Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

In the April 2014 Badger Common’Tater

Tomorrow’s Leaders Attend 2014 Potato Industry Leadership Institute

Wisconsin Tour Kicks off Training

Twenty-four potato growers and industry representatives joined together to form the 2014 class of the Potato Industry Leadership Institute (PILI), an annual program jointly administered by the National Potato Council (NPC) and the United States Potato Board (USPB) that identifies and cultivates the next generation of leaders within the industry.

From Feb. 20-27, PILI participants traveled from potato growing regions across the country to attend eight days of industry training and professional development. This year’s class kicked off in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, where the class received an overview of the local and national potato industry, including some of the challenges and issues beyond the production sector.

Participants then had a chance to visit potato growing and processing operations throughout Wisconsin, including Heartland Farms, Okray Family Farms, RPE, the Hancock Ag Research Station Storage Research Facility, and the Wisconsin Dairy State Cheese Company facility.  Tours were also held at InteVation Food Group, Jay-Mar, and the Point Brewery.  For full coverage, read the April 2014 issue of The Badger Common’Tater.

Gary Beadles explains potato processing at RPE.

Amber Gotch, Storage Manager at the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Storage Research Facility in Hancock, describes the many facets of potato storage research to PILI participants.

Wysocki Family of Companies Receives Honor for Outstanding Contribution to Agriculture

Sponsored by the Agri-Business Committee of the Portage County Business Council, the 2014 Outstanding Contribution to Agriculture Award was presented to the Wysocki Family of Companies in March.

Wysocki Family of Companies was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Agriculture Award for their outstanding commitment to the progress and success of the agri-business industry and for significant contributions to the Portage County agri-business community.

Wysocki Family of Companies consists of RPE, Paragon Potato Farms, and Wysocki Produce Farm; they are also co-owners of Tasteful Selections, LLC and Central Sands Dairy. For more details, check out the April 2014 edition of The Badger Common’Tater.

Members of the Wysocki family gathered for a photo after receiving the Outstanding Contribution to Agriculture Award.  Pictured are (L-R):  Front row:  Marc and Ryan Wysocki (sons of Jim and Sharon); Back row: Louis, Diane, Russell, Liz, Gary, Sharon and Jim Wysocki; Jacquie and Kirk Wille; Marla, Bill, Harriet and Francis Wysocki.

Central Wisconsin Processing Crops Meeting
March 5, 2014
Elizabeth Inn, Plover, WI

Waushara County Extension Agriculture Agent Ken Williams (left) is pictured with Portage County Extension Ag Agent Ken Schroeder.  Williams, with assistance from Schroeder, coordinated this year’s Central Wisconsin Processing Crops Meeting held March 5, 2014 in Plover.  Schroeder gave a presentation highlighting the upcoming Farm Technology Days which will be held August 12-14 in Stevens Point.  For more information on Farm Tech Days, visit:  www.portagecountyfarmtech.com.  For more photos and information about the Central Wisconsin Processing Crops Meeting, get the April 2014 issue of The Badger Common’Tater.

John Panuska, UW-Madison Extension Specialist – Natural Resource/Water Quality, Department of Biological Systems Engineering, provided an update on the Wisconsin Irrigation Scheduling Program known as WISP 2012.  Panuska said a key feature is the ability to manage root zone water content.  Using WISP’s water balance predictions, along with soil moisture monitoring, growers can plan irrigation timing and amount to take maximum advantage of natural rainfall while minimizing over-application of water.  He said the web-based water management tool is available at:  www.wisp.cals.wisc.edu/.

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