer up to a certain point and then the yields plateau. Meaning, there is no biological reason why additional N would lead to a decrease in yield as we have not applied toxic levels of N for plant growth. This could be debatable for potato as an over-supply of N may lead to excessive vine growth, suppressing tuber bulking and leading to lower yields. So, for potato either quadratic or plateau curves may be appropriate.

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In this type of analysis, all the data is considered at once, and we are interested in the shape of the curve produced across all N rates. However, there are several types of regression curves that can be used to determine an optimal N rate, adding to the complexity of this analysis.

The nature of the quadratic and plateau curves can lead to large differences in optimal N rates, and

plateau curves typically will indicate lower optimal N rates compared to quadratic. This can be demonstrated by results from recent N response work in Wisconsin. In 2015, an N rate study was conducted at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station. The Goldrush variety was evaluated across seven N rates: 0, 60, 120, 180, 225, 270 and 315 lb.-N/acre. A third of N was applied at emergence, one-third at tuberization and one-third 14 days post tuberization, with the exception of the 60 lb.-N/acre rate, which only had 30 lb.-N/acre at emergence and 30 lb.-N/acre at tuberization. As starter fertilizer for all treatments, 33 lb.-N/ acre was applied, though the N rates evaluated here do not consider this starter N. Quadratic and linear-plateau regression was conducted for the data and graphed in Figure 1. The optimal N rate from quadratic regression was 250 lb.-N/acre, and the optimal N rate from linearplateau was 143 lb.-N/acre. This difference of 107 lb.-N/acre is an extreme example of how different analyses can produce dramatically different results. One simple way to determine which curve had the best fit is to calculate the root mean square error (RMSE). This is a simple approach that compares the difference between the actual yields to the yields determined for each N rate based on the statistical equation. For RMSE, a lower value is better as it means the equations were closer to the real values. In this example the RMSE for the quadratic was slightly better than the plateau (4.6 vs. 6.8), meaning that the quadratic had the better fit. But there may still be some issue with the result of the quadratic curve. Based on the data in Figure 1, applying 250 lb.-N/acre would still appear to be an over-application of N

as peak yields were obtained at 225 lb.-N/ac. WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? What this means is that determination of an optimal N rate for potato is difficult. It requires multiple years of data to determine which regression curve is the most appropriate to use. For example, what happens if the linear-plateau curve has the best fit for the next few years? Should we use that approach instead? Ultimately, we are still struggling with rectifying the expected biological response with the statistically determined response. It also brings into question the value of an N rate recommendation based off averaging over locations and growing seasons. If there is inherent variability from

Figure 1: The graph shows the Goldrush potato yield response to nitrogen (N) fertilizer in 2015 at the Hancock Agricultural Research experimental station. The black line is the quadratic response and the black arrow indicates the optimal N rate from quadratic regression (250 lb.-N/acre). The blue line is the linear-plateau response and the blue arrow indicates the optimal N rate determined (143 lb.-N/acre). The white arrow indicates the N rate at the largest yield determined in the study (225 lb.-N/acre).

field to field and season to season, then a dynamic approach to N management should be developed. As we move forward with the improvement of N management, we will need to incorporate these N response studies with a more detailed understanding of N uptake patterns of each potato variety to maximize the nitrogen use efficiency of fertilizer.

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 February 45

Now News Preserving and Protecting Wisconsin’s Water Fact Book relies on sound, science-based policies that protect the state’s groundwater Members of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) are working every day to preserve and protect Wisconsin's water. Over the next few months,

growers will be presenting factual, scientific information to local governmental bodies throughout Central Wisconsin in order to keep environmental discussions focused on

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science and facts. “WPVGA members are environmental stewards who are committed to working with our neighbors to advance sound, science-based policies that protect Wisconsin’s groundwater,” said WPVGA Executive Director Tamas Houlihan. “We welcome opportunities to develop and promote responsible water use practices that will protect the groundwater aquifer of the Central Sands and its associated streams, lakes and wetlands.” The WPVGA has compiled a High Capacity Wells Fact Book of relevant scientific research that focuses on the actual impact irrigated agriculture has on the aquifer and surface water in areas like the Central Sands region of Wisconsin. This fact book is the basis for their member-given presentations, which will take place over the next few months before the Portage, Above: WPVGA is presenting factual, scientific information to local governmental bodies throughout Central Wisconsin, having compiled a High Capacity Wells Fact Book of relevant scientific research that focuses on the actual impact irrigated agriculture has on the aquifer and surface water.

