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$22/year | $2/copy | Volume 71 No. 11 | NOVEMBER 2019



COMPLETE 2019 WISCONSIN CERTIFIED SEED Potato Growers Directory FROM BEAN HARVESTER To Banker and Beyond! ADVANCED IMAGING To Detect Late Blight


PROFILE: DR. RENEE RIOUX Administrative Director, Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program

Guenthner Potato Company

DO GOOD FENCES Make Good Neighbors?

Certified seed potatoes are harvested at Guenthner Potato Company in Antigo, Wisconsin, on the last day of the season, October 10, 2019.


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On the Cover: Like all Wisconsin potato and vegetable growers, Guenthner

Potato Company was forced to harvest between raindrops this fall, but still managed to wrap up the season on October 10, 2019, the day depicted on the front cover. Dave Matuszewski is shown running a Case IH MX 190 tractor and pulling a 472AH Lockwood harvester, loading potatoes onto a Ford bulk truck driven by Kevin, a seasonal employee. Guenthner Potato Company is a certified seed potato grower in Antigo, Wisconsin.

8 BADGER COMMON’TATER INTERVIEW: A truckload of cut seed potatoes is ready for planting at Guenthner Potato Company, Antigo, Wisconsin, in the spring of this year. Bob and Cheri Guenthner say they are excited to have Jim Kennedy, this issue’s interviewee, on board as their new farm manager and that he’s a perfect addition to their operations. Among his many duties, Jim assists in creating crop, spray and fertility plans and makes proper storage decisions.

DEPARTMENTS: AUXILIARY NEWS............... 72 BADGER BEAT.................... 64 EYES ON ASSOCIATES......... 77


The man behind Nicklaus Farms is an incredible story


Quinlan’s Equipment of Antigo, Wisconsin, grows and upgrades its facility


A boxful of Superior spuds was quickly canned and shelved for future meals

FEATURE ARTICLES: 18 50 70 75 4

DR. RENEE RIOUX takes helm of Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program THE COMPLETELY UPDATED Wisconsin Certified Seed Potato Growers Directory

MARK YOUR CALENDAR...... 6 MARKETPLACE................... 58 NEW PRODUCTS................ 28 NPC NEWS......................... 79 PEOPLE.............................. 54 PLANTING IDEAS.................. 6 POTATOES USA NEWS........ 68

RESEARCHERS CONTINUE to advance hyperspectral work for late blight detection

SEED PIECE........................ 73

KEYS TO UNDERSTANDING and following the state fence law in agricultural areas

WPIB FOCUS...................... 69

BC�T November

Quality Growers of Foundation and Certified Seed Potatoes for Over 50 Years!





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WISCONSIN N3502 Hwy H • Antigo, WI 54409 CERTIFIED SEED POTATOES Office: 715-627-7753 • Fax: 715-623-5412 • WPVGA Board of Directors: President: Wes Meddaugh Vice President: Rod Gumz Secretary: Mike Carter Treasurer: Gary Wysocki Directors: Bill Guenthner, Charlie Mattek, Alex Okray, Eric Schroeder & Eric Wallendal Wisconsin Potato Industry Board: President: Heidi Alsum-Randall Vice President: Richard Okray Secretary: Bill Wysocki Treasurer: Keith Wolter Directors: John Bobek, Andy Diercks, Cliff Gagas, John T. Schroeder & Tom Wild WPVGA Associate Division Board of Directors: President: Kenton Mehlberg Vice President: Paul Cieslewicz Secretary: Sally Suprise

Treasurer: Rich Wilcox Directors: Chris Brooks, Julie Cartwright, Kristi Kulas & Nick Laudenbach Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association Board of Directors: President: Dan Kakes Vice President: Jeff Fassbender Secretary/Treasurer: Matt Mattek Directors: Roy Gallenberg & J.D. Schroeder Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Board of Directors: President: Kathy Bartsch Vice President: Devin Zarda Secretary/Treasurer: Datonn Hanke Directors: Jody Baginski, Brittany Bula, Deniell Bula & Marie Reid

Mission Statement of the WPVGA: To advance the interests of WPVGA members through education, information, environmentally sound research, promotion, governmental action and involvement. Mission Statement of the WPVGA Associate Division: 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

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: Jane Guillen Spudmobile Assistant: Doug Foemmel

WPVGA Office (715) 623-7683 • FAX: (715) 623-3176 E-mail: Website: LIKE US ON FACEBOOK:

Subscription rates: $2/copy, $22/year; $40/2 years. Foreign subscription rates: $35/year; $55/2 years. Telephone: (715) 623-7683 Mailing address: P.O. Box 327, Antigo, Wisconsin 54409 Or, subscribe free online: ADVERTISING: To advertise your service or product in this magazine, call (715) 630-6213, or email: Joe Kertzman: The editor welcomes manuscripts and pictures but accepts no responsibility for such material while in our hands. BC�T November



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that makes your whole day, or even your week or month. I honestly wasn’t expecting it, and I’ve been thinking about the experience ever since.









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It was one of those pleasant surprises

I sure enjoyed my time visiting Ron Nicklaus, shown above holding Yukon Gold potatoes grown on Nicklaus Farms in Irma, Wisconsin. It was a few hours riding in a golf cart and a truck, but it made a lasting impression. Rob Wyman of River Valley Bank in Wausau, Wisconsin, which was recently renamed and rebranded IncredibleBank, is an Associate Division member of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA). He suggested I do a story on the owners of the bank, the Nicklaus family, and specifically on Ron, who was born in 1936 and has been farming for longer than most Badger Common’Tater readers have been alive. With only 12.5 acres of land and certainly not qualifying as a large commercial potato and vegetable grower compared to most members of the WPVGA, I honestly wasn’t sure what I was doing driving to Irma on September 23, or what kind of story I could get about a guy whose family owns banks and grows potatoes and vegetables on the old farm. That was before I met Ron Nicklaus, before he graciously and proudly showed me the family farm and told me his story, before I realized this man was an entrepreneur, businessman, farmer, banker and living legend. And he was pleasant to talk to, quiet yet friendly, smart, astute and nice. Ron’s current business plan is a bit out of the ordinary, and certainly not one for WPVGA grower members to emulate, unless they want to give away the farm, literally. Trust me on this one—read Ron’s inspirational and incredible (thus the name of the new bank?) story in this issue. The Seed issue of the Common’Tater is the largest of the year, enjoying bonus circulation to potato growers across the country. Check out the profile on the new administrative director of the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program, Dr. Renee Rioux, who has a nice story of her own to share and is a welcome addition to the highly respected seed program. 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:

Joe Kertzman

Managing Editor


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Interview JIM KENNEDY,

farm manager, Guenthner Potato Company By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater

NAME: Jim Kennedy TITLE: Farm manager COMPANY: Guenthner Potato Company LOCATION: Antigo, Wisconsin HOMETOWN: Antigo, Wisconsin TIME IN PRESENT POSITION: Six months PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT: Frito-Lay for 8 years SCHOOLING: Northcentral Technical College, Antigo ACTIVITIES/ORGANIZATIONS: Facilities board member for Rhinelander Ice Association, former head coach for Rhinelander Youth Hockey, and former assistant coach for Jr. Yoopers AAA Hockey FAMILY: Wife, Katie, of 13 years, and two sons, Gabe, 10, and Liam, 8. “We have lived in Rhinelander since 2008.” HOBBIES: Hunting, fishing, camping, boating and spending time with his family at the hockey rink


BC�T November

Jim Kennedy was with Frito-Lay for eight years, and when Bob Guenthner of Guenthner Potato Company interviewed him for a farm manager position, Bob says he knew Jim was the one. The Guenthner Potato Company was founded in 1926 by Joseph Sebastian Guenthner. Joseph and Lily Guenthner had four children. Of their four children, Julius Guenthner became district attorney of Langlade County; Harvey Guenthner and his wife, Jeanette, formed their own company and grew potatoes; Margaret Guenthner and her husband, Oscar Wendt, formed another potato growing operation; and Joseph Frank Guenthner and his wife, Carol, grew potatoes and incorporated Guenthner Potato Company, Inc. Joseph and Carol’s son, Robert “Bob” Joseph, owns the Guenthner Potato Company certified seed farm today. Bob and his wife, Cheri, are very excited that Jim [Kennedy] has been the perfect addition to their operations. In fact, Bob defers to his farm manager, Jim, for the following interview.

How many acres of seed potatoes does Guenthner Potato Company farm? We are currently growing 300 acres of certified seed potatoes, 250 acres of oats and about 350 acres of clover on average per year. Is it strictly a seed potato farm, or do you grow for other markets? Explain. We have always been strictly a certified seed potato grower and have never grown potatoes for any other markets. How many varieties do you grow? We are currently growing three different varieties of certified seed potatoes. What are your daily duties or what is your job description on the farm? I have a wide range of responsibilities around the farm, like most farm Above: Farm manager for Guenthner Potato Company, Jim Kennedy, shown standing in front of a Lockwood AirHarvester, says he enjoys all aspects of the growing season, from planting to watching the crop mature and taking it all the way through harvest.

managers do. I assist in creating our crop plans for the year. I also work on fertility plans, spray plans and proper storage decisions. I ensure equipment has been properly maintained and is ready for planting and harvest. I calibrate the planters and sprayer before each season. I dig yield samples throughout the growing season and determine the irrigation schedule and when to vine kill the crop. I manage our full-time and seasonal employees on a day-to-day basis and strive to enhance our farm team. I also help wherever needed throughout the year to make everything flow properly so we have a high-quality product to ship to our customers. Are any two days alike? Explain. In the farming industry, it is very rare that you are doing the same thing day after day. Each day brings a new continued on pg. 10

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Bob Guenthner, owner of Guenthner Potato Company in Antigo, Wisconsin, holds his grandson, Sam McGivern, at the State Seed Potato Farm in Rhinelander.

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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 9

Cut seed potatoes are loaded into the planter at Guenthner Potato Company, a certified seed potato grower. Dave Matuszewski (barely visible in the cab) sets the GPS on the tractor, and Joe Holbrook, an operator, checks the settings on the planter before starting the 2019 planting season.

reward or challenge, always a new adventure, if you will. Mother Nature has been known to throw us some curve balls, and we often work long hours when the weather is good. What is your favorite part of being a farm manager? What brings you the

biggest joys each day or production year? My favorite part is being involved in every aspect of the farm and working to strengthen our team. Whether it is making crop decisions or being on the business end of a shovel, I will always help anywhere it is needed to maximize the flow of production.

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I think what brings me the greatest joy is when we start planting and a new season begins. I look forward to watching the crop grow from planting to the harvest. Farming can be a challenge at times, but it is rewarding to be a part of this industry and I enjoy watching our team conquer the challenges of each season together. What are your biggest challenges? Our biggest challenge is to continue to grow a high-quality crop for years to come, despite the curve ball that Mother Nature keeps throwing at us farmers. Another challenge can be learning to be creative and efficient when dealing with unexpected machinery malfunctions. In the farming industry, continued on pg. 12




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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 10

Founded in 1926 by Joseph Sebastian Guenthner, Guenthner Potato Company harvest has taken many forms over the years, from digging by hand and loading the truck bed with bags to using a Farmall tractor and finally with modern windrowers and harvesters.

we only have a short window of decent weather in each season and our team works hard to ensure safety by resolving any mechanical issues in a timely manner to ensure we get the job done. Do all Antigo seed potato growers plant, tend to crops and harvest similarly? Row spacing? Machinery? Methods? What does Guenthner Potato Company do that perhaps other growers don’t? I would say that most of the seed potato growers in Antigo plant, tend to the crop and

harvest very similarly. However, each farm appears to have its own best practices and policies that it follows, allowing for some differences. Most farms plant 32-, 34- or 36-inch row spacing on their potato crop. Machinery can vary. Larger farms generally have a higher quantity of big planting and harvesting equipment. We typically space rows at 34 inches. We have two Kverneland four-row cup planters, two four-row



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Spudnik windrowers and a Lockwood AirHarvester. At Guenthner Potato Company, we take a lot of pride in our crop and have our own best practices and policies we believe are best. Why is the soil in the Antigo area so critical to what you do? Is it all silt loam? Explain. The Antigo silt loam soil is very critical for our production. It is organic enriched, and fairly-level ground holds a lot of nutrients and water for good plant growth, allowing for a high-quality crop. We do have a couple of lighter sand fields that need increased irrigation and added nutrients throughout the growing season to ensure a good yield. What kind of checks and balances do you, as a seed grower, go through by law that fresh or table stock growers don’t? We are required to have certification conducted by the Wisconsin Seed Certification Program on all our fields twice during

the growing season. A winter test is also sampled and grown in Hawaii to screen for potential virus levels, and we send samples in for Dickeya screening. Is cleanliness inherent, and if so, why? Food safety, and why? To be a reputable certified seed potato grower, it is essential to have a quality sanitation program. We strive to consistently maintain a high level

At Guenthner Potato Company, we strive to exceed regulatory and customer requirements, providing a safe and high-quality product. We do this by ensuring our potatoes are grown with strict safety measures.

of cleanliness to reduce any possible contamination. This includes regular disinfecting of equipment, disinfecting storage bins and protocol to ensure we keep any potential diseases off the farm. We are also required to prevent variety mixtures by ensuring we clean all equipment before starting to work with another variety of potato.

How exactly do you prevent diseases and insect infestation on your farm? What types of prevention methods are you using? To grow high-quality continued on pg. 14



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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 13

Bob Guenthner says the photo depicts those most instrumental in the founding and early running of Guenthner Potato Company. From left to right are Bob’s father, Joseph F. Guenthner, his grandfather, Joseph S. Guenthner, Margaret Wendt and his uncle, Harvey Guenthner.

Dustin Holbrook adds clover seed to the grain drill. He and seasonal employee, Gary, do all the seeding of the farm’s oats and clover.

disease at a minimum and to avoid any spreading of a virus, disease or insect.

How long have you been farm manager, and how have things changed or stayed the same in that time? I have been a part of the Guenthner Potato Company family for six months. However, I have been employed in the potato farming industry for 26 years.

seed potatoes, it is essential to scout regularly to inspect for potential viruses, diseases and insects. We spend a lot of our time in the growing season directly in the field observing the crop. Early detection is essential to keep virus levels and

We have a quality spraying regimen that assists in reducing the odds of disease, virus, etc.

I have seen many changes over my years in this industry, as things often change when best practice standards change. I am impressed with the state-of-the-art storage and grading facility at Guenthner Potato Company. We can store about 27,500 bags in each bin, equaling 110,000 bags.

