Every one of our Healthy Grown farms is certified by an independent oversight organization. They ensure our Healthy Grown growers pass annual whole-farm audits, and that all our packers and shippers maintain the highest sustainability standards.
Two-thirds of U.S. land is privately-owned — and the majority of that land is used for agriculture. So we understand that what we do on our farms impacts the world around us.
That’s why, in the early 90’s, the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison began looking at ways to advance the industry’s conservation and sustainability standards. In 1996, WPVGA partnered with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and later joined forces with the International Crane Foundation (ICF), and the Defenders of Wildlife to establish the Wisconsin Eco-Potato partnership. The result was a new brand launched in 2002 and a sustainable standard for growing potatoes — Healthy Grown®.
Our Healthy Grown sustainable farmers work with ecologists, conservationists and University of Wisconsin researchers to:
In 2016, the program expanded and began applying the Healthy Grown standard to onions. Discussions are ongoing to broaden the program further and include additional crops in the near future.
For additional information on the program’s background, details on standard and implementation as well as updates, take a look at the following videos:
WPVGA is embarking on a new opportunity as it relates to the Healthy Grown program thanks to the award of a Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Grant from DATCP.
The grant is a natural fit for the Healthy Grown program, which helps set Wisconsin apart as the “leader in sustainable potato production.” Established nearly two decades ago, the program utilizes growing practices that are beneficial for Mother Nature and are also ecologically sound. The approved grant focuses on three main goals for WPVGA to achieve over the course of the next year. Those goals include expanding the distribution of Healthy Grown growers, increasing Healthy Grown potato acreage, and increasing the sales volume of Healthy Grown potatoes sold in local Wisconsin communities.
There are also several growers who have decided to join the Healthy Grown program this year, which has helped the Association accomplish the first goal of the project. From here, the intent is to work with as many retail chains as possible to expand the program even further. It’s through in-store promotions in various markets across the state, in combination with Spudmobile appearances that a boost in sales will occur. Wisconsin’s Healthy Grown suppliers will also play a vital role in communicating the importance of retailers advertising the product while also featuring WPVGA-provided materials such as quarter-sized bins and kwik lok tags that sport information about Healthy Grown.
Overall, the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program exists to help farmers expand their markets. There are significant opportunities to accomplish this through the Healthy Grown initiative, especially when it comes to ecologically-grown potatoes and rotational crops, which provides benefits for the entire food value chain. WPVGA has already received extensive support from state, national and international organizations to see this project through to fruition during the grant time period and beyond.
It’s a program that has been and continues to be ahead of its time given the sustainability standards that are required and constantly improving. It’s also one that will continue to advance Wisconsin as well as the potato industry, while also encouraging consumers to buy local, and buy Wisconsin.
Address: W14453 State Road 21, PO Box 137, Coloma, WI 54930
Website: Coloma Farms, Inc. on Facebook
Certification Contact: Andy Diercks, [email protected]
Owners: Steve & Andy Diercks
Address: N1435 County Road D, Antigo, WI 54409
Certification Contact: Eric Schroeder, [email protected], JD Schroeder, [email protected]
Owners: John, Pete, and Rob Schroeder