Marquette, Wood, Waushara, Adams and Waupaca County Boards. “The fact is, studies show irrigated agriculture returns more water to the stream flow than non-irrigated agriculture or non-crop landscapes,” said Houlihan. “We remain committed to finding science-based solutions to preserve and protect this precious resource and we support efforts that focus on facts, not rhetoric.” THE IRRIGATION PROCESS The process of irrigation lifts pumped water from the deep aquifer and deposits it on cropland via center pivot irrigation. From there, the pumped water that is not utilized by the plants infiltrates back into the same aquifer from which it was withdrawn. Thus, the plants are supplied with water from the deep aquifer rather than solely from the

A copy of the Fact Book can be downloaded at www.WisconsinWaterFacts.com shallower transient surface water.


It is that transient water that feeds streamflow. Materials contained within the WPVGA presentation include studies that document that the static groundwater table is not diminished by the pumping required for irrigated agriculture because of the high rate of recharge from precipitation in the region.

• Agriculture contributes $88 Billion to Wisconsin’s economy

“DNR studies show that there is greater recharge under irrigated vegetable crops than there is with alternative land covers such as coniferous trees, deciduous trees or grasslands,” Houlihan said.

• Provides employment for 827,000 people • Each job supports 1.4 indirect positions in related industries • Wisconsin ranks third in potato production and second in processed vegetables • The Central Sands region is a key area for potato and vegetable production and food security. continued on pg. 48

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Windshed Tree Planting Program Had Strong 2016 From seedlings to trees and prairies, the CWWP enjoyed a good growing season Now two months into year 2017, it is time to update readers on the Central Wisconsin Windshed Partnership Group (CWWP), its program and provide a quick summary of 2016. In 2016, the CWWP planted 68,124 feet or 12.9 miles of new plantings. This includes everything that the CWWP installed fabric on and will be maintaining for three years to come. Along with the 12.9 miles installed, there were a few other random projects, including machine planting 500 trees in an open field for a landowner and hand planting 125 trees for another, both in Adams County. In the fall, Shannon Rohde, project coordinator for the CWWP, planted a 6.2-acre prairie seeding for a landowner in Waupaca County using January 2017

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the CWWP’s tractor and Waupaca County’s new no-till drill for the planting. “We had another good growing season for all of our plants with plenty of rain and warm weather,” Rohde said. “With all the moisture we had in 2016, it ended up being one of the busiest years we have ever had for maintenance, mowing and weeding all the plants because the weeds just kept growing and growing.” HAND WEEDING “In my 14 years of being the project manager, this is the first year we had to do some hand weeding in April, and the busy year continued from there,” he adds. “Although we had a great growing season, we did have about 2,400 plants die or not grow

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48 BC�T February


Above: The Central Wisconsin Windshed Group has been planting windbreaks for years, which include rows of shrubs and trees covered by 6- or 10-foot fabric strips.

last year that will have to be replaced in 2017. Along with the windbreaks that CWWP has been planting for many years, installing living snow fences along roads and highways for county highway departments has continued to increase and be a big part of the group’s yearly workload. Last year, it made up about 40 percent of new installations and has expanded the group’s working territory to cover even more of Wisconsin. “We had two UW-Stevens Point students intern with us again,” Rohde remarked. “We have a working partnership with the university on an intern program that has been working out very well the past few years and I hope to continue working with them.” For more information about the CWWP, its services and where the group will travel, contact Shannon Rohde, project manager, 888-249-5424 or by email at cwwp@uniontel.net.

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Farm Credit System Donates $550,000 to Ag Education Center The Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center officially broke ground in Manitowoc County The Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center (WAEC) has officially broke ground on a world-class, interactive discovery center that will focus on sustainable and responsible farming practices. The groundbreaking ceremony was held at the center’s future site near Newton, Wisconsin at the intersection of Highways 43 and County C in Manitowoc County.

make this generous investment:

As part of the groundbreaking ceremony in October, leadership from the Farm Credit System enthusiastically backed the center’s capital campaign with a $550,000 gift. The following organizations from across the country came together to

WAEC will be a hallmark of Wisconsin agriculture and promises to provide visitors with the opportunity to connect with the industry by better understanding where their food comes from, and why agriculture is so important to them.