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What type of technologies are you using today that you didn’t in the past? We have added GPS on our sprayer and all our tractors, which maximizes productivity and sustainability. How many employees does Guenthner Potato Company have, both full time and seasonally? We currently employ eight full-time and 13 seasonal employees. continued on pg. 16

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Interview. . .

continued from pg. 14

Size was consistent, yield good and the potatoes looked great going into storage on the last day of harvest, October 10, 2019, at Guenthner Potato Company.

How’s the year shaping up? Well, we had a cold, wet spring that pushed planting back, a cool summer and so far, a wet fall. With that said, our crop looks good for the growing season that we were dealt. What do you hope for the future of Guenthner Potato Company? Guenthner Potato Company is a family-based legacy of which I am honored to now be a part of.

We will continue to provide highquality product to our customers just as Bob and his family have done for decades. I also know we will continue to evaluate and explore new technologies and products to maximize production and continued longevity of the farm. Do you have anything to add, Jim, that I might have missed? I would like to give a special thanks to Bob

Guenthner and our team of full-time employees, Jackie Majewski, Dave Matuszewski, Joe Holbrook, Steve Kloes, Casey Patterson and Dustin Holbrook. I also want to acknowledge our hardworking seasonal employees, Kevin, Gary, Ron, Ken, Donna, Dennis, Shannon, Sam, Rick, Casey S., Joe Z., Mike and J.R.

Above: Two healthy seed potato varieties are shown side-by-side and flowering beautifully on Guenthner Potato Company land in 2018. Left: As part of the seed potato farm’s mission of consistently maintaining a high level of cleanliness to reduce any possible contamination, Rick, a seasonal employee, washes and disinfects the seed cutting equipment between seed lots. 16 BC�T November

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Ready to Direct Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program Dr. Renee Rioux considers program a shining example of the Wisconsin Idea in action By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater On July 22, Dr. Renee Rioux officially assumed the role of assistant professor, University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison Plant Pathology Department. Her first day on the job, though, was during the Hancock Agricultural Research Station Field Day, July 18. She also transitioned into her new position as the administrative director for the Wisconsin Seed

Potato Certification Program (WSPCP) in early August. It’s been a great transition so far. “One aspect of the program that stood out during my interview, and is even more evident now that I am here, is the high caliber of people associated with the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program,” Dr. Rioux says.

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Above: Dr. Renee Rioux was introduced as the new administrative director of the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program during the 2019 Hancock Agricultural Research Station (HARS) Field Day. As it turns out, the HARS Field Day was also her first day on the job as an assistant professor in the University of WisconsinMadison Plant Pathology Department.

“From Alex Crockford and the inspectors in Antigo to Keith Heinzen and the State Farm team in Rhinelander, Andy Witherell and Brooke Babler on campus with the tissue culture program, and Drs. Amanda Gevens and Russ Groves as interim directors and current advisors to the program, plus the grower community, everyone has worked hard to keep the program running smoothly over the past few years and it shows,” she stresses. A Maine native, Rioux received her Ph.D. in plant pathology at UWMadison, in 2014, and has spent the past five years in private sector research and development, most recently with Bayer Crop Science as a product development manager for nematicides and bio-fungicides. “People have been very welcoming and eager to help, for which I can’t thank them enough,” Rioux says.

Have you been working in the fields at all, and if so, where and in what capacity? I enjoy field work and am looking forward to having significant field research components in the future.

administrative director is to work with the program to help adopt new technologies that make our operations more efficient and secure the funding to make implementing these changes possible.

I did collect a few field samples from the State Farm for a small project in the lab. It was a very rainy day and Joshua Kunzman, who was helping me, will probably never forgive me for getting him so soaked!

This could take the form of new farm equipment to help us grow and harvest potatoes more safely and efficiently, software to enable better data collection and management, unmanned aerial systems for virus detection to help our inspectors make the most of their field visits and more.

My trips off campus have been to meet with various members of the WSPCP—Alex, Josie Spurgeon and the inspectors in Antigo, Keith, Joshua and the State Farm team in Rhinelander, and a number of growers who have been kind enough to welcome me to their farms during the busy harvest season. As a newcomer to the program, I think it is essential to get to know and understand the roles and needs of all the WSPCP’s stakeholders, so that has been my focus so far. And I appreciate the time that people have spent with me sharing their research interests and feedback on the program.

Another goal I have is to make the program more visible throughout CALS (UW College of Agricultural & Life Sciences) and the university community in Madison. We have such an incredible history and are a shining example of the Wisconsin Idea in action. This should be shared with chairs, deans and other campus

In her role as assistant professor in the UW-Madison Plant Pathology Department, Dr. Renee Rioux will be leading a class and research lab. She says she’s excited to work on setting up the lab, even if it is a bit chaotic now.

administrators, and it is my goal to make sure we have that level of visibility and can share the farm with a larger campus audience. continued on pg. 20

Growing Quality Seed for 64Years!

What do you feel are your main duties as the Seed Potato Certification Program director? Your main goals? I could probably write a whole article on these two questions alone, but I’ll highlight just a few of the main points. For duties, providing the leadership necessary to maintain and improve upon the high caliber of our program is critical, from tissue culture to early generation seed tuber production at the Lelah Starks Farm, and inspection and certification. Important duties of my position as administrative director also include providing a link between the WSPCP program and campus resources, and serving as an unbiased, data-driven final decision maker when sticky situations come up. One of my biggest goals as

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BC�T November 19

Ready to Direct Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program . . . continued from pg. 19

Undergraduate Jenna Rach (left) is the first employee of the Rioux lab and is helping get the lab space in order. Undergraduate Jack Gordon Knoke (right) is conducting an independent study project with water samples from the State Farm hydroponic system.

How was the 2019 crop? From what I’ve seen and heard, the crop was looking good and mostly recovered from the tough spring conditions. It’s impressive how well the growers know their fields and can adjust variables throughout the growing season to produce a high-quality crop, even when conditions are not ideal. The biggest especially 19-10concern, Badger Common'Tater 1-4page

20 BC�T November


after last year, was the weather for harvest. Is being an assistant professor in research and teaching roles a familiar role for you, and how is the year going? I’ve always been involved in research and teaching, but this will be in a different context for me since I’ll be leading both the class and the research lab, which means lots of lecture preparation grant writing. (7x3).v1.outlines.pdf 1 and 2019-08-12 11:40 AM

As a master’s student, I taught as an adjunct at the local community college and then I was a teaching assistant for a couple plant pathology classes while pursuing my Ph.D. in Madison. While in the private sector, I had the opportunity to start a research program with a startup company and maintained teaching roles by putting on professional development workshops with the American

Phytopathological Society. I really missed formal classroom teaching and having the opportunity to mentor students in research, which was one of the biggest reasons I decided to make the jump back to academia. I’m happy with how the year is going so far—I have a lot to do but I feel like I am making steady progress. I’ve been busy trying to connect with members of the seed certification program and growers off campus while also ordering a lot of the essentials to get a research lab going. I’m very lucky because Dr. Gevens made sure lab items that were already with the seed potato program stayed put the past few years, so I have a decent amount of equipment and lab tools to help me get going. I currently have a couple Ph.D. students rotating through the lab, an undergraduate completing an independent study project with me, and another undergraduate student helping get the lab set-up who will also eventually be conducting research. It is very exciting to see the lab team start to take shape! Luckily, I do not have to teach this year and have some time to get the lab’s research program up and running before taking on a teaching assignment as well. You mentioned you became enthralled with plant pathology while pursuing your master’s degree on rhizoctonia diseases of potato at the University of Maine. Why do you think you took a liking to plant pathology? The first thing that made me like plant pathology was the field work. I looked forward to every opportunity to visit the field because it felt so much easier to connect my research to the results when I was out there among the plants, seeing diseases firsthand. continued on pg. 22 BC�T November 21

Ready to Direct Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program . . . continued from pg. 21

It only took a couple trips to the potato growing regions in northern Maine for me to know that I wanted to make this work part of my lifelong career. I also love being outside and active, so doing things like spreading compost, taking soil samples and harvesting by hand are totally up my alley. On a more practical level, I had always wanted to find a profession that would involve helping people. My parents both worked in hospitals and I had leaned toward health science as an undergraduate, but it never felt like quite the right fit. When I wound up in a plant pathology laboratory by something I can only describe as “serendipity,” I realized that agriculture is critical to ensuring a stable food supply, which is just as necessary for human well-

being as doctors and medicine. I was hooked after that and it turned out that plant pathology was the perfect way to integrate my newfound love of agriculture with my previous interest in the health sciences. How will your background help you as the director of the Seed Certification Program? One of the greatest ways my research background will help me as director of the WSPCP is in having the agility to quickly address new research needs as they become apparent. As a master’s student, my research was very molecular, and I worked on a gene expression project. My Ph.D. project was much more applied and in a totally different discipline within plant pathology—turfgrass disease.

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I am confident that, whatever issue comes up, I’ll be able to address it and, if I don’t have the know-how myself, I’ve learned how to connect with other experts who can help me learn what is needed to pursue research in a new area. You spent five years in the private sector. How will that experience aid you in your new roles? My time in the private sector involved three years at a startup company and around two and a half years at Bayer Crop Science. These were two very different experiences, but both taught me a lot about leadership and communication. These skills will be crucial for success in my new roles, especially in my position with the WSPCP. Through these roles, I’ve learned that one of the most important characteristics of a good leader is humility, being able to admit when there is something I don’t know and learn from those with more expertise. Coming into this role as a novice to the seed potato industry, asking the right questions, listening and learning from the many experts around me will be crucial to getting started on the right foot.

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Since then, I’ve worked with many different disease systems and gained comfort across pathogen types.

Another important lesson I learned from my experiences in the private sector is that you must look at the whole picture. When I was developing crop protection products, I had to think about whether a product would fit into the existing system and, if it would not, whether or not its value was so great that growers would be willing to adopt a new practice to be able to use it. I had to think about monetary costs too. continued on pg. 24


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Ready to Direct Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program . . . continued from pg. 22

With my research program, I think it’s important to keep these lessons in mind. I want to conduct research that considers the seed potato production system and doesn’t focus in at such a minute level that the end results are not practical.

You and your husband both have Ph.D.’s from UW-Madison. What is his focus, and is he also working at the university? My husband is also in the agriculture space and he describes his focus area as agricultural resilience. After years of working at grower organizations, including the National

Corn Growers Association and U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, he returned to private consulting when we moved back to Madison. He works closely with a few university groups but is not associated with the university; we like to keep a healthy level of professional distance! In funny coincidences, his former Ph.D. advisor is currently a member of the Wisconsin potato industry, and many of his dissertation committee members are still faculty members involved in potato research. Where did you move from, and are you enjoying Wisconsin so far? Hopefully your one-year-old son, Craig, is adjusting to his new home. Yes, we are thrilled to be back in Wisconsin! We were in St. Louis, Missouri, and the Raleigh, North Carolina, area for the intervening years and neither felt like home. We love the four real seasons in Wisconsin and are looking forward to winter so we can ski and snowshoe. Craig (we’ve nicknamed him C.J.) is a trooper and adjusting well, minus the whole being 15 months old and screaming about everything phase. We just moved from a temporary apartment into our (hopefully forever) home and are all excited to finally be settling down. C.J. loves the extra space to run around, and our dog, Scotch, appreciates having a yard again. My husband is excited to brew beer now that we have a basement (our home in North Carolina didn’t), and I can’t wait to decorate the place now that we’re in a home where we plan to stay for a while. What do you think you can bring to the table to assist Wisconsin seed potato growers? I bring an open mind and an ability to listen. While I have my own research interests,

24 BC�T November

I took this role because I want to help Wisconsin’s seed potato growers. I am looking forward to collaborating with stakeholders in the WSPCP and grower community to identify and pursue the most pressing research needs for the program and the industry. I also have broad experience across sectors, which will help me to consider issues from various angles and be strategic. Finally, I am not afraid to speak up when something is important. I think that will be an important part of advocating for the WSPCP and the industry. An important skill I learned in the private sector, but did not mention previously, is how to give and receive feedback. I view feedback as information that can be used to learn and improve, not as an insult or threat. I will always seek to gain additional insights on how the program and I can best

support the Wisconsin seed potato industry and will welcome input from all sources. I understand that I won’t be able to meet everyone’s needs and will need to make difficult decisions, but I also know that being as open and transparent as possible will go a long way in building and maintaining positive relationships. What would you most like to accomplish in your new roles? As a researcher, I endeavor to conduct innovative research that advances scientific understanding but is also directly related to the needs of the seed potato industry and provides useful information. As a teacher, I plan to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to be informed citizens and appreciate the value of agriculture in their day-to-day lives. And, as administrative director for continued on pg. 26

One of many research projects, Dr. Renee Rioux worked with inoculated wheat during her time employed with a startup company.

BC�T November 25

Ready to Direct Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program . . . continued from pg. 25

the WSPCP, I aim to maintain the excellent reputation of the program by taking a proactive approach in addressing issues facing the Wisconsin seed potato industry, working closely with members of the campus, program and grower community to get there. Do you work at the State Farm in Rhinelander often? I’ve made it to the State Farm a couple times and am looking forward to becoming more involved in the future. It will be a balancing act between campus demands and making time to get to the farm and other sites around Antigo and Rhinelander, but the farm provides an incredibly valuable service, and making time for it needs to be a priority. Right now, I am working with Joshua on some research questions related to the greenhouse and hydroponic system. I’m also planning to spend some time at the farm during harvest to better understand how operations work. In the future, I hope to have graduate students spend time there as well because I think it provides a great training opportunity.

Wisconsin’s Seed Certification Program has a solid reputation and is well respected. To what do you attribute that? A huge part of the success of the WSPCP is that it is a collaboration between the university, the seed potato growers and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. This brings together an incredible amount of expertise and connects research directly to the certification program. As a result, we have always been at the forefront when new issues confront certification. Over 100 years of success in seed potato certification is an amazing track record and it is a privilege to be part of such a great program. While the leadership of the program has been excellent over the decades, I also think the hard work and dedication of all the people involved in the program have been instrumental in maintaining the program’s success. Long-term, what is your vision for the future of the Seed Certification Program? My long-term vision for the WSPCP is to maintain its stellar reputation and continue to cultivate

interactions between the university, growers and beyond. I would love to see the program grow and take on even more of a leadership role in the U.S. seed potato industry. I think we can do this by continuing to employ great people, maintaining close integration between research and certification, and pursuing new technologies that help the program accomplish its mission. Is there anything I’ve missed, Renee, that you’d like to add? I would just like to reiterate how happy I am to be on-board with the program and how much I am looking forward to working with the WSPCP and the seed potato industry in Wisconsin. I am working my way through the list of growers to try and visit with everyone by the end of my first year but encourage people to reach out and share your ideas or input on the program with me. Finally, I just want to thank everyone who has made me feel so welcome already!

