April 2007
First Time for Everything

I enjoy firsts.”

My first car was a 1987 Plymouth Sundance I sold it to buy my first pick-up truck.

My first girlfriend was Jamie in junior high she’s now my wife.

And I bought my first house in December it’s now down to bare studs inside and is slowly beginning to look like a house again.

So you can see why I like firsts, and I wanted to take the time and enjoy my first Taking Stock column.
The first time for anything can be daunting and a little bit exciting. But that initial enthusiasm can fade a little the second time, and a little more the next until that once fun tasks become dull and routine. But I don’t see that happening here.

I’ve been with Spudman for about nine months, and in that time I’ve had the chance to meet many growers and representatives of this industry. I’ve found that the potato growers, researchers, association representatives and product and service providers don’t lose that driving force. You love farming, and despite challenges or maybe because of them there’s nothing else you want to do. That optimism for the future and participation in the industry has rubbed off on me. That’s the driving force for the editors and writers of Spudman that will keep the pages of this magazine from becoming boring. I’m already looking forward to where the potato industry and Spudman will go in 2007.

Because plans for the 2007 season are already under way, we’ve made this issue the preseason planning issue. We’ve chosen topics that will help you prepare for the growing season in the face of labor shortages and rising costs.

As with every issue we have a feature story on a grower. This month’s feature takes a look at the potato and fruit growing operations of Pasco, Wash.-based Balcom and Moe. Jared Balcom, president of the company, is the fourth generation of Balcoms to farm in the area. He has an interesting story of how he came back to the farm the lasta place he thought he would be.

There’s a lot more that I want to say on this page but there will be plenty of time for that in the coming months. And here’s to many more firsts.


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P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345
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