• AgriBank • AgCountry Farm Credit Services • AgStar Financial Services • Badgerland Financial • CoBank • GreenStone Farm Credit Services • United FCS

Above: A rendering depicts the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center that will include a 29,000-square-foot discovery center, a dairy cow birthing barn, an interactive globe, 300-person conference center, café, country store and outdoor playground, and promises to provide the opportunity for visitors to also tour the Grotegut Farm, a progressive, third-generation dairy farm.

It is to include a discovery center that will feature hands-on learning opportunities through a wide variety of displays, and the exciting option to tour the Grotegut Dairy Farm, which focuses on sustainability and best continued on pg. 50

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Now News. . . continued from pg. 49

farming practices while milking 2,400 cows three times a day. A highlight for visitors will be the chance to view live births of calves from the Grotegut Dairy Farm at the center’s birthing barn. Dave Armstrong, President and Chief Executive Officer of GreenStone Farm Credit Services, represented the Farm Credit System at the groundbreaking event. “The future of our industry depends on a well-informed public and an appreciation for the important role agriculture plays in all our lives,” Armstrong said. INVESTMENT IN AG “The Farm Credit System is committed to the prosperity of rural communities and agriculture across our great country, today and tomorrow,” he added. “Together, these five farm credit associations and two system funding banks are proud to make this investment in the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center.”

“It is an opportunity for us to carry out our commitment, and we could not be more proud to support this valuable educational asset,” Armstrong concluded. “This generous, collaborative, gift marks 80 percent towards our $13 million fundraising goal,” said Nic Schoenberger, WAEC board vice president and a Wisconsin dairy farmer. “We are grateful for this partnership with the Farm Credit System, a long-standing, trusted resource so many hard-working agricultural leaders have relied upon to successfully run their businesses.” Construction is anticipated to go through 2017 and WAEC leadership are planning to celebrate a grand opening in the spring of 2018. Once open, WAEC will provide visitors with the opportunity to connect with agriculture through a better understanding of where their food comes from and the tremendous

impact it has on their lives and on those of everyone committed to healthy living and a healthy world. The Center expects a wide array of visitors from every generation— from school groups to families to travelers—across the country. “It is quite an honor to break ground with so many generous, visionary industry leaders who share our passion to tell agriculture’s important story. To count the Farm Credit System among our top donors to our capital campaign makes it even more meaningful,” said Melissa Bender, WAEC Executive Director. “To recognize their incredible support, the Exhibit Theatre within the Discovery Center will be named in the Farm Credit System’s honor,” Bender announced. To learn more about WAEC, visit: www.BuildWAEC.org.

It Was Another Great Christmas in Immokalee Wisconsin potato growers donate chips to be served at holiday meal

Each year on Christmas Day, the North Naples Kiwanis Club sponsors a holiday event, serving free meals and distributing gifts to children and adults of Immokalee, Florida. Upward of 4,000 people stand in long lines to receive the welcomed meals, served to them by 100-plus Kiwanis members and community volunteers, who themselves are overwhelmed with the satisfaction of sharing what 50 BC�T February

they have with neighbors who have less than they do. The 2016 Christmas event was enhanced by the generosity of several Wisconsin potato growers who donated chips to complement the meals provided. Case and Susan VanCleef, formerly of The Cottage Restaurant in Plover, Wisconsin, are active members of the North Naples Kiwanis Club.

Above: Donating chips for those in need were Bushmans’ Inc., Mark Bula, Soik Sales, RPE Inc., Hamerski Farms, Heartland Farms, Okray Family Farms, Paul Sowinski, Bushmans Associates and Gumz Farms. Burgers were grilled by three generations of the Bushman family—from right to left looking toward the camera, Jerry Bushman (father), Maverick Bushman (grandson) and Mitchell Bushman (son).


Retail Program in Taiwan Kicks Season off Right Potatoes USA partnered with Taisuco Hypermarkets, in Taiwan, running a successful in-store campaign titled “Enjoy a Colorful Life with USA Potatoes.” The event featured U.S. fresh potatoes and included in-store nutritionist training for the

general public. The seminars not only featured sampling opportunities, but also instructed customers on the health benefits of eating potatoes. The event was so successful that Carrefour, another large retailer in the region,

asked that Potatoes USA replicate the promotion in their stores. In 2016, export potato shipments to Taiwan continued at a pace of 113 percent over 2015’s numbers through the month of September. continued on pg. 52

Teaming with growers to make more money and take less risk


Ray Grabanski


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At Progressive Ag, we understand your concerns. We are Risk Management Specialists focusing on potato and vegetable crops. Being prepared means not only avoiding and/or minimizing negative events, but also being able to take advantage of profit opportunities. You see, at Progressive Ag we make it our business to know your farm operation. We are committed to help you “Make more money and take less risk” To find out more, talk with one of our agents or call 1-800-450-1404 • www.progressiveag.com “This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.”