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The first of its kind in America, all functions are done automatically! The Miedema ML 2280 Piler is the first piler in America to function automatically using sensors and software that determine when and where potatoes are being piled into the storage area.

width and height of the pile as well as the angle of the product on the pile. There is also a wired and a wireless remote so the operator can turn it on and off from anywhere within range of the unit.

It automatically fills and sets the tiers,

When the ML 2280 Piler from

Mediema, a subsidiary of Dewulf Group, senses potatoes, the unit starts running and can be set to pile full or half bins at varying heights, degrees of pile, and with virtual walls in front, rear and/or sides. A deep-troughed conveyor belt, 31.5 inches wide, keeps potatoes from scraping up against or hitting the walls of the inner conveyor trough, and thus eliminates skinned or bruised produce. The troughed conveyor belt also guarantees high capacity, along with no drops or product movement until it leaves the boom and is transferred to the pile. Switching between the working and transport position is achieved with the simple press of a button, and due to the various options, the piler can be fully customized to meet specific needs.

28 BC�T November

Thanks to the small diameter of the head roller, a minimum drop height is always ensured, and the boom remains at the same distance from

the pile, eliminating operator error. This is all done with the use of sensors. For the sidewall detection, covered sensors “see” the walls and reverse the swivel direction, ensuring the bins are filled to maximum capacity while providing a very user-friendly experience. Features include proximity, laser, angle and degree sensors. Dewulf has created an intelligent Start-Control system that connects all the Miedema storage machines. This allows operators to start the entire storage line with the wireless remote control for the bin loader. First, the bin piler starts, then the belt conveyors and finally the receiving hopper and collector engage. The same applies for the stop functions, just in the reverse order. This ensures gentle product handling and more even loading.

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with a selection of three possible filling programs to meet operators’ specific needs. The “Farmer” filling function automatically moves the store loader from side to side at a fixed speed, while the transport length continued on pg. 30

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and discharge height are controlled manually. The sideboard detection automatically reverses the direction of the store loader’s side-to-side movement when a wall is detected.

feature, as well as compensation for the incline angle capacity and virtual walls. This option makes filling a bin fully automatic.

With the “Comfort” filling function, the piler’s side-to-side movement, transport length and discharge height are all controlled automatically. Starting a new terrace must be done manually. The “Dynamic” filling function is also suitable for filling in terraces and includes an additional “Top-Fill”

“Top-Fill” keeps the ML 2280 at a constant height when filling the last layer, making the top of the pile flat, which in turn makes bin management easier. You can possibly spot issues much sooner if the pile starts out completely flat, allowing you to make the proper corrections. Dewulf has many years of experience with the handling of potatoes. The

quality of the latest generation of Miedema bin pilers has been achieved in close cooperation with end users. As a result, the loaders provide maximum capacity, an efficient product flow and less risk of damage. At Dewulf, the strength lies in the simplicity, which makes the bin pilers reliable and practically indestructible. For more information, contact T.I.P. Inc., attn: Steve Tatro, 1619 County Road K, Custer, WI 54423, 715-5924650,,

Lackawanna Products Debuts Seed Treatment

Biological potato and vegetable formula resists pathogens and environmental invectives Growers often apply multifarious fungicides and pesticides to gain a perceived starting advantage for their crop. Singular-purpose chemicals do provide a temporary advantage, but too often leave soil sterilized to living organisms. Soil Plant Enhancer (SPE-120), a



It does not leave the soil void of beneficial organisms while partnering with its host, thus excluding harmful

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pathogens. This strain of Beauveria bassiana (BB) inoculant independently matches its host resistance to a variety of pathogens and environmental invectives. Together, scarce resources are spared for growth and reproduction. This compatible strain lives in the roots, stems and leaves. Inoculated seedlings help other beneficial organisms by providing them abundant carbohydrates after harvest. Bill Vanscoy of VanScoy Farms in Ridgeway, Ohio, is experienced in growing potatoes and applying the SPE-120 Beauveria product for plant health. Currently his farm grows eight acres of red and white potatoes for the specialty market, plus a couple of German cultivars. “We are trying to stay as close to the organic standard as possible, even though we are not certified,” Vanscoy explains. “This product also takes some of the work out of timing

of treatments since it is a part of the plant via seed treatment, and thus ‘on the job’ 24/7.” ESTABLISHED AT PLANTING Ohio weather patterns are unpredictable. As soon as Bill and his team do a protective spray, it rains, and other products have poor results. SPE-120 takes the timing out of the equation. Once it is established, it is “on the job.” “We have been using the liquid as a seed treatment when we plant,” Vanscoy says. “It is quick and easy and has given us season-long control of the blights and scab, even in potato fields on a two-year rotation.” “We are seeing a yield increase,” Vanscoy adds. “We are on Ohio clay, so growing potatoes here can be a challenge. We have seen up to a 30 percent increase in good years, and 5-7 percent in poor years using the Beauveria product.” “Every year, though, we have had a better grade of saleable potatoes and some varieties are giving us a longer shelf life,” he adds. Vanscoy says he has also seen population reductions on aphids, white flies and potato beetles, and he has not had to treat for any insects except for the potato continued on pg. 32 Job 154319

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continued from pg. 31

beetles, and even for them, it was in spots, not large areas. “It’s a good, safe product that has made its way onto our farm,” Vanscoy notes. “It’s not a cure-all, but it gives us time to react if a big problem occurs by protecting the plants, or at a minimum, by helping keep the plants strong when we cannot get them help, like in a 10-14 day rain pattern during critical growing times. We will continue to use it.” Direct contact with seed is preferred to assure plant entry at germination. Applied on, under or on top of seed allows Beauveria bassiana competitive preference to initial plant roots where it becomes a symbiotic entophyte within the plant. Once BB enters the seed at germination, it grows symbiotically with the crop and soil, making a healthier plant. Healthier plants deter pathogens like the human body would fight off sickness if a person takes the right vitamins. As an entophyte: • Inhibits soilborne plant pathogens • Competitive exclusion

Bill Vanscoy (second from right) of VanScoy Farms in Ridgeway, Ohio, poses with his sons in a potato field. Bill says he uses SPE-120, produced by JABB of the Carolinas and offered by Lackawanna Products Corporation, as a seed treatment, and it has given him season-long control of blight and scab.

• Increased uniform germination with higher plant survival • Enhanced microbial diversity by decreasing Fusarium soil toxins like trichothecenes • Higher plant immune status • Increased Brix values from much more photosynthesis • Increased chlorophyll • Enhanced plant defense • Diminishes need for soil fumigants, pesticides, chemical stimulants

and altered genetic seed. Provides many of the same benefits without the cost of genetically modified organisms • Improved quality at harvest and greater stem/stalk stand • Improved storage. Decreases acceptability as a host: • S eed and root feeding organisms seek untreated plants having fewer barriers. •H  erbivorous insects seeking residence for reproduction go to alternative plants. • S light fragrance (pheromone) variations confuse Lepidoptera mating. •C  ombined symbiotic production of chitinase, lactones and ionophores elevates the plant’s resistance threshold for invasive pathogens and confuses mating and egg deposition. For more information, contact Lackawanna Products, 716-633-1940, attn: Christopher Lent, Ext. 304, Nicholas Bianco, Ext. 232, Brian Kreutzer, Ext. 112, or email, nbianco@ or,

32 BC�T November

For more information & sales contact Lackawanna Products Office: 716-633-1940 Christopher Lent – – 716-345-4365 Nick Bianco – – 716-510-8998 Brian Kreutzer – – 716-803-4292

Potato and Vegetable Biological Seed Treatment

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Growers often apply multifarious fungicides and pesticides to gain a perceived starting advantage for their crop. Singular purposed chemicals do provide a temporary advantage leaving soil sterilized to living organisms. Soil Plant Enhancer (SPE-120) and Symbiont Beauveria bassiana (SBb 2.5) is the natural alternative. It does not leave the soil void of beneficial organisms while partnering with its host excluding harmful pathogens. This strain of Beauveria bassiana inoculant independently matches its host resistance to a variety of pathogens and environmental insults. Together scarce resources are spared for growth and reproduction. This compatible strain lives in the roots, stems, and leaves. Inoculated seedlings help other beneficial organisms providing them abundant carbohydrates after harvest. Direct contact with seed is preferred to assure plant entry at germination. Applied on, under, or atop of seed allows Beauveria bassiana competitive preference to initial plant roots where it becomes a symbiotic entophyte within the plant.

As an entophyte:               

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Inhibits soil borne plant pathogens Competitive exclusion Increased uniform germination with higher plant survival Enhanced microbial diversity by decreasing Fusarium soil toxins like trichothecenes Higher plant immune status Increased Brix values from much more photosynthesis Increased chlorophyll Enhanced plant defense Diminishes need for soil fumigants, pesticides, chemical stimulants, and altered genetic seed. Provides many of the same benefits without the cost of GMO's. Improved quality at harvest. Greater stem/stalk stand. Improved storage.

Decreases acceptability as a host:      

Seed and root feeding organisms seek untreated plants having fewer barriers Herbivorous insects seeking residence for reproduction go to alternative plants Slight fragrance (pheromone) changes confuse Lepidoptera mating Combined symbiotic production of chitinase, lactones, and ionophores elevates the plant’s resistance threshold for invasive pathogens and confuses mating and egg deposition.

Manufactured by JABB of the Carolinas, 301 E. Brown St, Pine Level, North Carolina 27568 Distributed by Lackawanna Products Corporation

Bean Harvester to Banker and Beyond

Ron Nicklaus has shown that innovation and hard work in farming can pay dividends By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater From Yukon Gold, red and Russet Burbank potatoes to tomatoes, and from broccoli to zucchini, celery to peas, beans to peppers and pumpkins to radishes, Nicklaus Farms grows it. But they don’t sell it. They give it away.

When Ron’s father moved his family from San Jacinto, California, to Irma, Wisconsin, the elder Nicklaus bought one cow and started what would later become a busy dairy farm. The year was 1942 and Ron was six years old.

No, this is not the business plan for you or any members of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association.

That early example set a course for Ron to pursue his own enterprising path, in 1956, learning all he could about fertilizing crops.

Yet, there are few better success stories than Ron Nicklaus, and herein is where the story lies.

“Growing in most of the fields I fertilized were green beans, which were hand harvested and

then shipped to a local processing plant,” he says. “This led me to become interested in raising green beans,” Ron adds, “especially when I heard there was a harvester being developed and a few would be available for purchase in 1957.” Above: Though a successful business entrepreneur, Ron Nicklaus is first and foremost a farmer. He takes pride in the fresh vegetables, including the bag of russet potatoes he’s shown holding, produced on Nicklaus Farms in Irma, Wisconsin.





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Ron convinced his parents to go into the business of raising and harvesting green beans, and to help finance the endeavor, they sold their dairy cows. TWO BEAN HARVESTERS “I purchased two harvesters that year, one to use on 100 acres that we rented in the Schofield area and the other for 100 acres of beans at our farm,” Nicklaus relates. The beans were shipped to the Chippewa Canning Company and Stokely Canning Company. “I was paid just under $14,000 and had a net profit of $3,600,” he recalls. The business soon stretched beyond Northcentral Wisconsin to five other states. By the end of the first year, he was under contract with three canning companies. “At our peak, we were working with 38 canneries,” Ron relates. “The harvest season started in late March and did not end until midDecember. We harvested beans in

Ron Nicklaus went from buying two bean harvesters, in 1957, to manufacturing his own harvesting equipment in a shop located next to the family farm, in Irma, Wisconsin, eight years later. Shown is an Oxbow BH100 bean harvester at Nicklaus Farms.

Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois, Delaware, lower Michigan and Wisconsin.”

another 1,000 acres in the Central Sands area [of Wisconsin], all of which was irrigated,” he adds.

“We were harvesting between 30,000 and 40,000 acres. In addition, we owned 6,000 acres and leased

“At that time, we were employing between 340-360 people and were continued on pg. 36

BC�T November 35

Bean Harvester to Banker and Beyond. . . continued from pg. 35

sending almost 80 trucks of beans out a day for distribution,” Nicklaus states. His wife, Kay, oversaw the running of the farm kitchen and the feeding of 150-175 people three meals a day, and they had dormitories that housed over 80 people throughout the harvest season. Ron began another venture in 1965, manufacturing his own harvesting equipment in a shop located next to the family farm in Irma. In addition to beans, he grew cucumbers, sweet corn, field corn, peas and potatoes. POTATO ACREAGE “We planted 1,200 acres of potatoes and built our own storage and processing plant, selling the potatoes under the Nicklaus Farms label,” he says. With more than 25 years of

experience setting up unique financing to manage his interests with a variety of lenders, yet another adventure was on the horizon. “I had to teach banks how to lend money to my company because most of it had to be lent on an idea, not collateral,” he explains. “I met good bankers and bad bankers, and decided there was room for another good banker.” “I became fascinated with banking because it provided me with a firsthand opportunity to see what a community bank could do for a business just starting out,” Ron says. “I decided I wanted to purchase a community bank and began the search,” he relates. Ron looked at 30 banks before deciding on River Valley State Bank, which originally opened in 1967, in Rothschild.

Above: Yukon Gold potatoes are harvested at Nicklaus Farms, with Jake Zelinski manning the harvester, on September 23, 2019.

“We sold some of the farmland and used the profits to buy the majority

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of stock in 1983,” he says. “Eventually Kay and I became the sole owners.” Under Ron’s direction, River Valley State Bank acquired other entities, went through a name change to River Valley Bank and charted impressive growth in its retail, commercial and insurance business across Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In 2002, Ron and Kay sold controlling interest of the Bank to their sons, Todd and Greg. Todd is chairman of the Board and Greg is vice chairman, while Ron remains a member of the Board of Directors. This is where the story comes full circle. Ron also sits on the Boards of Greenheck Corporation in Schofield and Weinbrenner Shoe Company of Merrill, among others. FARM STILL PRODUCES He continues to farm, but not as much as he did—a total of 12.5 acres. In addition to a farm manager and a Above: While Ron Nicklaus checks the sweet corn in September 2019, his farm manager, Mark Gajewski, washes Yukon Gold potatoes. All vegetables from the farm are given away to IncredibleBank employees and customers, as well as donated to local food pantries in each of the 15 communities where bank branches are located. In 2002, Ron and his wife, Kay, sold controlling interest of the Bank to their sons, Todd and Greg.

few full-time hands, he hires seven to eight students a year to work the heavy silt loam of his Irma farm.

of tomatoes, 4,900 pounds of cucumbers, 4,600 pounds of onions, and the list goes on.

