Taking Stock — Information for Any Season

The potatoes have been planted, and in some circumstances the potatoes have been planted again following an overabundance of rainfall. Now you let Mother Nature do whatever she feels like doing for 2013 and deal with it.

You take the good weather when it comes and you take preventative measures when it doesn’t. It’s been the farmer’s plight since time immemorial and will be thus forever more. If you hope for the best and anticipate the worst, you’ll never be disappointed.

This month’s profile by David Fairbourn is a digression from the norm. Instead of a farmer, we’re featuring Rick Kantner, director of sales and marketing for Alsum Farms & Produce.

You have to sell them after you grow them and Rick has some sharp insights how to better market and brand the potato. Along with the article there’s a video of Rick discussing one of Alsum’s new retail bins at Take a look. I think you’ll find their marketing technique creative and innovative.

This past January Spudman presented its inaugural Emerging Leader Award to Eric Halverson. It’s a little early for nominations but I want to alert everyone that it’s time to start thinking of candidates for the second annual ELA. Any individual, 35 years of age or younger, involved in any sector of the potato industry is eligible. Application forms are available online at

The September-October issue is our annual buyer’s guide so we’ll be on an editorial hiatus until the November-December issue. But you can keep up with the latest industry developments at  We’ll be posting updates on everything from crop reports to the latest developments on the Farm Bill, immigration reform and food safety. Until the next issue, have a safe summer and fall harvest.

By Bill Schaefer

Originally posted Thursday, Jul. 25, 2013