BC�T February 51

Potatoes USA News. . . continued from pg. 51

Nutritional Value of Potatoes Makes News During the 2016 holiday season, there was no shortage of delicious potato recipes in the media. The good news is that the media continued to praise potatoes for their nutritional value. From CNN and Livestrong to Self and Redbook, potato nutrition news made headlines. A round-up of recent nutrition news coverage follows: CNN.com praised potatoes as one of the top 10 most filling foods for weight loss, citing a satiety study in which potatoes ranked #1 for lasting fullness. “Whether baked or boiled, they’re loaded with vitamins, fiber and other nutrients. Result? You get

steady energy and lasting fullness after noshing on them.” Livestrong.com also cited potatoes as a food that can really fill you up, recommending baking, boiling, steaming or roasting spuds for the most satisfying potato options. “Why? One medium potato packs 20 percent of your daily fiber needs.” Redbook.com recommended potatoes for a weight loss diet, including citing the Potatoes USAfunded 2014 study completed with researches at the University of California in Davis. “They’re a good source of vitamin C and potassium, and one study showed that when

people ate five to seven servings of potatoes a week, they still lost weight.” Self.com included potatoes on a list of healthy carbohydrates that can help you lose weight, noting that white potatoes have an undeserved bad rap, but it’s all about portion and preparation. Lauren Harris-Pincus, RD, states: “Unless you’re going to town on a potato without anything else, its glycemic load isn’t as relevant. Since potatoes are a great source of fiber, especially with the skin on, it can be worth it to experiment with preparing them in a healthy way.”

Potatoes USA Attends Foodservice Editorial Conference Potatoes USA attended the annual International Foodservice Editorial Council (IFEC) conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota to meet with editors of all the key foodservice industry publications. The event is designed for editors and different organizations to discuss future editorial stories in their respective publications. Potatoes USA met with nearly 20 editors who are responsible for magazines with circulations each exceeding 1 million in readership, including Nation’s Restaurant News, Restaurant Business, On Campus Dining, Supermarket News, Foodservice Director, FSR/QSR and others. Story ideas were presented that feature potatoes, research and imagery for the editors to include in 2017 editorial lineups. The editors showed a lot of enthusiasm in the 52 BC�T February

materials that were shared, which is a positive indicator for increasing coverage in these publications in the year to come. In addition, Potatoes USA hosted a networking dinner attended

by several of the top industry editors.

Auxiliary News By Ali Carter, Vice President, WPGA

The Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary board and Membership Committee have been busy preparing for some upcoming networking events. I am excited to announce that our two Ladies Night Out events are now just weeks away!

We will be hosting a Night Out in Antigo at The Refuge on Thursday, February 9, and in Stevens Point at Michelle's on Thursday, February 23. Both events will begin at 6:30 pm. There will be drawings for several fun prizes, and any Auxiliary member who brings an eligible guest will receive a gift. While we’re all working toward the same goal of improving and highlighting the potato industry,

it can occasionally feel as though we are in this alone. The WPGA hopes that these upcoming networking events offer you an opportunity to mingle with like-minded women, and to network with others in our industry, all while enjoying some delicious appetizers and drinks. This promises to be a fun social evening and we look forward to seeing you there! If you are involved in the potato industry in any way,

Above: Food and Friends! Past and present Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary members enjoy gathering together at the Auxiliary’s 40th Anniversary Banquet in 2016.

we welcome you to join us for one or both of these events. And don't forget to bring a friend! Watch your mailboxes and email for more information and the official invitation for the two Ladies Night Out events.

