Happy New Year! I hope that 2011 is a profitable year for you, economically as well as intellectually. This past year as the managing editor of Spudman has been one with a steep learning curve for me, but I've enjoyed the challenges and look forward reporting on the coming year's developments.
From the staff at Great American Publishing, to the correspondents and columnists who contribute to the magazine, to the all the growers and researchers who have patiently explained their operations and the intricacies of their work, I want to say thanks for the past year's successes. Without your input and valuable feedback, Spudman could not achieve the level of professional reporting that we aspire to in providing the most current news on the nation's potato industry.
This month's cover story, David Fairbourn's profile of Ritchey Toevs, gives us a glimpse into Ritchey's global adventures for the United States Potato Board's international marketing committee. Ritchey's put in a lot of miles traveling the world helping promote potatoes.
January is traditionally our State of the Industry issue. Another tradition we inaugurated last year and continue with this month is the publication of the results from our Spudman readers' survey. Thanks to those who participated and I encourage everyone to participate next year. As we compile a data bank of responses we'll be better able to report on the changes facing the industry.
Speaking of traditions, there's one here in Idaho that continues in some school districts, the harvest break when students help bring in the fall potato crop. I spent some time this fall photographing and interviewing students, farm managers and the superintendent of the Snake River School District during their harvest recess. It's a tradition that links the generations, teaches young men and women the value of hard work and good stewardship for the land.