February 2012
Ag leads the way By Bill Schaefer

By the time you read this, the dust will have settled from the January road shows around the country. What I’ve heard in my travels and my interviews is that all sectors of the potato industry are doing well. There are exceptions to any trend, but in general the overall health of the industry is robust and strong. Let’s hope that with hard work, good weather and increasing market share, domestically and internationally, we continue to enjoy a good return on investment.

What I’m hearing from everyone in the agriculture is that the strongest performing sector of the U.S. economy these days is agriculture. It seems to be the one area where the U.S. continues to be the dominant global power. This is still the land of opportunity.

This brings us to our cover story on Dan Chin and Wong Potatoes. It was Dan’s grandfather, Sam Wong, who immigrated to the U.S. because of the unlimited opportunities the country presented to a Chinese immigrant who only wanted to become a successful farmer.

Success didn’t come easily to Sam Wong, but despite his early travails he ultimately prevailed when he came to the Klamath Basin area of Tulelake, Calif. Dan has taken what his grandfather, Sam, and his father, George Chin, built and developed it into a very successful fresh pack shed to markets throughout the west coast and even to the Orient.

We continue our special section celebrating Spudman’s 50th anniversary with a look at equipment manufacturers this month. I think you’ll enjoy reading about how some of the manufacturers began their businesses. It’s another example of American ingenuity and necessity being the mother of invention. I know you’ll enjoy the archive photos of early model planters and pilers.

If you want to see more photos, please visit us on Facebook. We’re creating photo galleries to celebrate our anniversary, and we encourage you to participate by posting your photos to the galleries.

And, if you haven’t heard yet, Spudman’s giving away $50 every month. Enter to win by taking our (very) short survey.

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P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345
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