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BC�T February 53

Beginning Farmer Becomes Successful Vegetable Grower Young producer overcomes limited English proficiency By Kaylyn Franks, Idaho Farm Service Agency

When some farmers talk about challenges experienced during their journey to success, they mention financial hardship or weather disasters. Occasionally a farmer has a challenge that includes starting with a single acre of cropland and building it into a successful farm. Ivan Tellez began working on a ranch in early 2000. After five years and as a Spanish speaker with only limited English, he moved to Nampa, Idaho, and began farming with his father. Tellez also worked for a local fresh produce farmer with 25 years of experience. 54 BC�T February

In 2010 he had an opportunity to purchase an acre of tomato plants. He raised them to full production, handpicked the tomatoes and sold them at a local farmer’s market. He saved his money and funded his own operation. In 2012, he increased his acreage and planted jalapeno peppers. He marketed much of his hand-picked harvest through the farmer he had worked for previously. Tellez asked the farmer’s advice about getting a loan. Since commercial lenders couldn’t assist Tellez as a beginning farmer, the

seasoned farmer recommended he contact the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office about a loan for beginning or underserved farmers. Tellez visited the FSA Office in Caldwell, Idaho, and began working with Shawna Anderson, a farm loan officer. The language barrier was a challenge for both parties, and Tellez often brought his cousin to the office to interpret. Today, the FSA offers Transperfect Translations, a service that connects farmers with limited English to interpreters over the phone in the FSA office. INTERPRETERS AVAILABLE There are at least 170 different language interpreters available. A customer with limited English proficiency simply identifies their language on an “Ispeak” card. The Above: Ivan Tellez and his father grow an assortment of fruits and vegetables on 71 acres, marketing their produce to local vendors. Photo courtesy of Kaylyn Franks

FSA employees follow instructions and within a few minutes, an interpreter is on the phone. Anderson also took Spanish lessons to better understand her new client. Tellez and his father, operating as Tellez Farms, LLC, qualified for a direct operating loan in 2012 and expanded to 21 acres in 2013. They grew green beans, cabbage, pumpkins, sweet corn, watermelon, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, cucumbers and cantaloupe. Tellez Farms, LLC have been using FSA’s direct operating and term loans since 2012. In 2016, Tellez qualified for a farm ownership loan and purchased farmland near Wilder, Idaho. A total of 71 acres is now in production. The younger Tellez actively markets his produce and reaps the benefits of the local demand for fresh, hand-picked fruits

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and vegetables. He is now selling produce to larger vendors in the area. “I am so proud of what Ivan has accomplished,” Anderson says. “To grow from one acre to 71 acres in six years is exciting. He is such a hard worker!” Tellez has a vision “to keep growing and be an advocate for other Hispanic producers to help them understand they don’t have to be a migrant worker all their life.” When asked what motivated him, a huge smile covered his face as he said his obligation to his finances and his love for knowing he played a part in planting a small seed and raising it to full production were primary factors. More information on limited English proficiency is available at http:// www.lep.gov.

Above: Beginning farmer, Ivan Tellez, worked with the Farm Service Agency staff to overcome a language barrier and secure a direct operating loan and farm ownership loan to expand his fruit and vegetable operation. Photo courtesy of Kaylyn Franks

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New Products Lindsay Adds Drop Span Option to Zimmatic Line allowing growers to drop obstructed outer spans and irrigate more acres in imperfect fields. Lindsay Corporation, maker of Zimmatic® irrigation systems, has introduced the 9500DS drop span option to its product line. When added to a new or existing Zimmatic pivot system, the 9500DS option gives growers the ability to irrigate more acres, even in an imperfect field. “The 9500DS helps growers make the most of every acre,” says Christopher

Higgins, global Zimmatic product manager. “They are able to quickly and easily drop obstructed outer spans, irrigate and then re-attach those spans to the pivot after it returns. This allows the pivot to pick up more acres while avoiding permanent obstacles, such as buildings, equipment and fences.” With the 9500DS, Higgins explains,

the pivot stops when it reaches a predetermined obstacle or barricade. The grower then drops one or more outer spans, allowing the rest of the pivot to continue irrigating. After the pivot completes irrigation, it returns and the spans are reattached. “It’s quick and easy,” Higgins says. “One person can do it, and no tools are required. In most cases, it only takes five to 10 minutes to detach or reattach the spans.” The 9500DS is available with standard galvanized pipe and also will be offered in a stainless steel version for use on alternative pipeline machines in corrosive water environments. “We researched what was on the market and developed a product that we think is superior to everything that’s currently out there,” Higgins explains. “The 9500DS includes the most advanced features and offers unmatched ease of use and speed of operation.” For more information about the 9500DS option, talk to your local Zimmatic dealer or visit www. zimmatic.com.

