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June 2005

June 2005
  • Breeding for Health Communicating the healthful aspects of potatoes can help return the vegetable to its rightful place of prominence on North American dinner plates, a Colorado State University researcher said.
  • CEO Sound Off The National Potato Council (NPC) and U.S. Potato Board (USPB) are the potato industry's national voices. Both stand side by side as different but equally important "pillars" of the industry. In the following interview, CEOs John Keeling, NPC, and Tim O'Connor, USPB, discuss the state of the potato industry, its strengths and weaknesses, current challenges and how each organization is working to increase profitability for the industry.
  • Learning from Grandpa
  • Tualatin Valley Potato Sherwood, Ore., potato grower/packer/shipper Jay Hoffman, who loves baseball and even has a regulation diamond on his farm, is not going to let the loss of his best customer shut him out.
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Health Traits May Drive Future Potato Research

Communicating the healthful aspects of potatoes can help return the vegetable to its rightful place of prominence on North American dinner plates, a Colorado State University researcher said. David Holm said he feels there's even an opportunity to enhance the potato's dietary value through traditional breeding. It's already recognized that some of the colored varieties contain higher levels of antioxidants that help prevent disease, Holm said. Breeding programs also could take into account vitamin availability and other beneficial aspects of the tubers. "I think the thing I see shifting is that we'll be looking more and more at the health aspects of potatoes,” said Holm, who works at the university's San Luis Valley Research Center. “In the future, I think there will be more interest in the health aspects of all produce." "There are fads (like low-carbohydrate diets) that come and go,” he said. “I think that once more…  » Read more

NPC, USPB Heads Discuss Issues Facing U.S. Potato Industry

The National Potato Council (NPC) and U.S. Potato Board (USPB) are the potato industry’s national voices. Both stand side by side as different but equally important “pillars” of the industry. In the following interview, CEOs John Keeling, NPC, and Tim O’Connor, USPB, discuss the state of the potato industry, its strengths and weaknesses, current challenges and how each organization is working to increase profitability for the industry. Describe the role your organization plays in the potato industry. Keeling: Basically, we’re the growers’ voice in D.C. on national legislative, regulatory, trade and environmental issues. O’Connor: The USPB is the central organizing force in implementing demand-building programs for potatoes, domestically and abroad. We expand markets and increase usage. What is the greatest challenge to the industry, and what are the NPC and USPB doing to address it? Keeling: The long-term issue remains balancing productivity with demand growth. For the NPC, the…  » Read more

Learning from Grandpa

I’ve always known my grandfather was a special man. In his life, he taught many people many things about what it takes to be a good, hard-working and honest person. And in his recent death, he taught an even more important lesson: the importance of coming together. As a fruit grower, he grew some of the most beautiful – and tasty fruit – I’ve ever seen. And he helped to teach three generations of my family the honor that hard work brings – even if it means no summer vacations and a farmer’s tan that doesn’t go over so well with your friends. As a chemical representative – Grandpa worked in that industry for 30 years before retiring – he showed his clients that he truly cared about them and took time to get to know each of them on an individual basis. From this,…  » Read more

Oregon Grower Rallies to Survive Loss of Big Account

Sherwood, Ore., potato grower/packer/shipper Jay Hoffman, who loves baseball and even has a regulation diamond on his farm, is not going to let the loss of his best customer shut him out. For more than 15 years, Hoffman’s Tualatin (Too-WALLA-Tin) Valley Potato supplied gourmet chipmaker Kettle Foods of Salem, Ore., with Russet Burbanks. When Kettle Foods first began operations in the early 1980s, it bought a lot of its raw spuds from central and north Willamette Valley growers within 50 or so miles of the plant. Hoffman Farms was at one time the biggest supplier, and more than a few times was able to keep the plant running with just-in-time shipments. But as Kettle Foods began growing, it started buying from larger producers in the Columbia River Basin on the other side of the Cascades, where growing conditions are better, center pivots rule and sugar levels are more…  » Read more
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