Let’s Expand Wisconsin’s “Healthy Grown” Program Now
By Deana Knuteson, Ph.D., Healthy Grown and Wisconsin Ag Sustainability Programs
Wisconsin’s “Healthy Grown” program has been advancing innovative, ecologically sound production systems, and currently around 8,000 acres of fresh market potatoes are grown under stringent environmental protocols.
Healthy Grown is a whole farm approach of growing potatoes and vegetables using the best environmental practices possible, from pesticide use to promotion of ecological standards on the farm.
Healthy Grown participants have been working to advance biointensive IPM (Integrated Pest Management) practices, reduce reliance on high-risk pesticides and to enhance ecosystem conservation efforts through the high-bar, sustainable potato and vegetable standards.
These practices are keeping Wisconsin on the cutting edge of sustainability documentation.
The program has been operating under the overall vision/mission of: “Healthy Grown is to maintain ecological, sustainable and environmentally sound potato and vegetable production systems while enhancing value for growers with the ‘Good for you, good for the environment’ message.”
Current Healthy Grown certified growers are aiding the whole industry in on-farm sustainability perception and values, as this program has helped maintain Wisconsin’s status of holding to environmental principals and on-farm stewardship.
Wisconsin has fast become known as the green state.