56 BC�T February

Evenflow Modular Bins Offer Safe Food Storage with efficient, hygienic installation, and options for real-time monitoring and organic use. Evenflow Storage Bins from Jantz Canada are an expandable solution for the growing needs of today’s packhouses. Modular in design, they are truly the last storage solution you will ever need to buy. Developed and perfected over a period of 10 years, working with storage warehouses across North America, Evenflow Bins provide safe food storage straight from the field and for pre-washed potatoes, beets, onions and other root vegetables. With bins ranging in capacity from 5 to 100 tons, storage and processing can be supported with a single design. Built from pre-formed side panels, support legs and conveying continued on pg. 58

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BC�T February 57

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components means installation is quick and easy, and future expansion to increase capacity when needed is a breeze. Bins can be sloped for ease of infeed, or utilize a stair stepping feed ladder and straight sides to maximize storage space in any given footprint. All contact surfaces on the bins are either stainless steel or food grade plastic. The structure includes a durable powder coat finish to resist scratches and chipping. Featuring the only adjustableslope turkey roost in the industry, discharge rates and locations (one end or the other, or both) can be finely controlled. The unique tilt conveyor design means tracking


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Potandon Produce Introduces Light Blocker Bags improving shelf life of bagged potatoes by blocking greening effects of florescent light. Potandon Produce LLC, a leader in fresh potato innovation in the United States, debuted a new line of LightBlocker potato bags at the 2016 Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit Convention. The cutting-edge technology is available in the leading national potato retail brand, Green Giant™. Vice President of Sales Ralph Schwartz remarks, “This is truly a quantum leap for potato packaging. The initiative was undertaken solely to create value for the retail community as it improves shelf life of polybagged potatoes by blocking the potential greening effects of florescent lighting.”

The initial Light-Blocker bags available are for 3- and 5-pound Green Giant yellow potatoes; 5-pound Klondike Goldust™; 5-pound Green Giant White potatoes; 3- and 5-pound Green Giant Red potatoes; and 5- and 10-pound Green Giant russets in both Idaho and non-Idaho bags. For more information, contact Rebekah Clark, marketing coordinator at Potandon Produce, rclark@potandon.com, phone: 208-557-5131.

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BC�T February 59

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

Tuesday of the Grower Education Conference & Industry Show, so plan on making time to have a free scan.

Hello everyone, I cannot believe that we are a year into me being president of the WPVGA Associate Division. The whirlwind of activities that are part of my duties makes the time fly. It seems like it was only a few months back that I took on the position. Everything has been put in place for the Grower Education Conference, the event is full, and the prizes for both the silent auction and the banquet are on hand. As I write this column, my hope is that the event goes off without a hitch, everyone has a great experience and the weather cooperates for the entire three days. We will be having the Free Skin Cancer Screening again this year on

Optimism in agriculture has been, let’s say, a little less than usual for the growers, with the outlook looking sub-par for trying to turn a profit. We can only hope that the contracts are good and the weather cooperates to provide good yields again to offset the low prices in commodities. The only problem with this, though, is more great yields bring even lower prices. It is a vicious circle. Most farmers reluctantly wish for a crop failure somewhere else. Sad but true. This is a short column as we have everything taken care of for the conference. We the WPVGA Associate Division are here to help the industry, so if you have any questions, comments, ideas or concerns, please contact me or any of our board members so we can better try to assist and best represent our members.

Above: The annual Awards Banquet is a highlight of the UW-Extension & WPVGA Grower Education Conference & Industry Show, and 2016 was no exception, with a packed banquet hall, a sparkling cocktail hour, fabulous dinner and the highlyanticipated awards presentation.

Thanks for reading, be safe, be happy, and most of all, be content. There is no better place to be than at peace with yourself. As always, from me to all of you, thank you,

Wayne Solinsky

WPVGA Associate Division President

WPIB Focus

Wisconsin Potato Assessment Collections: Two-Year Comparison





























































60 BC�T February

NPC News Potato Growers Select 2017 NPC Leadership At the National Potato Council’s 2017 Annual Meeting January 6-7 in San Francisco, in conjunction with the Potato Expo, Dwayne Weyers of Aspen Produce, LLC, in Center, Colorado, was elected to serve as NPC’s 2017 President and to lead the council’s Executive Committee. As President, Weyers will host the 2017 NPC Summer Meeting in Denver. The Executive Committee holds office for one calendar year. NPC delegates approved Daniel Chin of Klamath Falls, Oregon, as the new Vice President of the Grower and Public Relations Committee and Cully Easterday of Pasco, Washington, as First Vice President and Vice President of the Trade Affairs Committee.

