May/June 2014
Act one: go slow, (despacio*) By Bill Schaefer

Vive la Mexico!

I could have sworn that I heard this collective shout of celebration (or was it a sigh of relief) from the potato industry on March 20. That was the day when the federal government of Mexico issued the much anticipated provision opening the entire country to importation of U.S. fresh potatoes in 60 days.

So, when I began calling growers, shippers and industry leaders to gauge their reactions to the announcement, I came away with two parallel sentiments.

Number one, everyone, in unison, said that this is great news for the potato industry, for both the U.S. and Mexico and, number two, that the U.S. industry must move into Mexico with deliberate caution and respect to Mexico’s agriculture industry.

Show me the money

Curiosity to know how his check-off money was being utilized was Brett Jensen’s motivation to seek nomination to the United States Potato Board. Jensen found out where the money goes and today he finds himself the 2014 chairman of the USPB. He’s a straight talking, no-nonsense potato grower from Idaho Falls who foresees a strong, vibrant potato industry, if growers get involved in the national organizations. Read more about Brett on P. ??

Finally, this month’s Spudman 7 features Bill Campbell. The former president of The PAA and Alaska’s potato disease control specialist retired at the end of April. Happy trails, Bill.

*Despacio – Spanish: slowly

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