Badger Common’Tater November 2017 Issue
Wisconsin Potato Industry Supports Hurricane Victims
Mother Nature has hit the southern United States with severe hurricanes this year, the worst of which was Hurricane Irma that struck the Florida Coast, leaving thousands without everyday essentials.
Wisconsin’s potato and vegetable industry is answering the call for help.
The Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) issued a press release on October 16, announcing that a large truckload of potatoes and onions was on its way from Wisconsin to the Harry Chapin Food Bank in Fort Myers, Florida.
“Wisconsin farmers have a history of being generous, especially to those in need or suffering through an emergency hardship,” says WPVGA Executive Director Tamas Houlihan. “Through a coordinated effort by WPVGA members, we are proud to be a part of delivering ‘Something Special from Wisconsin’ to our friends in the southern U.S.”
Hurricane Irma did considerable damage to crops in Florida. A recent article in The Packer newspaper stated: “Hurricane Irma left Sunshine State citrus groves with dropped fruit, standing water and dashed hopes.”
The article went on to say that “no part of the Florida produce industry was untouched by the Sept. 10-12 storm.” Irma also hit southwest Florida’s Immokalee/Naples region hard, doing considerable damage to the tomato crop.
The storms also affected people who work in the fields. Irma not only caused widespread and lengthy power outages, but also destroyed housing in and around Immokalee, a community largely made up of agricultural field workers.