One year after it was formed, the United Potato Growers of America is movin on up to Salt Lake City.
With the December hire of Julia Cissel as CEO, the potato cooperative is moving to its permanent home with a full staff in place. With these changes, the team will embark on its second year with several goals in mind: increasing membership, adding value, developing programs and managing the tactics of programs and communications.
The amount they (United founders) have accomplished in a year has been extremely impressive, Cissel said. (They) took a group of growers who found themselves in a place where things needed to change, got them organized and got very effective programs in place.
Cissel said her first two months as CEO were a whirlwind. She attended several industry trade shows to talk to growers about United and the next steps for the organization.
» Read more
What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Thats one of my favorite quotes. Whenever I reach a particularly stressful deadline or hectic week, I think of this quote and remember that the most important thing is recognizing the strength that is within me.
Without intending it, the theme of this months issue ended up being leadership. And I think the Emerson quote is completely and perfectly applicable.
Jim Wysocki, the 2006 president of the National Potato Council, embodies the strong spirit and inner drive that makes this country and industry so great. Jim recognizes what has happened in the past and what could happen in the future if the industry continues on the road its on. But hes not dwelling on it. Hes stepping up and hes
» Read more
The potato industry is going through some big changes. And its not just the marketplace thats different. Its the nature of the business.
Thirty years ago, hard work and producing a good crop assured economic success, said Jim Wysocki, National Potato Council president. Now, it also requires a good business plan, a willingness to partner with others and increased management skills.
I am amazed at the sophistication that has grown in our business regardless of business size.
Wysocki, of Bancroft, Wis., took the helm at NPC in January. He has ambitious goals for his one-year term.
Among those goals is working with NPC staff on the 2007 Farm Bill. In the past, Wysocki said, NPCs goal for the farm bills was to preserve planting flexibility restrictions for program crop growers, which would not allow them to plant potatoes on subsidized land. For the 2007 Farm Bill,
» Read more
The recent discovery of potato tuberworms (PTW) and tuber moths has potato growers and industry officials concerned and researchers studying how and why tuber moth, thought to be a subtropical pest, has migrated to northern latitudes where it has not been seen before.
Has it genetically mutated, is it responding to global warming or has it been introduced from somewhere else? These are just some of the hypotheses being explored by researchers in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
There has been some evidence, mostly anecdotal, that tuber moths have been in the Columbia basin before. But in 2002, they were found in north central Oregon in Hermiston, and since then they have been found in traps from Hermiston, Ore., to the Northern Columbia Basin in Wilbur, Wash. In the summer of 2005, they were documented in southwestern Idaho for the first time.
On Aug. 26, two PTW moths were
» Read more