This year’s harvest includes 50,000 ears of sweet corn, over 60,000 pounds of potatoes, 5,600 pounds

“All the vegetables are given away to our bank employees, bank customers

The most popular varieties of these world-class hybrids are going fast.

continued on pg. 38

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BC�T November 37

Bean Harvester to Banker and Beyond. . . continued from pg. 37

[both consumer and business customers], as well as donated to the local food pantries in each of our communities,” Ron says. “We can’t believe the letters we get from our employees and customers, telling us how much they look forward to our fresh produce every year,” he says. As of September 23, River Valley Bank became known as IncredibleBank. That name goes back to 2009 when the Nicklaus’s launched their digitalonly channel, IncredibleBank. “Incredible is what we aspire to every day,” Ron says, “and we’re ready to deliver our aspirations to our customers.” Today, IncredibleBank includes 15 branches in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, has customers in all 50 states and controls $1.4 billion in assets. That’s not too bad for a bean harvester. IncredibleBank continues to invest in local and small businesses and the success of the area. Ron’s inspiration leads the bank as a local booster throughout the 15 communities where it does business.

Above: A farmer through and through, Ron Nicklaus owns entire lines of antique tractors and cars—130 tractors total, dating back to 1916, and 46 cars, with the oldest manufactured in 1910.

“Farming will always be important because it is in my blood,” Nicklaus says. “I was raised a farmer and my sons were raised as farmers. My oldest son, Todd, was driving a bean

“He and Greg still come out to the farm and help out,” he adds, “and I will continue to do some type of farming for the rest of my life.”

harvester at the age of 9.”

Rine Ridge Farms, Inc. W8132 Hwy O, Bryant, WI 54418

Lady Liberty (NY152) Lamoka

38 BC�T November


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Now News Quinlan’s Equipment Invests in Future Building expansion and facility upgrade mean more efficient service A third-generation truck and implement dealer in Antigo, Wisconsin, Quinlan’s Equipment upgrades and expands its facility that had become too small and outdated over the past 25 years. In 1963, Jerry Quinlan, who was a territory manager for International Trucks serving northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, purchased an International Truck dealership in Antigo. In 1974, International Harvester farm equipment and GMC Truck franchises were added.

What started out as an International Truck dealership has evolved into a business representing commercial trucks, passenger vehicles, agricultural tractors and equipment, light industrial equipment, lawn and garden equipment and a large variety of parts and services. “We needed space so that we can serve our customers more efficiently and display our products in an attractive setting,” says Tom Quinlan, Jerry’s grandson. Tom and his brothers, Tony and Adam, represent the third generation working alongside their parents, John

Above: The upgraded and expanded Quinlan’s Equipment building, in Antigo, Wisconsin, houses a third-generation family business that has been servicing customers for 56 years.

and Kay Quinlan. While Tony is general manager of the International Truck facility, Adam is the parts manager and Tom is the general manager, and the fourth generation is starting to get involved as well.

Rural roots that run deep with


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“We started manufacturing hydraulic hoses for customers about 40 years ago to reduce the time that our customers wait for special order hydraulic lines,” Quinlan adds. “Over the years, this has grown into a major part of our business.” POTATO CONVEYOR BELTS Quinlan’s Equipment stocks all ranges of fittings and lines for agriculture,

forestry and construction equipment, and needs space for repairing and making conveyor belting used by potato warehouses and manufacturing customers. “Last year, we decided to increase our inventory of bearings and seals for all types of equipment,” Quinlan notes. “We are now able to cross-reference parts numbers for bearings and seals

Left: Over the past seven years, Quinlan’s Equipment has added Mahindra tractors and utility vehicles, Wacker-Neuson compact equipment and Boss snowplows to the list of implements represented. Right: Quinlan’s Equipment stocks all ranges of fittings and lines for agriculture, forestry and construction equipment.

and have the parts on hand to get our customers up and running faster.” continued on pg. 42

Kakes Farms Ltd. W8539 Kakes Rd., Bryant, WI 54418

Foundation and Certified Seed Potatoes: Atlantics

Office: (715) 623-6348



Cell: (715) 216-6348

Fax: (715) 623-4614 BC�T November 41

Now News. . .

continued from pg. 41

“In the old sales department, we only had room for one large unit, maybe a GMC truck or a Bobcat skid steer, and some smaller lawn and garden items and pressure washers,” he continues. “Now we have room to put many large pieces side-by-side in the showroom.” The expansion also allows Quinlan’s Equipment to be more efficient in each department. The parts department now has the most popular parts closer to the desk area, allowing the staff more time with customers, and the service department features separate work areas for farm and industrial machinery, GMC trucks and lawn and garden equipment. “This enables the techs to keep the specific tools and resources needed for diagnosis and repair closer to the area where they are working,” Quinlan explains.

Over the past seven years, Quinlan’s Equipment has added Mahindra tractors and utility vehicles, WackerNeuson compact equipment and Boss snowplows to the list of implements represented. The company also continues to offer Landoll tillage equipment, Karcher pressure washers, Cub Cadet lawn mowers and utility vehicles, Hustler zero-turn mowers, and International and GMC trucks and sport utility vehicles. INTERNATIONAL TRUCK FACILITY “We sell and service medium and heavy-duty trucks at our International Truck facility on the east side of the road,” Quinlan remarks. “Many of our brands have also expanded their offerings over the years.” At one time, for example, Bobcat

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42 BC�T November

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offered a skid steer loader. Today, the company manufactures a full line of compact equipment including skid steers, track loaders, excavators, Toolcat work machines, utility vehicles and more. Bobcat will soon be entering the compact tractor market again. “Every time a manufacturer expands their lineup with quality equipment that has a market in northcentral Wisconsin,” Quinlan remarks, “our inventory level goes up requiring more room for stocking parts and service support.” The upgraded building, Quinlan says, feels more welcoming and has better curb appeal. “The family members with their last name on the building are working in the store, and along with a group of great employees, we take care of our customers on a more personal level than many of our competitors,” Quinlan remarks. “We are blessed to have the customer support that we’ve had through the prior 56 years,” he adds. “That enables us to grow and continue to be a family-owned business that employs many fine people.” “I’m able to come to work every day with my brothers, family and a great group of employees,” Quinlan says. “You hear many stories about families who are in business together drifting apart because of varying ideas, greed or other reasons. My brothers, father and I are still very close.” “I think we have done a good job of keeping things in perspective,” he concludes, “and holding the relationships we have as a priority.”

Potato Farms Plant Pollinator Habitat

Sand County Foundation conservation group works with area growers Insect pollinators will soon find more homes on potato and vegetable farms. About 20 acres of habitat for insect pollinators are being established in central and southwest Wisconsin this fall, thanks to a cost-matching agreement between four large potato farms and Sand County Foundation, a conservation organization working with agricultural landowners. “These seedings of diverse perennial vegetation will enhance pollinator populations in rural areas, while demonstrating the compatibility of high-quality habitat alongside crop production,” says Craig Ficenec, Sand County Foundation program director. “We applaud the voluntary conservation efforts these growers continued on pg. 44

Alsum Farms & Produce of Spring Green, Wisconsin, is one of four large potato growers taking part in a cost-matching agreement with Sand County Foundation to plant about five acres each of habitat for insect pollinators.

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VALLEY® PREVENTATIVE Easy to use and an easier decision to MAINTENANCE make. Contact us today! Ensure your irrigation equipment will be ready for the growing season and avoid mid-season breakdowns. Valley® Preventative Maintenance goes beyond Valley machines as we can maintain all pivot brands and provide drive train, electrical, control panel and sprinkler upgrades.

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BC�T November 43

Now News. . .

continued from pg. 43

are making to restore soil health, groundwater recharge and prairie habitat. We are excited to create more pollinator habitat by providing half of the funds to seed over 40 species of native grass and wildflower species on five acres at each farm,” Ficenec adds.

The participating farms are Alsum Farms & Produce of Spring Green; Coloma Farms of Coloma; Isherwood Family Farms of Plover; and Wysocki Produce Farm of Plainfield. Each operation is a member of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) Healthy Grown program.



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Parts | Service | Sales | Rental

HEALTHY GROWN PROGRAM Healthy Grown is a certification system that promotes high-bar production practices and encourages more biodiversity on non-cropped areas of privately-owned farms. “The pollinator planting program fits Healthy Grown by working to enhance or restore native landscapes,” says Deana Knuteson, WPVGA’s Healthy Grown program coordinator. Sand County Foundation is a national non-profit organization based in Madison that inspires and enables a growing number of private landowners to ethically manage natural resources in their care. A grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will help cover costs for the project. For more information about Sand County Foundation’s agricultural conservation work, visit www. ABOUT SAND COUNTY FOUNDATION Sand County Foundation inspires and enables a growing number of private landowners to ethically manage natural resources in their care so future generations have clean and abundant water, healthy soil to support agriculture and forestry, plentiful habitat for wildlife and opportunities for outdoor recreation. ABOUT HEALTHY GROWN Healthy Grown ensures environmental, ecological and economically viable farming operations for Wisconsin potato, carrot and onion growers who are audited annually to be certified under the program. continued on pg. 46

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Now News. . .

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Valley Irrigation Joins THRIVE Innovation Platform Partnership advances emerging technologies and sustainable agriculture SVG Ventures, a Silicon Valleybased venture and innovation firm, announces that Valley® Irrigation, a Valmont® Company, has become the latest corporate partner to join its THRIVE Venture & Innovation Platform.

and meeting the growing demand for food. The new partnership between Valley and SVG signifies the company’s continued commitment to advancing a more efficient and sustainable agriculture supply chain through best-in-class technology.

Valley Irrigation is a leader in precision irrigation and offers a pivotal end-to-end cloud-based platform with real-time equipment and environmental and agronomic data.

SVG-THRIVE leverages its awardwinning global AgTech platform to connect corporate partners like Valley with its worldwide network of entrepreneurs to drive innovation and identify emerging technologies that advance the future of food and agriculture.

The immediate data provides solutions for conserving water

• Test for Verticillium dahliae and root lesion nematode levels • Provide risk ratings and recommendations for use of fumigation, nematicides, and varieties • Build a field risk history Visit for sampling and shipping information, or contact Kelsi Mueller at 715.335.4046, email: Providing superior testing services nationally since 1984 46 BC�T November

Valley will have the opportunity to partner with startups, participate in global pitch events, mentor accelerator startups, custom programs and workshops, and join SVG’s network of corporate AgTech partners. “We are delighted to welcome Valley Irrigation as the latest corporate partner. Progressive corporations like Valley are proactively looking across the globe for innovative solutions,” says John Hartnett, founder and chief executive officer of SVG VenturesTHRIVE. In 2018, irrigation was charted as a $1.03 billion global industry and is expected to reach $2.84 billion by 2025. Advancements in the irrigation space represent a significant opportunity for disruptive technology. INCREASE ROI From the initial offering of GPS guidance in tractors to today’s predictive analysis, the technology involved in farming operations has evolved, but the goal has remained

the same: increase return on investment for the grower. Valley Irrigation is focused on optimizing the future of agricultural technology with the knowledge that water is still the most important determinant of yield. Applying water accurately and efficiently results in higher profits. Valley realizes the power in fully connected crop management tools by incorporating the latest in artificial intelligence, machine learning and sensor technology. The latest Valley Irrigation pivots will now be able to not only apply water and crop protection products, but also to scout for other issues that threaten yields, such as pests and disease.

irrigation industry in 1954, and the brand is a worldwide leader in sales, service, quality and innovation. With historical sales of more than 250,000 center pivots and linears, Valmont-built equipment annually irrigates approximately 25 million acres around the world. The company remains dedicated to providing innovative, precision irrigation solutions now and into the future. For more information, please visit About SVG Ventures-THRIVE Innovation Platform SVG Ventures-THRIVE is the leading agrifood innovation ecosystem, comprised

AgFunder recognizes SVG Ventures-THRIVE as the “Most Valuable AgriFood Platform in the World.” For more information, please visit and review the SVG Ventures Press Kit. continued on pg. 48

A good crowd, a fine bourbon and my guitar. Peter Nomm pours everything into his pours. Vodka, Bourbon, Gin and Moonshine. Yes,

“The organizational structure that SVG-THRIVE has provided creates not only great collaborations among leading industry providers to scale their businesses and relationships, but also provides insight into new agricultural technology companies that are up and coming,” he adds.

Moonshine. Northern Waters only distills the highest quality spirits. It’s the only way they’ll play it. Except at the end of the day when it’s really time to play. Like IncredibleBank, it’s all about quality and spirit. That’s what makes us your IncredibleBank.

Valley Irrigation continues to raise the bar on technological advancements and recently announced another industry first with their cloud-based remote management platform that establishes a new competitive advantage for irrigation management.

About Valley Irrigation Valley Irrigation founded the center pivot

With a community of over 2,000 startups from 82 countries, the THRIVE platform invests, accelerates and creates unparalleled access for entrepreneurs to scale globally to solve the biggest challenges facing the food and agriculture industries.

My incredible?

“The partnership between SVG Ventures and Valley Irrigation is creating great value for us and other organizations dedicated to evolving technologies in agriculture,” says Trevor Mecham, vice president of Global Technology Strategy for Valley.

“This new innovation furthers the Valley tradition of helping growers become more advanced and efficient,” says Andy Carritt, Valley Irrigation vice president of product development. “This industry first will be with updates functioning similarly to the smartphone updates most people are familiar with, but for their smart panels.”

of top agriculture, food and technology corporations, universities and investors.

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BC�T November 47 10/8/19 9:06 AM

Now News. . .

continued from pg. 47

Sharing the Story of Agriculture

Food and Farm Facts book, map and pocket guide now available

The new Food and Farm Facts book, map and pocket guide, produced by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, are now available. “Food and Farm Facts provides the opportunity to share the story of agriculture—how and why farmers and ranchers do what they do to produce food, fiber and renewable fuel. I hope it also puts into perspective how blessed we are to be Americans,” says Zippy Duvall, foundation chairman who also serves as president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Food and Farm Facts helps answer the questions “Where does our food come from and who grows it?” by exploring topics about agriculture in the United States. Image courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Food and Farm Facts helps answer the questions “Where does our food come from and who grows it?” by exploring topics about agriculture in the United States.

valuable resource in the classroom, at fairs and events, for student leadership organizations and on social media.

The 32-page, full-color book features updated facts and easy-to-read infographics that can be used in a variety of ways to help increase agricultural literacy. The book is a

New in this edition of the book is information on how to reduce food waste, top food holidays celebrated in America and floriculture production.

