Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

There's nothing like lending a helping hand. Wisconsin potato growers give back.

Wisconsin potato growers appreciate being part of the community and giving back. Here’s a taste of our efforts!

WPVGA Award Recipients

Hall of Fame Awards

Larry Alsum
Dick Okray

Dr. Keith Kelling

Nick Somers

Donald Hamerski
Richard Pavelski

Charles Cofer
Robert Guenthner

Robert Helbach

Myron Soik

Steve Diercks
Mike Finnessy

See all Hall of Fame Inductees »

WPVGA Industry Awards

Cliff & Carole Gagas

2019 (Presented in 2020)
Young Grower:  Jeff Fassbender
Volunteers:  Cliff & Carole Gagas
Researcher:  Paul Bethke
Associate Business Person:  Dale Bowe
Agri-Communicator:  Jerry Knutson
President’s Award:  Jody Meddaugh
Industry Appreciation:  Nick Laudenbach

2018 (Presented in 2019)
Young Grower:  J.D. Schroeder
Volunteer:  Eric Schroeder
Researcher:  Matt Ruark
Associate Business Person:  Cathy Schommer
Agri-Communitcator:  John Keeling
Industry Appreciation:  Chuck Bolte
President’s Award:  Anita Mattek

2017 (Presented in 2018)
Young Grower: Chad Malek
Volunteer: Paul Cieslewicz
Researcher: Shelley Jansky
Associate Business Person: Sally Suprise
Agri-Communicator: Andy Wallendal
Industry Appreciation: Julie Braun, Mike Copas
President’s Award: Gina Schroeder

See all past Industry Award winners. »

Positive Potato Publicity

Wisconsin Senator Juggling Potatoes

Wisconsin Senator Mike Gallagher Juggles Potatoes

The 2019 D.C. Fly-in brought some interesting smiles as the Wisconsin Senator began juggling potatoes.

Click here to view the video.

Caring for Wetlands

Grower Nick Somers of Plover River Farms works with Tracy Hames of the Wisconsin Wetlands Association to preserve and protect the wetlands on their farm.

Click here to view the video.

Pollinator Project at Alsum Farms

Potato Farms Partner with Conservation Group to Plant Pollinator Habitat

Insect pollinators will soon find more homes on potato and vegetable farms.

About 20 acres of habitat for insect pollinators will be established in central and southwest Wisconsin this fall, thanks to a cost-matching agreement between four large potato farms and Sand County Foundation, a conservation organization working with agricultural landowners.

Click here to read more.

Northwoods Retail Store Wins Wisconsin Potatoes Display Contest

The Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) is pleased to present a 2015 Fat Bob Harley Davidson to the winner of the 2016 Wisconsin potatoes display contest. The Harley is in the state’s Northwoods, and specifically, Trig’s in Rhinelander.

On November 28th, 2016, members of WPVGA Promotions Committee presented the motorcycle to Trig’s at the Rhinelander store.

Read full press release here.


Wisconsin Potato Industry Supports 2017 Hurricane Victims

Mother Nature has hit the southern United States with a number of hurricanes this season, the worst of which was Hurricane Irma which struck the Florida Coast, leaving thousands without everyday essentials.

Wisconsin’s potato and vegetable industry is answering the call for help, sending a truckload of potatoes and onions to the Harry Chapin Food Bank in Fort Myers, Florida, mid-October.

Read full press release here.

Wisconsin Potatoes Power Performance!

Wisconsin Potatoes are perfect for preparing your body before and recovering from physical activity! With the high levels of vitamins and minerals they provide naturally, you can’t go wrong! NHL All Star and Two-time Olympian Joe Pavelski knows from experience as he shares in this commercial! Check out the commercial here

WPVGA Sponsors Wellers Walk

The Wellers Walk is a unique event that offers participants the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the villagers in Cameroon, Africa, fetching water from the river to fill empty jugs and then hauling them back to the starting point (about 2 miles)! The event raises money to build wells in African cities, therefore, preventing women and children from walking long distances to retrieve clean water for their families. WPVGA donated $2500 to this annual event.

