February 2-4, 2016 Article & Photos by Ruth Faivre, Managing Editor
Many new vendors like CSS Farms, exhibited at the 2016 WPVGA Show along with returning vendors like Keller, Inc.
Even a major snowstorm proved to be no match for the pulling power of the 2016 UW Extension & WPVGA Grower Education Conference & 67th Industry Show.
Predictions of up to twelve inches of snow for the first day of the show caused many people to arrange to stay overnight in advance.
Although the storm produced a blinding blizzard and several inches of snow, it did not reach the projected twelve inches and everyone hunkered down, attending the numerous conferences and Industry Show vendors who reported record numbers of visitors to their booths, producing new leads and quality time with current customers.
The Grower Education Conferences were filled with growers determined not to let the storm keep them from important information regarding the issues that face them in the coming year.
Old favorites and new presenters focused on a variety of subjects including the all-important water issues of high capacity wells, recharge studies, irrigation technologies and conservation practices; pesticides, insecticides and fungicides; reports on 2015 projects; handling infections and rot; late blight; Wisconsin’s Healthy Grown program; soil mapping and supplements; new crop varieties and much more.
The luncheons, cocktail hour appetizers and Annual Banquet meals produced numerous compliments about the superb quality of the Holiday Inn’s food and drinks. The icing on the cake was the wonderful Annual Banquet entertainment, “Piano Fondue,” a dynamic and interactive dueling piano group, who performed following the awards ceremony.
Bob Ebben (L) and his sons, Jim (middle) and Joe (R), have been attending the WPVGA Industry Show for more years than they can remember. Bob is an Investments/Retirement Planning consultant for Edward Jones, Jim is Operations Manager for Paramount Farms and Joe is a sales consultant for Scaffidi Trucks.
Steve Tatro poses with two of his customers in his company’s booth, T.I.P., Inc.
Bill Zelinski, Big Iron Equipment, Inc. (middle) takes a quick break from the heavy show traffic to relax and chat with Tom Schmidt (L) and J. T. Schroeder.
Butch Fencil, Fencil Urethane Systems, celebrates his ‘hole in one’ at Bushmans’ miniature golf display.
Growers A.J. Bussan (RPE), Steve Diercks (Coloma Farms) and J.T. Schroeder (Schroeder Bros. Farms), take a moment to chat about the potato industry.
The ThorPack, LLC booth was a constant beehive of activity but Dick Thorpe, CEO (far right) and Marty Kolpack, President (2nd from far right) finally got free enough to take a picture with their staff in front of their colorful and striking displays.
Growers like Jeremie (L) & Alicia (R) Pavelski and Brian Wysocki (2nd from left) of Heartland Farms and Mark Klish, Farm Fixation LLC (2nd from right), constantly shuttled between conferences and Industry Show.
Paul Cieslewicz, Sand County Equipment (l), takes a moment for a photo with some of his customers.
Roberts Irrigation booth was another busy site growers visited.
Jeff Sommers (R), Wysocki Produce Farm, visits with the crew operating the Jay-Mar booth.
Charlie Sankey, Worzella & Sons, meets with the representatives of Volm Companies.
Despite the wintry storms, conferences rooms remained filled on a continuous basis. Attendance appeared much busier than previous years.
James Wehinger, Rural Mutual Insurance, donated a chainsaw for a giveaway at the company’s WPVGA show booth and is shown here delivering the prize to Sara Hildebrandt, who works for Wysocki Produce Farms.
James Drought P. H., GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc., shown here with his fellow hydrogeologist, Ellie Stapleton, was a first time booth exhibitor and a presenter discussing “advancing water management strategies using groundwater flow models.”
Conference presenter Dr. Amy Charkowski, UW/Plant Pathology, spoke about the Biology and management of bacterial soft rot and common scab resistance in potatoes.
A.J. Bussan, PhD, one of the previous researchers in charge of UW projects and now Senior Production Agronomist, Wysocki Produce Farm, Inc., addressed managing nutrients in mixed dairy and vegetable production systems as well as deficit irrigation of potatoes and processing vegetables.
Amanda Gevens, UW/Plant Pathology, examined a number of topics: late blight management, sources of inoculum, factors influencing surface disorders in muck grown potato including black dot and silver scurf and stemphylium pathogen in dry bulb onions.
Russ Groves, Ph.D., UW/Entomology, reviewed foliar applications of genetic pest control options, potential biological insecticides for control of onion insect pests and optimizing pest thresholds for insect control.
Paul Mitchell, UW/Agricultural and Applied Economics, covered the implications of GMO potato oversupply, buyer restrictions and concessions in acreage.
Jed Colquhoun, UW/Horticulture, examined weed management in muck grown potato and weed management and resistance overall.
Felix Navarro, Ph.D., Hancock Ag Research Station/UW-Madison delved into new variety profiles and results from the Wisconsin Variety Trial, spectroscopic determination of potato variety and PVY infection status and potato variety and advanced germplasm selection.
Jeff Endelman, UW/Horticulture reviewed ensuring clean seed for variety development along with potato breeding and varietal improvement.
Margaret Krome, Policy Program Director, Michael Fields Institution, presented information regarding Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) insurance basics, eligibility and paperwork requirements, premiums, subsidies and incentives for diversified operations together with Harriet Behar, Senior Organic Specialist, MOSES and Roxann Brixen, Operations Unit Manager, Great American Insurance.
Patrick Testin, Portage County’s Republican Party Chairman, who is running for State Senate in the 24th Senate District in the November general election, is shown here with Andy Diercks, Coloma Farms and Jim Wysocki, Wysocki Family of Companies. The 24th Senate District includes parts of Adams, Marathon, Portage, Marquette, Wood and Waushara counties. Testin spoke at the WPVGA Show luncheon.
New WPVGA Associate Board President, Wayne Solinsky, Jay-Mar, Inc., took over the podium at the WPVGA Show luncheon from outgoing President Chris Brooks, Central Door Solutions. Chris received a plaque earlier in the program, which honored his efforts in 2015.
Wayne Solinsky presents WPVGA Associate Board member, Butch Fencil, Fencil Urethane Systems Inc. with a plaque honoring him for all of his contributions over the last four years.
OJ Wojtalwicz, Wysocki Produce Farm, Inc., won one of the limited edition model Lenco Harvesters provided as a door prize for the WPVGA Show luncheon.