Copies of Food and Farm Facts can be purchased for $4.25 each (up to 49 copies). Price breaks are available for multi-copy purchases starting at 50: 50-99 copies, $3.50 each; or 100 or more copies, $2.50 each. Each copy of the book includes a color “Abundant Agriculture” map poster depicting top agricultural products produced in every state. A pocket guide version of Food and Farm Facts is also available (100 copies for $10) and features several popular infographics from the book. Additional Food and Farm Facts products created by the foundation will be available later this fall. These include classroom activity cards (for grades 4-6 and 7-12) developed using national learning standards and state “common core” standards that reflect the knowledge and skills young people need for success in college and careers. Purchase Food and Farm Facts books and related resources online at FarmBureau/, and visit the Food and Farm Facts resources page for tips on using the publication.

48 BC�T November

4-Row Pull-Type Windrower w/right-hand discharge and double side coulters

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8-Row Folding Windrower

Centrally located in Michigan, Advanced Farm Equipment manufactures Self Propelled and Pull Type Potato Harvesters and Windrowers. New in 2017, Rear Track System for better traction and reduced soil compaction. Our custom built harvesters and windrowers are hydraulically driven, controlled from the comfort of the cab, maneuver readily in adverse harvesting conditions, and have unmatched longevity spans. Now is the time to plan your 2019 harvesting needs, arrange onsite service and stock up on our large selection of ready-to-ship wear parts and tools like these handy items from our warehouse: AFE DOUBLE-HINGE CLIPS Durable, 28mm-56mm Can be used to extend the length and life of a belt.


Made in the USA

AFE TUBE GATOR (12”-18” & 18”-24”) Removes dents in air tunnels.


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AFE Tube Gator: Removes dents in air tunnels. Two Sizes: 12”-18” and 18”-24”



WISCONSIN CERTIFIED SEED POTATOES 100 Years of Seed Growing Tradition

Above: Cut seed potatoes are planted on Schroeder Bros. Farms, Inc., in Antigo, Wisconsin, in the spring of 2018.

PRIMARY BUSINESS PHONE NUMBERS ARE BOLD-FACED. BAGINSKI FARMS, INC. N3474 County H, Antigo, WI 54409 Office/Farm (715) 627-7753 Fax (715) 623-5412 Out of State (888) 446-7753 Mike Baginski (715) 627-7838 Mike Baginski Cell (715) 216-1240 Email Website Atlantic, Baby Boomer, Colomba, Goldrush, Mercury Russet, Modoc, Norland (Dark Red Selection), Norland (Red Selection), Perline, Radley, Russet Burbank, Russet Norkotah Sel 8, Silverton, Superior BULA POTATO FARMS, INC. Shipping Address: W8376 County Road K, Elcho, WI 54428 Billing Address: W11957 Highland Road, Antigo, WI 54409 Office/Warehouse (715) 275-3430 Office/Warehouse Fax (715) 275-5051 Dennis Cell (715) 216-1614 Adam Cell (715) 216-1613 Farm Email Dennis Email: Blushing Belle, Caribou Russet, Goldrush, Molli, Lady Liberty (NY152), Norland (Dark Red Selection), Reveille Russet, Silverton, Superior, Umatilla Russet, W9133-1Rus, W9433-1Rus, W9576-11Y, Yukon Gold BUSHMAN’S RIVERSIDE RANCH, INC. N8151 Bushman Road, Crivitz, WI 54114 Farm (Crivitz, WI) (715) 757-2160 Jeff (715) 927-4015 Jon (715) 454-6201 Fax (715) 757-2243 Email Caribou Russet, Silverton 50 BC�T November

CETS, LLC ASTRO TUBERSTM N77 W24677 Century CT, Sussex WI 53089 Office (262) 246-1799 Fax (262) 246-1762 Cell (262) 391-4705 Website: EAGLE RIVER SEED FARM LLC Ron Krueger, Farm Manager 4334 Chain O' Lakes Road, Eagle River, WI 54521 Eagle River Warehouse (715) 479-8434 Fax (Eagle River) (715) 479-8792 Ron Krueger Cell (715) 891-0832 Email Frito-Lay Varieties, Goldrush, Hodag, Manistee, Mercury Russet, Modoc, Molli, MSX 540-4, Norland (Dark Red Selection), Norland (Red Selection), Russet Norkotah Sel 8, Silverton, Snowden, Soraya FLEISCHMAN, DAVID FARMS N2568 Cty Hwy HH, Antigo, WI 54409 Office (715) 623-6353 Cell (715)-216-2343 Fax (715) 627-0183 Email Goldrush, Mercury Russet, Norland (Dark Red Selection), Norland (Red Selection), Russet Norkotah, Silverton, Superior, Yukon Gold FRITO-LAY, INC. 4295 Tenderfoot Rd, Rhinelander, WI 54501 Andrew Sieker (715) 365-1622 Cell (620) 791-8808 Frito Lay Varieties GALLENBERG, DARWIN W8636 County B, Bryant, WI 54418 Office (715) 623-6586 Adirondack Blue, Adirondack Red, Austrian Crescent, German Butterball, Kennebec, Norland (Dark Red Selection), Red Pontiac, Yukon Gold

GALLENBERG FARMS, INC. W7932 Edison Road, Bryant, WI 54418 Farm (715) 623-7018 Roy Gallenberg (715) 627-2906 John Gallenberg (715) 623-2295 Fax (715) 627-2043 Email Goldrush, MegaChip, Norland (Dark Red Selection), Oneida Gold (W6703-1Y), Red Endeavor (W6022-1R), Red Prairie (W8405-1R), Superior

David Hafner 715-623-6902 John Hafner 715-623-6829 Kevin Hafner 715-216-1606 Email Atlantic, Goldrush, Russet Norkotah, Silverton, Snowden, Superior HARTMAN FARMS, INC. N2846 County HH, Antigo, WI 54409 Michael Hartman Home (715) 623-7083 Michael Hartman Cell (715) 219-1802 Todd Hartman (715) 610-6477 John Hartman (715) 216-2059 Goldrush, Norland (Dark Red Selection), Norland (Red Selection), Red Prairie (W8405-1R), Russet Norkotah, Superior

GUENTHNER FARMS, INC. N4653 Chillie Rd, Antigo, WI 54409 Farm (715) 627-7683 Bill Guenthner (715) 627-2792 Tom Schmidt (715) 216-1953 Fax (715) 627-0507 Goldrush, Langlade, Red LaSoda 10-3, Superior, Teton Russet (A008-ITE) GUENTHNER POTATO CO., INC. PO Box 320, Antigo, WI 54409 Office (715) 623-7877 Fax (715) 623-7127 Jim Kennedy (715) 623-7877 Email Frito-Lay Varieties, Lady Liberty (NY152) HAFNER SEED FARMS, INC. W8243 County B, Bryant, WI 54418 Office/Warehouse (715) 623-6829 FAX 715-623-4203

New grading line! Accurate sizing to meet your needs!

KAKES FARMS, LTD. W8539 Kakes Road, Bryant, WI 54418 Farm (715) 623-6348 Dan Kakes (715) 623-7268 Dan Kakes Cell (715) 216-6348 Aaron Kakes Cell 715-216-5281 Fax (715) 623-4614 Atlantic, Frito-Lay Varieties, Goldrush, Snowden KOHM AND SPYCHALLA, LLC N4244 Hwy 52, Antigo, WI 54409 Office 715-623-6052 Fax 7156230486 Email Silverton continued on pg. 52

David J. Fleischman Farms Wisconsin Certified Seed Potatoes

B-size Seed Available! w, Stored in brand ne ty. ili fac ge ra sto e B-siz

We treat all seed as if we were going to replant it ourselves.

State-of-the-art Storage Facilities 1- 2- 3-Year Contracts N2568 Hwy HH • Antigo, WI 54409


Fax: 715-627-0183 • Cell: 715-216-2343

Beautiful Yukon Gold Crop! Attractive • Smooth Skin

YELLOWS – Yukon Gold WHITES – Superiors RUSSETS – Goldrush, Wisconsin and Nebraska lots of Russet Norkotah, Silverton REDS – Red Norland, Dark Red Norland


2019 Seed Directory. . . continued from pg. 51

MATTEK, J. W. & SONS, INC. N5798 Star Neva Rd, Deerbrook, WI 54424 Farm/Office (715) 623-6963 Fax (715) 627-7245 Jim Mattek (715) 623-7391 John Mattek (715) 623-6864 Joe Mattek (715) 623-3156 Cell (715) 216-0599 Email Atlantic, Frito-Lay Varieties, Hodag, Lamoka, Manistee, MegaChip, Lady Liberty (NY152), Pike, Silverton, Snowden NORTHERN SAND FARMS 11263 Cty Hwy M, Crandon, WI 54520 Justin Bula 715-889-0666 David Bula 715-478-3349 Stan Bula 715-889-2911 Email Goldrush, Norland (Dark Red Selection), Manistee, Oneida Gold (W6703-1Y), Silverton, Snowden RINE RIDGE FARMS, INC. W8132 County O, Bryant, WI 54418 Farm/Office (715) 627-4819 WATS (888) 853-5690 Fax (715) 627-4810 Ken Rine (715) 623-6791 Ken Rine Cell (715) 216-0760 Dan Rine Cell (715) 216-0765


Email Hodag, Lamoka, MegaChip, Lady Liberty (NY152), Waneta SCHROEDER BROS. FARMS, INC./SCHROEDER FARMS, LTD. N1435 County D, Antigo, WI 54409 Office/Farm (715) 623-2689 Fax (715) 627-4857 North Warehouse (715) 627-7022 John T. Schroeder (715) 623-5735 Pete Schroeder (715) 627-4069 Robert Schroeder (715) 623-3113 Eric Schroeder Cell (715) 216-0186 Pete Email John T Email Eric Email Atlantic, Baby Boomer, Blushing Belle, Frito-Lay Varieties, Hodag, Goldrush, Lamoka, Manistee, Norland (Dark Red Selection), Norland (Red Selection), Pike, Russet Burbank, Russet Norkotah Sel 8, Russet Norkotah TX296, Silverton, Snowden, Soyara SEIDL FARMS, INC. N5677 Chillie Road, Deerbrook, WI 54424 Farm/Office (715) 623-6236 Fax (715) 623-4377 Art Seidl (715) 623-6236 Jeff Fassbender (715) 216-4433 Atlantic, Goldrush, Hodag, Manistee, Mercury Russet, Norland (Red Selection), Russet Norkotah, Snowden

You know your farm. We know precision ag. Together we can optmize every Together⁠we⁠can⁠optimize⁠every⁠ inch of your land with the data inch⁠of⁠yourland⁠with⁠the⁠data⁠ generated during field work. genereated⁠during⁠field⁠work.⁠ Vantage, an elite network of Vantage,⁠an⁠elite⁠network⁠of⁠ precision⁠ag⁠specialists⁠backed⁠by⁠ precision ag specialists backed by Trimble⁠Agriculture,⁠works⁠closely⁠ Trimble Agriculture, works closely with⁠youto⁠understand⁠the⁠ with you to understand the uniquie⁠needs⁠of⁠your⁠operation.⁠ unique needs of your operation. Our⁠exclusice⁠foucus⁠on⁠precision⁠ Our exclusive focus on precision agrivulture⁠technology⁠enables⁠us⁠ agriculture technology enables us to⁠integrate⁠all⁠of⁠your⁠hardware⁠ to integrate all of your hardware and⁠software-regardless⁠of⁠brandand software-regardless of brandwith⁠complez⁠machine,⁠field,⁠soil⁠ and⁠weather⁠data⁠to⁠procide⁠you⁠ with complex machine, field, soil with⁠answers⁠to⁠shape⁠decisions⁠ and weather data to provide you year-round with answers to shape decisions year-round.



52 BC�T November

SOWINSKI FARMS, INC. - CERTIFIED SEED 4698 Tenderfoot Road, Rhinelander, WI 54501 Paul Sowinski (715) 272-1192 John Hein (715) 550-9010 Farm/Office (715) 369-3225 Fax (715) 369-3226 Email Atlantic, Frito-Lay Varieties, Hodag, Manistee, Snowden SUNNYDALE FARMS, INC. W9751 County I, Bryant, WI 54418 Farm (715) 627-7401 Mike Shafel Cell (715) 216-4531 James Shafel Cell (715) 216-4532 Fax (715) 627-4114 Email Atlantic, Norland (Dark Red Selection), Red Prairie (W8405-1R), Snowden, Superior VERMONT VALLEY COMMUNITY FARM LLC Organic Seed Potatoes 4628 Cty Hwy FF, Blue Mounds, WI 53517 David or Jesse Perkins (608) 212-7816 Email Website Adirondack Blue, Adirondack Red, Austrian Crescent, Carola, French Fingerling, German Butterball, Goldrush, Kennebec,

Magic Molly, Norland (Dark Red Selection), Oneida Gold (W6703-1Y), Peter Wilcox, Red Endeavor (W6002-1R), Red Gold, Red Prairie (W8405-1R), Superior, Yukon Gold WILD SEED FARMS, INC. W9797 Cherry Rd, Antigo, WI 54409 Warehouse/Office (715) 623-3366 Fax (715) 623-5245 Tom Wild Cell (715) 216-1223 Dan Wild Cell (715) 216-1225 Email Atlantic, Frito-Lay Varieties, Red LaSoda 10-3, Superior WIRZ, INC. N3581 Wirz Lane, Antigo, WI 54409 Donald Wirz (715) 627-7739 WATS (888) 257-7739 Fax (715) 627-4523 Cell (715) 216-4035 Shop (715) 627-2860 Email Website Atlantic, Lamoka, Manistee, MegaChip, Pike, Snowden, White Pearl

Bushman’s Riverside Ranch Specializing in Silverton Russets

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Contact: Jeff Suchon, Farm Manager 715-757-2160 office • 715-927-4015 cell

Or call Jonathon or John E. Bushman: 715-454-6201 BC�T November 53

People AgBiome Innovations Strengthens Team Vice President Adam Burnhams brings ag marketing and sales experience AgBiome Innovations, the commercial organization of AgBiome, has brought Adam Burnhams aboard to serve as vice president of market and customer strategy. In this role, Burnhams will be focused on AgBiome Innovations’ customer and branding strategy. He joins AgBiome Innovations from Sipcam Agro USA, where he spent 10 years serving in senior commercial roles, most recently as vice president of marketing and sales. Prior to Sipcam Agro, Burnhams held various commercial and technical roles with BASF Agricultural Products

and American Cyanamid in the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom. “Adam is a valuable addition to our team,” says AgBiome Innovations Chief Operating Officer Toni Bucci. “His breadth of experience and customer focus will be key as we continue to develop and grow the commercial phase of our organization.” AgBiome Innovations has a strong product pipeline in development with exclusive access to the AgBiome biological portfolio. With crops’ increasing resistance to

New AgBiome Innovations Vice President of Market and Consumer Strategy, Adam Burnhams spent years in commercial and technical roles with Sipcam Agro USA, BASF Agricultural Products and American Cyanamid.

conventional pesticides, biologicals with new and multiple modes of action against pests are becoming essential pest management tools. “This is a tremendous opportunity for me,” Burnhams stresses. “The growing segment of biologicals is the future. I’m excited by the incredible science platform developed by AgBiome and the company’s innovative culture.” About AgBiome Innovations AgBiome Innovations, the commercial arm of AgBiome™, aims to be the most innovative plant protection solutions company in the world. By understanding the needs and pressures of the industry, the company creates unique and efficacious products to address today’s and tomorrow’s needs. For more information, visit continued on pg. 56 54 BC�T November

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People. . .

continued from pg. 54

Suprise Joins Rural Mutual Insurance This last year has been quite a whirlwind of changes for WPVGA Associate Division Board member Sally Suprise.

agent with the “#1 Writer of Farms in Wisconsin” is very rewarding, not only for her, but also for Rural Mutual policyholders.

