January 2012
Taking Stock: 50 Years & Counting

The new year always starts off with so much promise and I think 2012 is going to fulfill that promise, both editorially and agriculturally speaking.

Editorially speaking, this issue marks the beginning of Spudman’s 50th year of publishing. We are the oldest private publication covering the potato industry.

As part of Spudman’s 50-year anniversary we’ve come out with a new feature in the magazine for this year. It’s called, “Pioneers of the Industry.” We’re going to feature people who have played integral roles in advancing the potato industry in every issue.

If you have a candidate in mind for this feature, please call or email me with your suggestion. We are building up our list but I’d be happy to see or hear nominations from our readers.

This month’s pioneer is Dan Crawford. Fifty years ago Dan Crawford started this publication in a little second-floor office above a grocery store in Tulelake, Calif. I spent an afternoon interviewing Dan this fall in Klamath Falls, Ore. He’s still a live wire and opinionated as ever. Time may have slowed him down but it can’t keep him quiet. I think you’re going to enjoy reading about the genesis of Spudman magazine. I know I truly enjoyed interviewing Dan. We also have a video interview with Dan. Click here to view it.

There’s our cover article by Dianna Troyer on Jim Tiede. Jim’s a third generation Idaho farmer who treasures the tradition of family farming as well as the innovations necessary to stay in alive in agriculture in the 21st century. Tiede and his son Alex combine astute business practices with a respect for the land. He was awarded the National Potato Council’s Stewardship Award in 2009 for his conservation practices.

We have our third annual grower’s survey in this issue. It’s always an interesting read and with each additional year we’re able to compare this year’s responses to previous years. The past few years have proved to be economic tough times but based on our survey results agriculture remains one of the driving engines of our country’s economy. I want to thank everyone who took the time to participate.

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