The other members approved include: Larry Alsum of Friesland, Wisconsin, as Vice President of the Finance and Office Procedures Committee; Dominic LaJoie of Van Buren, Maine, as Vice President of the Environmental Affairs Committee; and Britt Raybould of St. Anthony, Idaho, as the Vice President of the Legislative and Government Affairs Committee. The 2016 President, Jim Tiede, will continue to serve on the Executive Committee as the Immediate Past President. The 2017 Executive Committee will meet at the Potato D.C. Fly-In February 13 to continue their work

Above: The 2017 National Potato Council Executive Committee is, from left to right, Cully Easterday, Dominic LaJoie, Jim Tiede (immediate past president), Larry Alsum, Dwayne Weyers, Britt Raybould and Daniel Chin.

for the industry. This includes leading more than 150 growers to Capitol Hill to meet with Senators and members of the House to communicate industry messages. The messages point to the need to reduce the regulatory burden on farms and small businesses, jump start tax reform, including eliminating the estate tax and making accelerated depreciation permanent, and to support foreign trade deals that facilitate potato exports. continued on pg. 62 BC�T February 61

NPC News . . . continued from pg. 61

Rising Potato Leaders Commit to Improving the Industry Potato Industry Leadership Institute (PILI) program set for Feb. 8-16 The Potato Industry Leadership Institute (PILI) Class of 2017 will bring together 23 potato growers and industry representatives, including three chosen from Wisconsin, interested in developing their leadership potential to better serve the industry. During the eight-day program, Feb. 8-16, the PILI will present a broad view of the potato industry across production regions and markets. The program also offers accelerated training on leadership characteristics, team development, communication skills and effective media relations. Participants will also learn about public policy issues impacting the

62 BC�T February

potato industry and experience firsthand how to deliver their personal stories to Capitol Hill. This annual program is administered by the National Potato Council (NPC) and Potatoes USA, and is generously supported by Syngenta. This year's training will kick off in Maine with tours of local farms and the processing industry. The program will then move to Washington, D.C., where the focus will turn to skills training and public policy. Travis Meacham of Moses Lake, Washington, attended the 2016 program and will return this year to serve as the 2017 Grower Leader. “I hope to learn even more about

Above: The PILI Class of 2017 includes, from left to right, Nathan Bula of Gary Bula Farms, Luke Wysocki of Wysocki Produce Farm, and Lynn Dickman, a research agronomist for Heartland Farms, Inc.

the challenges that we are facing and educate others on solutions,” he said. “I know we will all come away with communication tools and training that will help our daily lives and strengthen our involvement in agriculture.” The 2017 class includes: Nathan Bula, Oxford, WI; Sander Dagen, Karstad, MN; Brant Darrington, Declo, ID; Lyla Davis, Monte Vista, CO; Lynn Dickman, Hancock, WI; Lindsey Dodgen, Potatoes USA; David Fedje, Crystal, ND; Scott Fenters, Klamath Falls, OR; Mike Huskinson, Sugar City, ID; Russ Kehl, Quincy, WA; Kelly Kuball, Bakersfield, CA; Jay LaJoie, Van Buren, ME; Braden Lake, Rupert, ID; Nate Lancaster, Connell, WA; Mike Larson, Rupert, ID; Travis Meacham, Moses Lake, WA; Chad Platt, Kennewick, WA; Suzanne Price, Washington, D.C.; Jordan Reed, Pasco, WA; Matthew Skogman, Foster City, MI; Jared Smith, Blanca, CO; Paul Streich, Kalispell, MT; and Lucas Wysocki, Wisconsin Rapids, WI.

Canada & U.S. Maintain Dialog in Potato Meeting The annual meeting of the U.S. and Canadian Potato Councils took place the week of Nov. 14-18 with 39 attendees.