“I wanted to reach out and let everyone within the industry know that I have embarked on a new journey in my insurance career with Rural Mutual Insurance, starting back in December of 2018,” Suprise says.

“I would love the opportunity to sit down and talk about your business, your struggles, accomplishments and how we can work together to build an insurance portfolio to protect all that you have worked for,” she says.

“I have worked with many of you in the past and have enjoyed every aspect, whether it be in regards to your insurance needs, serving in some capacity within the WPVGA Associate Division Board, or having a cup of coffee together,” she adds. Suprise says being a new insurance

Suprise is a certified workman’s compensation advisor through the Institute of Work Comp Professionals and certified as an agribusiness farm insurance specialist. Call her at 715-498-4800 if you would like a home, auto, farm, business or

Sally Suprise joins Rural Mutual Insurance as an insurance agent, certified workman’s compensation advisor and agribusiness farm insurance specialist.

life insurance policy quote, and as Suprise says, “Make today a great day!”





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Always the innovator, never the imitator.® 56 BC�T November

LET’S CHAT 800.622.4877 x 255

Barsness Appointed LINKFRESH Vice President of Sales LINKFRESH Inc., the leading provider of supply chain ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions designed specifically for the fresh produce industry, announces the appointment of Bryan Barsness as vice president of sales for North America. With a degree in agricultural business and 12 years of fresh produce industry experience in software and technology sales, Bryan has a thorough knowledge of the fresh produce sector and a solid background in ERP technology and software. Speaking about his new role, Bryan says, “My passion is in helping fresh produce companies use technology to improve profitability, so I’m extremely excited to join the

LINKFRESH team, working with the next generation of fresh produce ERP software.” Welcoming Bryan to LINKFRESH, Bob Mann, LINKFRESH chairman, remarks, “We are extremely thrilled to have Bryan join us. His understanding of the benefits in applying the latest technologies to our industry will prove invaluable as we continue to expand and invest in the United States.” About LINKFRESH LINKFRESH is the world’s leading provider of business software that improves the profitability of fresh produce companies under enormous pressure from climate change, food safety and labor shortages. The company’s aim is to help save the fresh produce sector, one

New LINKFRESH Vice President of Sales, Bryan Barsness says his passion is in helping fresh produce companies use technology to improve profitability.

company at a time! LINKFRESH customers include: • The Giumarra Companies • Wholesum Harvest • The Little Potato Company • Family Farms Group • L H Gray & Son For more details on LINKFRESH, please visit

Sowinski Certified Seed Farms

Isolated Growing Area – Foundation/Certified

Manager: John Hein Phone: 715-550-9010

Paul Sowinski

5818 Fire Lane Rhinelander, WI 54501 Phone: 715-272-1192 Fax: 715-272-1658

Varieties Grown

Atlantic Snowden Manistee Hodag

Sowinski Trucking, LLC has sanitary equipment for your transportation needs. BC�T November 57


By Dana Rady, WPVGA Director of Promotions and Consumer Education

Tradeshow Strengthens Relationships with Partners Wednesday, October 2, was a valuable day for the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) and retail partners during the Wisconsin Grocers Association (WGA) Innovation Expo held at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.

Many retail partners, including the Trig’s team, were present and appreciated seeing a display of WPVGA’s quarter-sized bins and pull-up banners sporting NHL All-Star Joe Pavelski, as well as receiving bags of locally produced potato chips.

Above: Proudly posing with bags of Wisconsin potatoes, this team happily greeted visitors to the Wisconsin Grocers Association Innovation Expo, October 2, at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. Pictured from left to right are Chris Brooks of Central Door Solutions in Plover; Mike Gatz of Bushmans’ Inc., Rosholt; WPVGA Promotions Committee Chair Christine Lindner of Alsum Farms & Produce in Friesland; WPVGA Executive Director Tamas Houlihan; Sue Thomas of Alsum Farms & Produce; Brian Lee of Okray Family Farms in Plover; and WPVGA Promotions Director Dana Rady.

It was a pleasure to have so much representation from members of the Wisconsin potato industry at the booth. There’s nothing better than showcasing Wisconsin potatoes and then introducing the public to the very individuals who take part in getting potatoes into retail stores and on consumers’ plates! Helping out at this year’s booth were Chris Brooks of Central Door Solutions in Plover; Mike Gatz of Bushmans’ Inc., Rosholt; WPVGA Promotions Committee Chair Christine Lindner and Sue Thomas, both of Alsum Farms & Produce in Friesland; and Brian Lee of Okray Family Farms, Plover. Also present were WPVGA Executive Director Tamas Houlihan, WPVGA Managing Editor Joe Kertzman and WPVGA Promotions Director Dana Rady.

58 BC�T November

Prescribed Burn Successful Despite Fall Rain What began as a day of taking pictures, getting some information and writing an article quickly turned into a day that entailed being “baptized by fire,” almost quite literally! With the spring and fall seasons typically comes the opportunity to conduct prescribed burns at prepared acres on select farms. For a prescribed burn to take place, the fuel must be dry enough. In our case, we were preparing old fields for prairie plantings, which meant that the vegetation needed to be killed by herbicide and then allowed to dry. Prescribed burning is also used to nurture the health of existing prairies by creating warm soil environments through removing dry vegetation, topkilling invasive trees and shrubs, and creating mineral soil in which native

seeds can germinate. As I quickly learned from Jeb Barzen of Private Lands Conservation, in Spring Green, who also works with Wisconsin potato growers on the Healthy Grown program, burning anything that is still green is difficult because there is too much moisture in the vegetation. Tuesday, October 8, was one of the few beautiful weather days Wisconsin has experienced this season and was much welcomed for growers continuing their harvest. The first stop on this slightly windy but sunny afternoon began at Coloma Farms just off Highway 21. Upon meeting up with Barzen and Richard Imp, the seasoned and outgoing intern for the Wisconsin continued on pg. 60

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Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association Promotions Director Dana Rady lights an area of the 3.8-acre parcel owned by Wysocki Family Farms just outside Plover on Tuesday, October 8, as part of a burn prescribed for the area to restore natural eco-systems.

Midwest Rep: (608) 354 -1123 BC�T November 59

Marketplace. . .

continued from pg. 59

Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) Healthy Grown program, I learned that burning this roughly 3-acre parcel was not possible due to the existing vegetation being too green.

DESIRED VEGETATION Before leaving, however, Barzen generously took some time to educate me on names of desired prairie vegetation already in this area that he describes as “the sand hills” (i.e. more savannah) versus the “sand plain” or

“outwash” (i.e. more prairie). Some of the prairie vegetation found there that Jeb’s team is trying to restore includes round-headed bush clover, sand dropseed, big bluestem or turkey foot, heath aster and lead plant, to name a few. What’s more fascinating is that each of the above-listed types of prairie vegetation has its own varying degrees of root system, some that grow down as much as 25 feet deep! Deep root systems help build up carbon and put organic material in the soil, making for healthier soils and greater ground water recharge in addition to storing carbon. Next it was on to a 3.8-acre parcel at Wysocki Family Farms. The initial fear was that burning would be challenging if not impossible due to Left: Outgoing Healthy Grown Program Intern Richard Imp holds “big bluestem,” also known as “turkey foot,” which was in plain view at Coloma Farms on Tuesday, October 8. Right: The forested area pictured is the end of the “sand hills,” which were historically dominated by savannah ecosystems. This plot is located at Coloma Farms in Coloma, Wisconsin. Barzen classifies a savannah not as a completely closed forest, but rather as an area with trees and components of vegetation that grow with both open and shady conditions.

60 BC�T November

excess moisture. But that fear quickly dissipated and Barzen began the process. First, he tested the wind speed and intensity and documented conditions.

Our team of three increased to four when Adam Wysocki, a soonto-be graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, majoring in forest management, joined to help.

Then, much to my surprise, I found myself strapped to a 40-pound tank of water on my back and holding a drip torch!

DROP TORCH LIGHTING All of us walked to the point of origin, which was the downwind or northwest corner of the parcel, as the

Left: Jeb Barzen (left) and Richard Imp (right) discuss filling up the drip torches and preparing the water tanks to begin the prescribed burn on a 3.8-acre parcel owned by Wysocki Family Farms just outside of Plover. Right: Adam Wysocki (left) and Jeb Barzen (right) test the wind and document conditions prior to beginning the prescribed burn on Wysocki Family Farms land. continued on pg. 62

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Marketplace. . .

continued from pg. 61

wind was coming from the southeast. Two of us walked southwest and two took a southeast route as we lit the drip torches and then the area according to the discussed plan. As for me, I received a (very) small taste of what forest fire fighters go through, that is, walking over uneven terrain in leather boots with 40 pounds of water on your back. On top of that, my arm and wrists got a workout as I needed to gently “flick”

the end of a metal drip torch all while attempting to walk in a straight line. At one point, I accidentally walked (and sunk) right into a muddy section of the field and was grateful I only had to pull out my feet as opposed to a tractor! Once the burn was complete, we joined Barzen at his truck and took note of certain sections of the parcel that were still smoking. This was an indication of organic matter in the soil, which is vital for regeneration

Left: Three of the four-member team, from left to right, Adam Wysocki, Dana Rady and Richard Imp, are suited up and ready for the prescribed burn. Right: Adam Wysocki (left) and Jeb Barzen (right) light the first section of a 3.8-acre parcel owned by Wysocki Family Farms just outside of Plover. The crew burned into the wind, which ensured containment of the fire.

of the planted prairie to come, but for burning, is more difficult to extinguish. With the burn a success, Barzen wrote up a report as I contemplated how much time had gone into preparing for the burn and how little time it took to finish it. I also felt like a new person with the removal of that water tank from my back! It was truly an education-filled day that provided direct insights into the careful thought and consideration growers put into protecting Mother Nature.

The parcel outside of Plover continues to burn on Tuesday, October 8, as Adam Wysocki works to make sure this section of the field catches flame. 62 BC�T November

If they are going through all this to restore natural ecosystems on their land, how much more thought are they putting into growing the food they provide for their families and ours?

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Badger Beat

Program at the Forefront of Dickeya Detection Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program remained diligent during time of transition By Renee Rioux, administrative director, Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program

Nestled away on the west

end of the University of WisconsinMadison campus, there sits an unassuming, squat brick building. This building, known as the Biotron Laboratory, caters to the needs of researchers seeking highly controlled testing environments. While the Biotron has hosted a diverse array of clients with varying research interests, the longest standing client has been a group near and dear to the seed potato industry in Wisconsin, the Seed Potato Certification Program Tissue Culture Laboratory. Established in the 1980’s, the Potato Tissue Culture Laboratory is one of the core services provided by the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program (WSPCP). The laboratory produces seed stock for around 90 percent of the publicly available varieties that are grown by Wisconsin seed potato growers. It also supplies thousands of tissue culture plantlets to the State Farm in Rhinelander annually for greenhouse mini-tuber production

Dickeya-infected rows of potatoes are shown (outlined in yellow), in 2016, and in contrast to the healthy, non-infected lot of the same variety of potatoes to the left.

and subsequent field propagation. Currently, the program is responsible for maintaining just shy of 100 unique varieties in its collection. Providing healthy planting stocks and maintaining a comprehensive


Dark Red Norland Red Norland • Goldrush Russet Norkotah • Superior

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N2846 County Highway HH • Antigo, WI 54409 • 715-623-7083 Michael Cell: 715-219-1802 or Todd Cell: 715-610-6477 Over 40 Years’ Seed Growing Experience — Three Generations 64 BC�T November

collection of commercial potato varieties in tissue culture are not, however, the only responsibilities of the tissue culture program and its three key personnel: Lab Manager Andy Witherell, Associate Researcher Brooke Babler and Research Specialist Sue Lueloff. The trio is also involved in performing pathogen testing to help growers stay in compliance with seed potato certification standards or, as with Dickeya, staying ahead of emerging pathogen issues facing our industry. They’re also charged with conducting research to improve performance of potatoes in tissue culture and better meet the needs of the WSPCP, and delivering outreach activities that include lab tours, training and

presentations on their current research. With the first detection of Dickeya dianthicola in the United States occurring around a time of major leadership transition for the WSPCP, it could have been easy for Wisconsin to fall behind in its response. This was, however, far from the case.

ADDRESSING DICKEYA All members of the WSPCP, especially the Tissue Culture Laboratory and the state’s inspectors under the leadership of WSPCP Director Alex Crockford, took action to ensure that the program was adequately addressing the presence of Dickeya within Wisconsin and keeping

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Seed Growers:

Zapata Seed Company Worley Family Farms SLV Research Center San Acacio Seed Salazar Farms Rockey Farms, LLC Pro Seed Price Farms Certied Seed, LLC Palmgren Farms, LLC Martinez Farms La Rue Farms H&H Farms G&G Farms Bothell Seed Allied Potato

Above: The Potato Tissue Culture Laboratory is one of the core services provided by the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program (WSPCP). The laboratory produces seed stock for around 90 percent of the publicly available varieties that are grown by Wisconsin seed potato growers. It also supplies thousands of tissue culture plantlets to the State Farm in Rhinelander annually for greenhouse mini-tuber production and subsequent field propagation.

efforts well-aligned with those of researchers and seed certification programs in other states. continued on pg. 66

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BC�T November 65

Badger Beat. . .

continued from pg. 65

Left: D. dianthicola is much more likely to be noted at the base of the stem, near the soil line, as opposed to the aerial stem rot symptoms characteristic of Pectobacterium infection. Right: Useful to those inexperienced with identifying pathogens are images such as this close-up of a plant infected with Dickeya.

