November/December 2016
Happy trails By Bill Schaefer

I first ran into Milt Carter at last year’s Idaho Potato Conference. We exchanged business cards and some small talk about CSS Farms’ Colorado City operation overseen by Liz Sanders (see the May/June 2016 issue for more on that).

I filed the information away for another day and moved on to the issues at hand. This summer, I again ran into Milt at the National Potato Council’s summer meeting and found out that CSS was growing Innate seed potatoes and conventional seed potatoes in Idaho. In little more than 35 years, CSS has grown from a single operation in Watertown, South Dakota, to 15 operations spread across the United States. It’s quite a story. I hope you enjoy it.

We also have the state seed reports from around the country, as well as a report on dickeya by Dave Wilkins and a report on the plant variety protection office by Melanie Epp.

It was seven years ago when I introduced myself to you as the new editor of Spudman. Seven years of editing this magazine, traveling the country meeting and photographing growers and producing videos. Seven years of writing “Taking Stock.”

During that time, I have had the good fortune to meet hundreds of people in the potato industry. I don’t want to be presumptuous, but I like to think I’ve also made hundreds of good friends in the process.

It’s been an amazing journey, one I wouldn’t trade for anything, but it’s time for me to move on.

I want to thank Spudman’s editorial board and each and every one of you who have taken time from your day for an interview or to explain an issue or research project. You know who you are, and I couldn’t have done my job without your patient help.

I also want to thank the publisher, Matt McCallum, for giving me this opportunity. As well as Lee Dean, Andrea Schafer, Matt Milkovich, Paige Grennan and all the designers and the GAMS staff who have helped make this a standout magazine in the potato industry. I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to single out Kim Meyers, the office manager, for her unbelievable organizational abilities in keeping the ship afloat. You all made my job not only easier but fun and enjoyable.

Come January, Dave Fairbourn will be sitting in the editor’s seat. You should recognize the name. Dave previously was with Potatoes USA and USPB. He comes to Spudman with a deep background in communications and the potato industry. I know he’s going to continue Spudman’s tradition of bringing you the most important coverage of the potato industry in the coming years.

I’m leaving behind a magazine that I truly believe, for more than 50 years, has been the best in covering the potato industry. I look forward to seeing all the friends I made during my tenure at Spudman in the years ahead. To borrow a lyric from Roy Rogers, “Until we meet again.”

— By Bill Schaefer, managing editor

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P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345
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