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The meeting allows the countries to identify areas on which to collaborate and to tackle problems where both countries will benefit from an agreedto solution. On the agenda was a North American Plant Protection Organization update, phytosanitary issues such as Potato Virus Y, potato cyst nematodes and Dickeya, bilateral trade issues and international trade issues. The NPC believes it is important to maintain a dialogue with all North American growers, especially as trade agreements could face rollbacks and new scrutiny under President-elect Donald Trump.

continued on pg. 64

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1500 Post Road | Plover WI 54467 | www.robertsirrigationWI.com BC�T February 63

NPC News . . . continued from pg. 63

NPC CEO Speaks at Sustainable Ag Summit NPC CEO John Keeling addressed attendees of the Sustainable Agriculture Summit in Atlanta the week of Nov. 14-18 regarding NPC’s role in the Potato Sustainability Initiative (PSI). PSI is a collaboration of two potato product buyers, six processors and more than 565 growers who have developed a sustainability platform for potato growers. Data collected by PSI is being made available to McDonald’s in order for the QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) giant to assure their investors and customers that the potatoes served in their restaurants are being produced

sustainably. Keeling highlighted the challenges of reporting farm data and discussed how data can drive change in farm management. He was joined by Kendra Levine of McDonald’s, who provided an overview of the company’s sustainability program and the commitment to sourcing potatoes and other inputs sustainably. The speakers emphasized the importance of creating a dialogue with growers about sustainability and involving growers directly in the development of metrics to measure sustainability improvements over time.

Above: National Potato Council CEO John Keeling

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Ali's Kitchen A Valentine’s Day Treat—Oven Baked French Fries. Oui! Column and photos by Ali Carter, Vice President, WPGA Auxiliary With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I intended to share with you a “romantic” recipe, a delicate and creamy dish with the feeling of something you’d only serve to a love. I contemplated what that romantic recipe could be. And my mind was completely blank … except for French fries!

powder and black pepper. I suggest the same for the dipping sauce. My family adores spicy food and I have a son who puts hot sauce and sriracha on everything, so for us this sauce was perfect.

Seriously, I thought about this for days. Days. And could only dream up fries.

For the French fries themselves, a little trick is to use parchment paper to line your baking sheet. I am not sure what it is about this thin little paper, but the parchment truly does help to crisp up the potatoes, and it makes clean-up so much easier!

So, to those of you who were hoping for some elegant inspiration to serve on the upcoming holiday of love, I sincerely apologize. All I have for you today are French fries. But, these are incredibly delicious French fries with a spicy dipping sauce that I can almost guarantee will cause you to fall in love! These fries have a kick to them, so if you prefer to tone down the spice level, just lessen the amount of chili

For a less spicy version simply add only 1 or 2 tablespoons of the sriracha to the other ingredients.

Oven-Baked Potato Fries

With the parchment paper, you do not need as much olive oil, being less concerned about the potatoes sticking to the pan. You only need a drizzle of oil to help the spices and seasoning stick to the fries. continued on pg. 66

Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash and dry your potatoes well. Then slice them into “sticks” and toss into a gallon Ziploc bag. To the bag add the olive oil, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Seal the bag closed and give everything a vigorous shake to coat the potatoes thoroughly with the oil and spices. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the potatoes evenly on the pan, being careful not to overlap potatoes (overlapping will cause the fries to be less crunchy). Place the pan of potatoes into the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. Serve with the Sriracha Dipping Sauce (recipe on page 66).

INGREDIENTS: 5 medium Wisconsin russet potatoes 1 teaspoon olive oil 1/4 teaspoon chili powder ½ teaspoon onion powder 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder ½ teaspoon paprika ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper BC�T February 65

Advertisers Index

Ali's Kitchen. . . continued from pg. 65

Spicy Sriracha Dipping Sauce INGREDIENTS: ¾ cup mayonnaise ½ cup sour cream 1 garlic clove, finely grated Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro 3 tablespoons Sriracha

In a small bowl mix all ingredients together. Garnish with additional cilantro leaves if desired.

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Protect the perimeter. Your potato crop could be under attack, and you don’t even know it. A major underground threat to potato plants, Rhizoctonia can creep in, causing uneven plant emergence and inconsistent tuber sizing resulting in poor quality of the crop. Seed treatments can be effective, but once young roots, stolons and stems grow out of that perimeter of protection, they’re totally vulnerable. Unless you treat in-furrow with Elatus® fungicide. Because of its two active ingredients, one of which Rhizoctonia has never faced, Elatus provides long-lasting protection from soil borne diseases throughout the mound. To learn more, visit SyngentaUS.com/Elatus

©2016 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Elatus,® the Alliance Frame, the Purpose Icon and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. MW 1ELA6007_Radar_AG9 07/16

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