Detection of D. dianthicola is challenging both in the field and in the laboratory. In the field, symptoms can easily be confused with Pectobacterium species. The WSPCP’s inspectors, in collaboration with the Potato Tissue Culture Program that uses molecular assays to confirm possible Dickeya finds, identified that D. dianthicola is more likely than the Pectobacterium species to be present early in the growing season. In response to this, inspectors carefully scan for plants potentially infected with D. dianthicola during their first inspections in Wisconsin for the regular growing season and Hawaii at the winter grow out.

soil line, as opposed to the aerial stem rot symptoms characteristic of Pectobacterium infection. Laboratory detection of Dickeya and Pectobacterium using molecular methods is complicated because there is a lot of genetic variability among strains. Consequently, it is important to carefully test new methods before they are adopted as diagnostic tools. Diagnosis is further confounded by the fact that tissue needs to be sampled correctly, otherwise test results can come back as negative, even when the pathogen is present.

There are also some subtle differences in the characteristics of Dickeya infection relative to Pectobacterium that the WSPCP’s inspectors have become adept at identifying.

ACCURATE TESTING Babler played a key role in developing and evaluating effective, accurate testing methods for the state and establishing successful protocols for differentiating between Dickeya and Pectobacterium, as well as determining if the Dickeya species present in a sample is D. dianthicola.

These include where disease symptoms appear, as D. dianthicola is much more likely to be noted at the base of the stem, near the

In the past two years, the Potato Tissue Culture Laboratory has tested 134 samples from commercial and seed potato growers for the presence

66 BC�T November

of blackleg and soft rot pathogens. The vast majority of samples that tested positive for either pathogen had Pectobacterium but a handful of Dickeya dianthicola positive samples were also identified. The team was able to communicate these results to growers and work with them to develop management plans. The Potato Tissue Culture Laboratory team also tested water samples from the State Farm to ensure this is not an entry point for D. dianthicola into Wisconsin seed potato production and has been involved in winter tuber testing to gain a better understanding of tuber infection and back-up findings in the Hawaii grow out. The practical components of the team’s testing efforts are balanced with various research projects related to improved detection of blacklegand soft rot-causing bacteria. In one case, the members developed methods to use an advanced technology called “droplet digital PCR” to validate unclear standard

testing results. They also work in collaboration with scientists from other states to develop and validate new, more efficient detection tools. These efforts are both contributing to the overall Dickeya response in potato growing states and keeping Wisconsin at the forefront of detection and diagnosis. One particularly interesting research collaboration was formed between the WSPCP and the laboratory of Dr. Mohammed Arif at the University of Hawaii in Monoa.

In these projects, members of the Rioux lab will conduct experiments to better understand the biology of Dickeya isolates from Wisconsin and determine how this pathogen is affected by environmental conditions. The emergence of Dickeya in the United States and Wisconsin was a call to action for all of the potato industry, especially those involved in seed potato certification. Consistent with the excellent history

of our program, the WSPCP team rose to the task and kept Wisconsin at the forefront of monitoring, detection and diagnosis of this emerging threat. As we move forward, we are in an excellent position to use this knowledge as a tool for excluding Dickeya from seed potato production in Wisconsin and maintaining the stellar reputation and quality that the WSPCP has delivered for over a century.

ACCURATE ASSAYS These two teams are working together to develop robust and highly accurate assays for simultaneous detection of Dickeya and Pectobacterium, along with other potato-infecting bacterial pathogens, from plant tissue sap. The methods in development can detect the presence of pathogens at very low concentrations and be completed in the field with a fast turnaround. These innovations are more cost effective, less time consuming and less resource intensive than conventional laboratory methods. The results of the research efforts were recently shared at the 2019 American Phytopathological Society meeting, with presentations listing Crockford and Babler of the WSPCP as authors. Looking ahead, the Potato Tissue Culture Laboratory team will continue to develop and validate assays for Dickeya and Pectobacterium detection that have been developed in-house as well as those produced through collaborative efforts with other programs. Additionally, the isolates and samples they have collected through their detection efforts will be used as starting materials for research to be conducted in the lab of Dr. Renee Rioux, the new administrative director of the WSPCP.


1500 Post Road | Plover WI 54467 | (715) 344-4747 2022 W. 2nd Avenue | Bloomer, WI 54724 | (715) 568-4600 BC�T November 67

Potatoes USA News Global Publications Pick up Article on Types of Potatoes Using educational material from, The Washington Post released an article, “You Can’t Go Wrong with Potatoes, But Here’s How to Pick the Right Ones,” by Becky Krystal, about selecting the correct potato type for different cooking needs.

to achieve a particular outcome when cooking.

Within a week, nearly 15 publishers from Seattle to Houston to New Haven and even South Africa picked up the piece, including The Boston Globe!

In response, readers and viewers had a lot of positive comments and conversations. The fact that so many publications are drawn to this topic is a good reminder that consumers can benefit from general information about potatoes.

The article breaks down each potato type in just a few sentences to help the reader better understand how

For instance, the author points out which kind of potato to use when one wants to retain the shape or which potato to use for an earthy and nutty flavor.

The more we educate consumers on

Pictured are several potato varieties grown by Specialty Potatoes & Produce in Rosholt, Wisconsin.

appropriate usage, the more likely they will have a positive experience, which will lead to increased purchases.



As agriculture has evolved, the nature of the industry has become more complex and regulated. At Ruder Ware our attorneys act as legal counsel for producers and businesses providing products and services for the agriculture industry, and partner with a client’s current trusted advisors, such as accountants and lenders. Contact us today to see how our team approach yields the best results for your farm or business.

68 BC�T November

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Infographic Compares White & Sweet Potatoes There is a lot of confusion among the general public about the differences between white potatoes and sweet potatoes, with some individuals perceiving the latter as a healthier option. To help clear up the misconception with facts, Potatoes USA created an infographic to give a side-by-side comparison of the two vegetables in a visually appealing and easy to follow format. Use this infographic as you communicate with your customers, friends and family to help continue to spread the facts. To download the graphic, go to: White-Potato-Verse-Sweet-PotatoInfographic?inf_contact_key=8b661 c561ddf661ed2b7921f6d40db99680 f8914173f9191b1c0223e68310bb1. 

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Researchers Use Advanced Imaging to Detect Late Blight Accelerator program aims to commercialize technologies resulting from research Source:

Researchers in the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) “Accelerator” program are using advanced imaging technology to detect late blight in potatoes, which famously led to the Irish potato famine in the mid-19th century. In a recent interview, program manager Greg Keenan highlighted some of the top innovations getting investment support from WARF. Keenan has more than 20 years of industry experience with startups and other companies, and now works to identify opportunities for commercialization among University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison research projects.

“We have over 100 technologies in the Accelerator program alone where we’ve made investments to try to commercialize the technologies,” he says. He noted that more than 1 billion people across the world eat potatoes, and late blight still has a global impact. Potato growers in the state produced 28 million hundredweight of potatoes in 2016, making Wisconsin the thirdlargest potato producing state in the country after Idaho and Washington. Potato farming is clustered in the central part of the state, according to the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

AERIAL DISEASE DETECTION “We have a professor who’s invented a way to detect the disease from an aerial-mounted imaging device, so you can detect the disease before the human eye can even see it,” Keenan says. “This will help our Wisconsin potato farmers in dealing with this terrible disease, but it certainly has global implications as well,” he adds. One UW-Madison team that includes Dr. Phil Townsend, professor of remote sensing, Dr. Amanda Gevens, chair and associate professor of plant pathology, and former Ph.D. student, Katie Gold, is continuing to advance the hyperspectral work to detect disease in potato prior to symptom development. They continue this work in potato to make the outcomes practical for farm use. Another innovation with potential widespread impact comes from the chemistry department and involves using a new membrane technology to improve the economics of purifying and desalinating water. “We certainly are aware of the challenges with potable water, drinking water challenges around the globe,” Keenan explains. From the university’s computer science and engineering department, Keenan spotlighted an application that uses existing lighting within buildings for indoor geolocating.

Work by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on late blight (shown on potato plants) detection using advanced imaging technology has caught the attention of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation “Accelerator” program. The Accelerator program works to identify opportunities for commercialization among UW-Madison research projects. 70 BC�T November

He says the system uses “unique frequencies” from individual lights to provide more effective navigation within large buildings such as hospitals. Across the broad spectrum of technologies in the WARF Accelerator program, Keenan noted the

researchers and startups they launch face common challenges. For one, he said both companies and investors aren’t taking as many risks as they once did. PROVIDING PROOF “The research at [UW-Madison] tends to be very early stage, so the proof that industry and investors require is much higher than it has been historically,” he says. Keenan explains that the WARF Accelerator program is tailored to show how technologies can be used to benefit a business. “That’s what we’re trying to do, show a business how they can make money using this technology,” he remarks. “So, one of the things that we’re challenged with is engaging the right folks in the industry.” He states that more than 50 percent of the successful projects from the program are spun out into startups. And a significant hurdle they face

More than 1 billion people across the world eat potatoes, and late blight, shown here on potato plant foliage, has a global impact.

is hiring experienced business experts who know how to bring the innovation in question to market. “It’s a unique individual that can straddle some of the heavy science and also business,” he says. “These tend to be heavy lifts,” Keenan concludes, “from the standpoint of finding those right people and getting them to Madison to help start these companies.”

Symptoms of late blight include dark brown lesions with pale green haloes and white pathogen sporulation on lower and/or upper leaf surfaces.

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BC�T November 71

Auxiliary News By Devin Zarda, vice president, WPGA

Hello, friends.I hope

everything went well for your harvest season, that the crop is storing well, and life is calming down for you. I know the weather and a few accidents made harvesting a bit of a challenge at our farm. But, our community rallied, and here we are. The Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary Board was recently notified that one of the 11 groups that work in the baked potato booth at the State Fair will be retiring as of next year (the 2020 fair). We thank them for their many years of dedicated service! In order to operate the booth effectively, we need to have 11 groups of 14 people. We are asking any and all Auxiliary members to consider getting a group of friends and/or family together to fill this vacant spot. Why should I consider signing up? There are many perks that come with working in the baked potato booth at the Wisconsin State Fair. Each group receives money for gas, money for expenses ($120 per person!), paid hotel rooms and tee shirts for all members. Each group works a three-day shift, and the schedule is structured to make travel as efficient as possible. Day one is a late shift in order to allow for travel in the morning, day two is a midday shift and day three is an early shift to allow for travel home. Each shift is only about five hours

72 BC�T November

You never know who’s going to show up at the Wisconsin State Fair baked potato booth, in this case, Spudly, posing with customers. One of the 11 groups that work in the baked potato booth at the State Fair will be retiring as of next year, so the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary is asking members to consider getting a group of friends and/or family together to fill the vacant spot.

total. The rest of the time is yours to enjoy at the fair, shopping or just relaxing and spending time with your group of family and friends! If you're worried about finding enough members, we can put two groups of seven together to create a team of 14.

Wednesday-Friday, August 12-14, 2020. All workers must be at least 15 ½ years of age. If you’re interested in signing up or learning more, call the WPVGA office at 715-623-7683, email Julie at jbraun@wisconsinpotatoes. com or talk to an Auxiliary board member.

We will also have experienced group leaders and our State Fair coordinators available to help provide guidance and assistance to help your shifts run smoothly.

Come have some fun and help us continue to serve delicious Wisconsin potatoes!

The open shift next year will fall on


Talk with you soon,

Seed Piece Do Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments Work?

New research shows negligible benefits to U.S. farmers from soybean seed treatments

New research has been published regarding neonicotinoid seed

treatments (NST). It has been revealed that this soybean treatment provides negligible benefit to U.S. farmers.

In recent years, the usage of NST has increased, and it is estimated that approximately 50 percent of U.S. soybean planted acreage is treated with this class of insecticide seed treatment. It appears that many soybean farmers have been applying NST on their soybean seeds as a preventative measure, using it as insurance or a just-in-case treatment. The latest research suggests that this

is not a best management practice (BMP) and is unnecessary in many cases. It is recommended to only use NST on fields that have a specific pest history or have shown a direct positive regional impact to the crop from the seed treatments. Shawn P. Conley, professor and extension soybean specialist in the Department of Agronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is project leader and has been a long-

time proponent of soybean seed treatments in Wisconsin. DATA SPEAKS FOR ITSELF “I went into the project assuming this practice would have greater national effects, however the data speaks for itself,” Conley says. “There are many agronomic factors such as early planting, narrow row spacing and seeding rate that farmers can implement that would play a greater role than neonicotinoids in maximizing economic yield.” Christian Krupke, professor of entomology at Purdue University and continued on pg. 74


BC�T November 73

Seed Piece. . .

continued from pg. 73

Soybean yield is shown in bushels per acre (bu/ac) with the applied seed treatments across the entire region. The black rectangles show the mean yield for each treatment and the lines extend to the lower and upper 95 percent confidence limits. Note: FST=fungicide only; FST+NST=fungicide plus neonicotinoid insecticide; and UTC=untreated control. Means with the same letter are not significantly different at α=0.05.

a contributor to the research, shared additional insight. “Previously published studies have shown that the yield impacts of

Shown are the locations of individual experiments that were included in the study. Experiments with the same color belong to a cluster with similar growing environments.

NST on crop productivity, including soybeans, were inconsistent at best,” he says. “In our analysis of a large,

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14-state dataset that represents the vast majority of soybean acreage in the United States, we show that benefits to yield are minor if any.” “Put another way,” Krupke notes, “no significant insect pressure means no benefits from insecticides are possible.” “Furthermore,” he continues, “the non-target impacts of the neonicotinoids used as seed treatments have been documented in dozens of studies by scientists all over the world. These impacts affect a wide range of organisms ranging from pollinators like honeybees to aquatic insects and the birds that depend on them for food.” “But even if we ignore that, farmers are simply wasting money on an approach that rarely pays for itself,” he concludes. “When commodity prices are poor and the future looks murky, this is even more relevant, and our work highlights an input cost that most soybean farmers can readily do without.”

Don’t Get Fenced In

Keys to understanding and following the fence law in Wisconsin’s agricultural areas

Above: Fences can be made of woven wire alone or with barbed wire or high tensile wire above; boards alone or with barbed wire or high tensile wire above; barbed wire or high tensile wire; or electric wire if agreed to in writing by both neighbors.

By Attorney Andrew Raymonds, Ruder Ware, L.L.S.C. No matter how much credence the old saying “good fences make good neighbors” may hold, Chapter 90 of the Wisconsin Statutes exists to prescribe general rules regarding fences in agricultural areas of Wisconsin. These laws lay out when a fence is required, what a legal fence is, who is responsible for the fence and how to resolve disputes between property owners. In Wisconsin, a fence is required when one neighbor uses their land for farming or grazing purposes. Even if only one neighbor is using their land to farm or graze, both neighbors share the obligation related to costs and maintenance of the fence. Chapter 90 is in place for the benefit of neighbors and therefore retains flexibility in its guidance. In the agricultural areas where the law applies, landowners of adjoining

properties can mutually agree to not have a fence in place at all or agree to a fencing arrangement different from what the statutes lay out. For example, say Sarah and Nick are neighbors. If both of their properties are simply wooded lands, then no fence is required. But if Sarah starts using her land for farming or grazing, both her and Nick would have to jointly construct and maintain a fence between their respective properties, unless they agree otherwise.