WPVGA Awards Scholarships at Annual Spud Bowl Event

UWSP Chancellor Bernie Patterson introduces the Spud Bowl Scholarship winners at halftime of the Spud Bowl game in Stevens Point.  Also pictured are members of the Spud Bowl Committee including Ann Ninnemann, Tamas Houlihan and Dianne and Nick Somers of Plover River Farms.  There were five Spud Bowl scholarships awarded at $750 each (one recipient is not pictured).

Gifts and Grants

WPVGA regularly supports events and causes throughout the state.

  • $1,000 Donation – 5th Annual WI River Water Quality Improvement Symposium
  • $500 Donation – Guns ‘n Hoses Charity Softball Game to support Veterans
  • $500 Sponsorship – WI Nitrogen Science Summit Meeting
  • $250 Sponsorship – Agricultural Safety Connection
  • $250 Donation – UW Discovery Farms “Farmer Tested, Environment Approved” Winning Cropping Strategy
  • $10,000 Sponsorship – Agricultural Education Center Building project for Wisconsin vegetable industry exhibit


Farm to Fork Commercial

Wisconsin Potato growers provide high-quality potatoes that are nutritious and provide the most nutrients per penny, which makes them outstanding in the field. These facts are included in WPVGA’s Farm to Fork commercial. Watch the commercial here.

Thank the Farmer Commercial

There are many businesses that are heavily involved in agriculture in an indirect way. At WPVGA, those businesses are members of the Associate Division, and they “Thank the Farmer” in this WPVGA commercial. View the commercial here.

Water Commercial

Studies show that trees use more water than vegetables and Wisconsin potato growers use precise amounts of water on their crops only when and where it’s needed.

The facts are here in WPVGA’s Water commercial.

Potato-friendly Salad Bar Donation

WPVGA donates a potato-friendly salad bar to South Park Middle School in Oshkosh and offers Farm to School presentations about the industry to 6-8th graders.

WI Potato Growers Donate Potatoes to Feed the Hungry

Eagle River Seed Farm LLC in Eagle River, Wisconsin, and Gumz Muck Farms in Endeavor, Wisconsin, are feeding people in the state and Midwest by collaborating with the WPVGA and Feeding America on a donation of 1800 cwt (four semi loads) of potatoes to various food banks.

The donation began as seed potatoes produced for a USDA-funded research grant in Wisconsin’s Northwoods region of Eagle River and is now feeding families in Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska and Tennessee.

Potato Growers Donate Time and Money to Feed Starving Children

Hundreds of volunteers pack more than 100,000 servings of potato meals at the Auxiliary’s hosted Feed My Starving Children event. The meals are filled with dehydrated potatoes and other nutrients, which are essential to feed infants 7-12 months who are transitioning from their mother’s milk to solid foods.

Spudmobile Visits Lambeau Field

Volunteers from across the Wisconsin Potato industry gather at Lambeau Field with the Spudmobile to hand out 800-1,000 samples of potato dishes before football games.

Spudmobile Visits Southern WI

The Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary worked with schools in southern Wisconsin to have the Spudmobile go on a mini tour and visit several schools in the area. Several Auxiliary members also volunteered to help out at each school event, spreading word of Wisconsin Potatoes.

WPVGA Associate Division and Auxiliary Scholarship Winners

The WPGA Board and the WPVGA Associate Division once again partner equally to invest in tomorrow’s leaders by awarding eight outstanding scholars with scholarships amounting to a total of $8,000. The students earning scholarships are Kaitlin Kakes, Kaitlin Woyak, Lauren Sowinski, Nika Wanserski, Rachel Rine, Rachel Smith and Stephanie Fassbender.

WPVGA Sponsors Portage County Youth Soccer

The WPVGA is the proud sponsor of the Portage County Youth Soccer Program this year.  A $400 donation helped pay for the green T-shirts sported by Sam Molski and his son, Grant, shown warming up at the soccer complex on Stevens Point’s east side.  The WPVGA sponsors a team in the 5-6 year-old division.  Heartland Farms, Inc. of Hancock also sponsors a team.

Article on Responsible Water Use Featured in Gannett Newspapers

WPVGA Board Member and Former Board President Andy Wallendal co-authors article on responsible water use. The article explains farmers’ dedication to Mother Nature and conserving her resources.

Read full article here.



WPVGA Donates $1,000 to Cancer Research

WPVGA donates $1,000 toward cancer research at the Pink Game, held the same day as the Spud Bowl in Stevens Point in September 2015.