Taking stock: A community of potato growers
Another planting season has come and gone here in the Pacific Northwest. It's been warm and dry for most of the spring. Now we could use some rain.
Down in the south and southeast, harvest has begun, and a Florida grower reports that they've had a good growing season and the crop is looking good.
In the time I've been editing Spudman, it's been my observation that potato growers are a tight-knit group with long-term ties to their local community. I often meet third- or fourth-generation growers with strong ties to their local communities.
I think you'll discover in this month's profile of Sid Staunton, a grower whose commitment is not only to his local community, but to the national community of potato growers and extends to the potato industry as a whole.
The Stauntons have been farming in Tulelake and the Klamath Basin for three generations with a fourth generation in the wings and perhaps a fifth just taking root.
Sid sees his role as the new chairman of the United States Potato Board to be representing all growers - fresh, process and dehy - and continuing to build on the recent success within the industry in sustaining potatoes as America's favorite vegetable.
This month we put a spotlight on technological innovations, space-age and Internet, that are helping make a difference in water management and irrigation. In addition, we have articles on transportation, vine- kill recommendations and proposed regulations in the Food Safety Modernization Act - from sci-fi to horror, all in one issue.
With this issue, we shift into our seasonal bi-monthly format. But that doesn't mean we're taking time off from covering the issues important to our readers.
We'll be monitoring and reporting on growing conditions throughout the summer, as well as any legislative updates on the farm bill with reports in our eSpudman monthly newsletters.
If you're not receiving them, go online and update your subscriber information. While you're at it, you can register to win a Cabella's $50 gift card. We're drawing one lucky winner each month during 2012 to celebrate Spudman's 50th anniversary. Visit Spudman.com to find our Facebook page and read quotes from our recent winners.