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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 »

The first day of the Idaho Potato Conference

The first day of the Idaho Potato Conference was busy as usual with a full day of seminars along with meeting people at the Spudman booth, we had so many visitors that we ran out of Proud to be a Spudman wool caps within the first three hours, I apologize to all the visitors who came looking for a hat after our supply ran out. I don't have a lot of time right now, I'm on my way back to the ISU campus for day two so I'm going to post a few photos. I'll come back later today with a review of what I was hearing from growers, along with more photos and maybe a video.- William Schaefer, Spudman Editor Read more »

Final thoughts on Idaho Potato Conference

Well, the proverbial dust has settled from last week's Idaho Potato Conference, now everyone is moving on to Kennewick for this week's Washington-Oregon Conference and Ag Show. I'll be there with a limited supply of Spudman stocking caps for those filling out our annual survey. Even if we run out of the caps, please stop by and complete a survey, to talk, tell me what you want to see in the magazine or just to pick up a "Proud to be a Spudman" bumper sticker. If Washington and Oregon growers have similar issues as Idaho growers, and they always do, there will be lots of talk about low grower returns and the need for a reduction in acreage to return to a decent GRI that growers enjoyed a few years ago. One of the more common complaints I heard came from seed growers who have… Read more »

Final day at 2010 Potato Expo

There's been so much to do at the Expo and trade show that it's been difficult to find the time to write about it. Seminars to attend, visiting with vendors and meeting with everyone who stops by the Spudman booth. I've tried to blog and tweet from the booth and I had some success but the download time seems to take forever so I'm writing this from my hotel room at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday before I check out at the Royal Pacific Resort and attend the morning sessions. It's been a great experience getting around and meeting so many people over the past couple of days and yet I know there's a lot of folk that I have missed, you can only do so much in 24 hours. In fact I was so exhausted following Tuesday's session that I decided to pass on the street… Read more »

Live from Potato Expo 2010

Spudman’s managing editor, Bill Schaefer, will bring you live show coverage from Potato Expo 2010, happening Jan. 4-6 in Orlando.Check out Bill’s Editor’s Blog for live show floor coverage, including interviews with attendees and exhibitors, photos, videos and much more. And be sure to follow Spudman on Twitter @SpudmanMag ( for quick outtakes from the show floor and educational sessions. P.S. For those of you at Potato Expo, be sure to stop by Spudman’s booth to take our multimedia survey and receive a free “Proud to be a Spudman” hat. (Total of 50 hats to be given away to growers throughout the show. See giveaway details at the booth.) Read more »