This applies even if Nick is not using his property for purposes of farming or grazing. WHAT IS A LEGAL FENCE? Fences can be made of woven wire alone or with barbed wire or high tensile wire above; boards alone or with barbed wire or high tensile wire above; barbed wire or high tensile wire; or electric wire if agreed to in writing by both neighbors. continued on pg. 76

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Don’t Get Fenced In. . . continued from pg. 75

Generally, fences must be 50 inches high with the bottom not over 4 inches from the ground. Shorter heights will apply to electric fence, barbed wire fences and high tensile fences. In the example above, if Nick does not use his property for purposes of farming or grazing, he may believe Sarah should own the entire responsibly for the fence because its necessity stems from Sarah’s decision to farm or graze on her property. Under Chapter 90, however, both adjoining neighbors are responsible for erecting and maintaining their half of the fence. The shared responsibility extends to the cost of the fence, which is to be split evenly between both neighbors. The statutes also include guidance as to which neighbor is responsible for a given portion of the fence. It directs that, whenever practicable,

a neighbor who is standing on their own property line, facing their neighbor’s property, will have the duty to maintain the half of the fence on their right, with their neighbor maintaining the half on the left. As is often the case throughout Chapter 90, neighbors are free to create and agree upon their own arrangement. BINDING AGREEMENT If neighbors should choose to agree to an arrangement different from what is set forth in Chapter 90, they should ensure the agreement is binding. The fence agreement should be in writing, signed and sealed by the owners and two witnesses, and filed with the town clerk. Neighbors are encouraged to reach an agreement and resolve disputes among themselves. If a dispute cannot be resolved, either neighbor

may engage their town or village. Town supervisors (or applicable alderpersons or municipal trustees) are authorized “fence viewers” to resolve fence disputes. If the land is partly in one town and partly in another, a “fence viewer” from each town is appointed, and each town clerk must maintain a record of the decision. It is important to keep in mind that placement of fences do not equal boundary lines. “Fence viewers” do not have the authority to resolve boundary line disputes. Neighbors should look to a surveyor to determine actual boundary lines. Different municipalities may have separate ordinances regulating fences in residential areas. It is recommended to engage the local municipal clerk or an attorney with questions involving fences.

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Eyes on Associates By WPVGA Associate Div. President Kenton Mehlberg, T.I.P. / Ag Grow Solutions

Hello, everyone.

I feel like a broken record talking about the weather, but it seems we did something to upset Mother Nature again this year. Most of October was wet and cool with an emphasis on wet. They were calling for heavy frost the weekend I wrote this and an unknown amount of snow. Last year, we received snow on the same weekend, but hopefully we do not get the brutally cold temperatures that came with it. Despite the challenging conditions, most growers made good progress on spuds, and with a few dry days, finished digging and made progress on getting the crops off the fields. Good luck to all of you!

Industry Show, please act promptly so we can save space for you.

of support and get more recognition at this great event.

In response to interest we’ve had in the past, the Associate Division created a formal sponsorship form for the Industry show. This will allow vendors to select their level

Thank you to all who have supported the Industry Show in the past. Please watch your inboxes for the form and consider sponsoring the 2020 show. continued on pg. 78

2020 Putt-Tato Open I would like to inform everyone that we have set a date and a location for our 2020 Putt-Tato Open golf outing to be held on Tuesday, July 14, at the Bull’s Eye Country Club in Wisconsin Rapids. We are looking forward this great event in 2020. Please mark your calendars. Upcoming Industry Show With our 2020 Grower Education Conference & Industry Show fast approaching, the WPVGA Associate Division Board spent most of its time at our last meeting planning the upcoming event. If you have not already returned your booth reservation for the 2020

Representing the Volm Companies group at the 2019 Putt-Tato Open are, from left to right, Marv Worzella, Bob Husnick, Joel Nowinsky and Andy Duff. The dates and location for the 2020 Putt-Tato Open have been set, so mark your calendars for July 14 at the Bull’s Eye Country Club in Wisconsin Rapids. BC�T November 77

Eyes on Associates. . . continued from pg. 77

Something new to look forward to is a buffet lunch on both days of the event. The Associate Division is excited to be able to offer this, so please enjoy and provide us with your feedback. A reminder that we will again be offering exhibiting vendors a chance to make “Bringing Value to Ag” presentations on Tuesday afternoon as part of the Grower Education Conference. The presentations will involve five Associate Division members/ exhibitors, each making a 10-minute presentation. The Bringing Value to Ag program is motivated by our desire to ensure that participating exhibitors receive as much exposure as possible and provide our grower members with new and relevant information. The main purpose of these presentations is to educate and inform. Again, please watch your inboxes for information on how to submit a proposal. YOUTH EDUCATION Last month I mentioned that the Associate Division is discussing the idea of educating youth and getting them involved in our industry. At our last meeting, we were lucky to have Randy Tenpas from Fox Valley Technical College and Alex Lendved of Mid-State Technical College speak about their programs and how we could get more involved as an industry. The information provided was invaluable and I will keep you posted

78 BC�T November

At the 2019 Grower Education Conference & Industry Show, Cathy Schommer (left) of Compeer Financial accepts a plaque from WPVGA Executive Director Tamas Houlihan (rightt) for her dedicated services on the Associate Division Board.

as to our progress on this subject. I encourage all of you who are interested to Google “Wisconsin Tech Connect.” Wisconsin Tech Connect is designed to connect prospective employers with highly skilled students and alumni of Wisconsin’s technical colleges. This is a great resource for anyone looking for good help. Thank you to Randy and Alex for sharing their time with us. As I also announced last month, the Associated Division will be hosting its first annual sporting clays shoot in the fall of 2020. The event will take place in late October at a location to be determined. Associate Division members and growers are encouraged to attend.

I will be providing more information as is becomes available, but please plan to participate. If anybody has questions, comments or concerns about any of our events, please share your ideas with an Associate Division member. We would be happy to discuss them as a group. Good luck to all of you trying to finish up harvest and enjoy what is left of this beautiful season. Good luck to all of you hunters out there also! I look forward to seeing you in the field or in next month’s “Eyes on Associates.” Thank you for reading!

Kenton Mehlberg

WPVGA Associate Division President

NPC News USDA Secretary Perdue Visits Processing Plant Ag tour participants learn about the Michigan potato industry In late September, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue visited Better Made Snack Foods in Detroit, Michigan, as part of a state-wide agriculture tour to learn more about the Michigan potato industry. Among those touring Better Made Snack Foods were American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duval, Michigan Potato Industry Commission (MPIC) Executive Director Kelly Turner and MPIC Commissioner Phil Gusmano. “It’s extremely important for us to continue to educate USDA on agriculture from an urban perspective,” says Gusmano. “The Michigan potato industry is not just planting and harvesting in the field, but also includes processors like ourselves and many other facets that contribute to our success.” “We want to thank Secretary Perdue for taking the time to learn the micro and macro functions of our industry,” Gusmano adds, “and how vital Michigan potatoes are to us.” continued on pg. 80

Phil Gusmano (right) of the Michigan Potato Industry Commission gives U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue (center) and American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duval (left) a tour of Better Made Snack Foods in Detroit, Michigan.

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 November 79

NPC News. . .

continued from pg. 79

Clock Ticking on House to Pass USMCA Time is running out on the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the U.S.Mexico-Canada (USMCA) Agreement. USMCA was negotiated to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and is the first trade agreement to be completed by the Trump Administration.

and calms some of the tensions surrounding these global disputes. But there aren’t a lot of days left to get it done,” says National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles.

Passing it will be a strong sign that Congress and the White House can accomplish major priorities together, but it is believed that the votes to do so will be difficult to gather once the 2020 election cycle begins.

On October 2, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters that Democrats are making progress on the USMCA, but they “want to be sure that as we go forward, we are strengthening America’s working families and our farmers who are very affected by this.”

“Implementing USMCA tells everyone that the U.S. is capable of following through on trade negotiations

Pelosi went on to say that,

“We’re on a path to yes,” but she cautioned that “we can’t be there yet” on enforceability. In late September, House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) said the Democratic working group and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer have “reached agreement on a couple of substantial issues,” but Neal declined to specify which specific issues those are.

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Ali's Kitchen

How to Can Superior Potatoes With jars of ready-to-eat potatoes in the pantry, dinner preparation is a breeze Column and photos by Ali Carter, Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary While I’ve been canning for many years using the water bath method, this was my first experience in creating shelf-stable food (safely stored at room temperature in a sealed container) with a pressure canner. I am beyond excited about the culinary new world opened to us here in the Carter kitchen! With a 16-quart pressure canner borrowed from my mother-in-law, and my husband, Mike, manning the equipment and assisting with the heavy lifting, we tackled a boxful of Superior potatoes. This resulted in jars upon jars of ready-to-eat potatoes sitting on our pantry shelves.

That one evening and little bit of effort we put into the canning process has simplified my life. Thanks to these jars, I have been able to set a meal on the table in an incredibly short amount of time! My family has enjoyed our canned potatoes often in the past couple of weeks alongside marinated chicken and hamburgers. The potatoes fry up quickly and beautifully in a pan with a pat of butter and a bit of salt and pepper. I have used them directly from the jar (with no need to warm them) as a deliciously creamy addition to our green salads, and the potato salad I made last weekend was a breeze with the canned potatoes. If you are a canning pro, I imagine you can understand my excitement. If you are a canning novice, I encourage you to give it a try. Canning is a wonderful way to preserve potatoes. There is an incredible sense of accomplishment when you place all those full jars on the shelf knowing that you and your family have access to healthy, nourishing food. Recipe is adapted from continued on pg. 82


Gather your canning supplies:

• pressure canner • canning jars • canning seals and rings • jar lifter and canning funnel • large pot • potato peeler • bowls • large spoons • sharp knife • towels and dish cloths

Processing Times for Canning Potatoes

Pints - process for 35 minutes Quarts - process for 40 minutes ADJUSTMENTS FOR PRESSURE CANNER Altitude in Feet

Dial Gauge Canner

Weighted Gauge Canner



















BC�T November 81

Advertisers Index Ali's Kitchen. . .

continued from pg. 81

DIRECTIONS Wash and peel your potatoes. Cut into 1-2-inch pieces, or you can leave them whole. Your potato pieces should not be bigger than 1 to 2 inches each and can be as small as half-inch in size, though they might get over cooked if too small. As you cut your potatoes, place them in a pot of water to avoid discoloring. Cook small, ½-inch pieces for two minutes in boiling water and drain. If you have larger pieces or whole potatoes, boil up to 10 minutes and drain. You want the potatoes to be hot through, but not overcooked. Remember, they should be no larger than 2 inches apiece. Add one teaspoon of salt per quart to the jar, if desired. This is optional, though I do recommend it unless you

have a health reason to leave the salt out. Salt helps preserve the texture and taste of the potatoes. Fill clean jars with hot, prepared potatoes, leaving no more than 1-inch head space. Cover hot potatoes with fresh, boiling water. Don’t recycle the water you used to boil the potatoes; it will be starchy and cloudy. Leave 1-inch head space and cover all pieces of potato. Wipe the jar rims clean, remove any air bubbles and place your lids. Be sure to use the processing pressure indicated in the accompanying chart as determined by your altitude. See chart on previous page. Enjoy! Find more recipes at

Data Management How do you leverage your data to drive farm value? Your R&S Precision Team can help!

Call your R&S Precision Farming Rep to find out more! 82 BC�T November

Advanced Farm Equipment, LLC..........49 AgSource Laboratories........................14 Allied Cooperative...............................46 Baginski Farms Inc.................................5 Big Iron Equipment..............................15 BioGro.................................................59 Bula Potato Farms, Inc.........................29 Bushmans’ Inc.......................................3 Bushman’s Riverside Ranch.................53 Chippewa Valley Bean Co....................48 Colorado Certified Potato Growers Association..........................65 Compeer Financial...............................40 Dagen Heritage Farms.........................74 David J. Fleischman Farms...................51 Eagle River Seed Farms........................76 Fencil Urethane Systems.....................10 Gallenberg Farms................................75 GLC Minerals.........................................9 Gowan Company.................................45 Gypsoil Brand Gypsum........................18 Hafner Seed Farms, Inc........................32 Hartman Farms Inc..............................64 Heartland AG Systems.........................23 IncredibleBank.....................................47 Jay-Mar................................................37 John Miller Farms................................39 J.W. Mattek & Sons..............................73 Kakes Farms Ltd...................................41 Kartechner Brothers............................22 Lackawanna Products Corp.................33 Lockwood Mfg.....................................21 Michael Best........................................24 Mid-State Truck Service.......................34 Nachurs...............................................56 National Potato Council.......................63 Nelson’s Vegetable Storage Systems Inc...........................30 Noffsinger Mfg. ...................................54 Norika America, LLC............................80 North Central Irrigation.......................43 North Dakota Certified Seed Potatoes....................................60 Nutrien Ag Solutions...........................26 Nutrien Ag Solutions Great Lakes........11 Oasis Irrigation....................................27 Parkland Potato Varieties....................55 Quinlan’s Equipment...........................44 Rhinehart Metal Buildings, Inc..............2 Riesterer & Schnell..............................82 Rine Ridge Farms.................................38 Roberts Irrigation ................................67 Ron’s Refrigeration..............................36 Ruder Ware.........................................68 Rural Mutual Insurance.......................71 Sally Surprise Agency, Rural Mutual Insurance.....................58 Sand County Equipment......................83 Schroeder Brothers Farms.....................7 Schutter Seed Farm.............................19 Seidl Farms..........................................25 Sowinski Farms, Inc.............................57 Sunnydale Farms.................................61 Swiderski Equipment...........................13 ThorPack, LLC......................................42 T.I.P......................................................84 Vantage North Central.........................52 Vine Vest North...................................12 Volm Companies..................................20 Warner & Warner................................35 Wild Seed Farms..................................31 WPVGA Support Our Members...........79 WSPIA..................................................17

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1911_Badger Common'Tater  

Annual Seed Issue boasts a Complete 2019 Wisconsin Certified Seed Potato Growers Directory, an Interview with Jim Kennedy of Guenthner Potat...

1911_Badger Common'Tater  

Annual Seed Issue boasts a Complete 2019 Wisconsin Certified Seed Potato Growers Directory, an Interview with Jim Kennedy of Guenthner Potat...

Profile for bctater