Editorial Blogs

Day Two: POTATO EXPO 2014

I cornered Jerry Wright, United Potato Growers of America president, on the trade show floor of the POTATO EXPO 2014 Thursday afternoon between break-out sessions. I had missed Jerry’s presentation during UPGA’s Business Summit Wednesday morning and asked him what advice United was telling growers for the 2014 season. Wright said that based upon historical comparisons, models predict flat acreage versus last year. However, they also warn that increasing trend line yields cold produce as much as 3.4 percent increased production. Jerry Wright strongly cautioned all growers to plant only to contracts and not speculate on open contracts. Maureen Storey, president and CEO of the Alliance for Potato Research & Education, also was on hand during POTATO EXPO today. In this video, she discusses events and research projects for 2014.   — By Bill Schaefer, editor Read more »


Wednesday, Jan. 8: POTATO EXPO 2014 opened at 1 p.m. on the floor of the Henry Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas, yesterday. Attendance was brisk though a number of people have not arrived yet due to weather related flight delays. Lots of folks have stopped by the Spudman booth to pick up free bumper stickers and Spudman license plates. Break-out sessions will be all afternoon today. Look for more reports later today. Below is a time-lapse video of EXPO preparations prior to the opening. Click here to view a photo gallery from POTATO EXPO 2014.    — By Bill Schaefer, editor Read more »

Day Two: Washington-Oregon Potato Conference

It's lunch break at the Washington-Oregon Potato Conference on Wednesday, January 27. The Potato bar is in fill operation. Another overcast day here in Kennewick and the day started off slowly at 8 a.m. but crowds picked up through out the morning.Keynote speaker Todd Buchholz finished his presentation prior to lunch. Buchholz is a former White House economic policy advisor and author of "New Ideas from Dead CEOs."During his presentation Buchholz said that rampant real estate speculation brought down the U.S. economy. He expressed concern that the result of the recession would be a backlash against capitalism and global trade.Buchholz defended Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's policy to buy down debt and push down interest rates, at the same time Buchholz was critical of the TARP funds and Congress's miserly, limited release of funds.Buchholz sees the economy improving slowly, in stops and starts, calling the… Read more »

More from Kennewick: Industry leader recognized

It's the end of another long day at the Comfort Inn in Kennewick. Started the day at 8 a.m. with the first seminar of the second day and between the seminars and attending the booth.I've just settled down in my room after attending the Industry Leadership banquet that honored Robert Thornton, Ph.D. Thornton has been an integral part of the development of the potato industry here in Washington state. A long-time researcher and teacher at Washington State University.I spent the dinner discussing the politics of potatoes with David Fairbourn and David Fraser of the United States Potato Board. We talked about future stories for the magazine about, "Linda," the prototypical consumer of potatoes.I've included a photo of Warren Seely. A teenage from Clatskanie, Oregon Warren has spent the past three years constructing model farm equipment out of Legos. It's a popular exhibit at Wednesday's potato… Read more »

First day at WA-OR Potato Conference 2010

The first day of the first Washington-Oregon Potato Conference 2010 is now in the history books. Let it be noted that it was a cold and rainy Tuesday in Kenewick but the weather didn't hold people from crowding into the Three Rivers Convention Center for the Cultivar Performance Workshop and to pick up all the free schwag at the Ag Expo.At the Spudman booth Jasa Simon and I had a constant stream of visitors filling out the surveys for a limited edition "Proud to be a Spudman" stocking cap and just as happened at last week's Idaho Potato Conference our supply of caps were exhausted by mid-afternoon. We have an ample supply of bumper stickers and plenty of free magazines. Please stop by and complete a survey if you're at the conference on Wednesday or Thursday.I'm encouraged by the positive comments I've heard at the… Read more »

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