November/December 2011
Of Families and Anniversaries By Bill Schaefer

It’s the end of October and a cold wind is rattling the window and heralding the approaching winter as I write this column. I’ve just spent the past month at the polar opposites of the nation’s potato growing regions.

The end of September I spent a week visiting growers in Klamath Falls and the first week of October was spent visiting with growers and researchers in Maine. I owe a big thank you to John Keeling of the National Potato Council and Don Flannery of the Maine Potato Board for giving me the opportunity to visit with the growers throughout Maine.

In fact, this month’s centerpiece story on Mark Tarr and Tarr Farms comes from my trip to Aroostook County, The County, in Maine parlance. His family has been farming some of the same land for the past four generations.

Family and multi generations farming the rocky soils and dealing with the whimsical weather systems of Maine, is a pattern I found throughout my travels with Don Flannery and Tim Hobbes.

It’s a common thread in the potato industry, one I’ve discovered during my two years as Spudman’s managing editor.

I’ve been at the helm for the past two years but Spudman has been reporting on the potato industry for almost 50 years. In fact 2012 will be the magazine’s golden anniversary and we’re making some special editorial plans to celebrate the milestone in every issue. Until then I’ve included a sample of something we hope our readers might participate in.

The photograph at the top of this column is of Brent Buck holding a framed copy of a Spudman cover from the April 1991 issue featuring his father, Jack. During the short time I’ve been managing editor I’ve met countless individuals who tell me that either they’ve been featured on the cover or someone in their family has been featured on the cover.

We would love to see your old covers of Spudman. Take a picture of them and e-mail it to me, or head on over to and post old covers or pictures that feature you or members of your family and share them with the Spudman community.

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