It’s the middle of February and all the January conferences are behind us. Now it's time to come to terms with the IRS and prepare for a whole lot of paperwork and number crunching.
This month we’re featuring a number of video interviews filmed over the past two months. I was in eastern Washington during December and visited with Rex Calloway and Nick Johnson to discuss their experiences with the Leadership Institute and how they benefited from the training and their lobbying efforts. Take a look and if you’re interested in participating next year contact the National Potato Council or the U.S. Potato Board they’re both sponsors of the program.
At the end of January, at the Washington-Oregon Potato Conference in Kennewick, I interviewed John Keeling, CEO and executive vice president of the National Potato Council, about the Leadership Institute. Keeling and two recent graduates of the program, Rex Calloway and Nick Johnson, discuss the important role growers must play to protect their interests, both domestically and internationally.
Keeling also talked about free trade and free trade agreements coming up before the Senate as well as domestic programs such as the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. Keeling advises growers that they need to get involved right now weighing in with Congress. “Unless you make your voice heard in Washington, unless you speak to your congressmen and senators directly some of these things get away from you,” Keeling said.
I also caught up with Oregon seed grower Jim Carlson at the conference in Kennewick. Carlson is a member of the Oregon Potato Commission and chairman of the OPC’s Research Committee. Oregon, like every other state is facing severe budget cutbacks in all programs and the Oregon Extension research stations are facing additional budget cuts of almost 25 percent. Carlson discusses what steps the OPC is taking to preserve and stabilize their research stations.
Trimble Agriculture released its new DCM-300 modem on January 18. The Multi-use modem provides access to VRS Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) corrections and handles wireless data transfer to deliver information to and from the field or track assets. For more information, go to www.trimble.com