May/June 2013
Taking Stock – A Tale of Determination By Bill Schaefer

Some people think of me as a cynic but I prefer to think of myself as a skeptic.

However, when I read the lawsuit filed by the Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) that compares potato grower organizations with an oil cartel, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), than my skeptical nature sours into cynicism.

The argument that grower organizations artificially inflated the price of potatoes falls flat on its own merits when you look at the current prices for potatoes.

Like all lawsuits, this one will have a long life. Watch for updates at or you can receive updates on our Twitter feed @SpudmanMag.

Every grower I’ve had the good fortune to interview has had an interesting story to tell but I think this is doubly true of Rob Davis. Davis is the newly elected chairman for the United States Potato Board but his story of how he came to be involved in the industry is one of steely determination to become a farmer combined with tireless drive to succeed as a leader. After reading the profile I think you’ll agree that Davis is the right person to lead the USPB in 2013.

What do you do when your water rights dry up? Dave Wilkins has an interesting story on the extreme measures some growers are forced to take to find sufficient water for a potato crop, such as moving part of their operation to another state. Read his story on pg. 22.

Everett Brazil III reports that new federal regulations for the trucking industry may mean increased freight costs for growers and that could result in higher consumer costs.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you that the entire magazine, from cover to cover, is now available as a digital edition. You can also view photo galleries at our online website as well as videos. Go to to view photo galleries, videos and to subscribe to the digital edition.

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