Healthy Grown Certification for 2016 Growing Season
The Wisconsin “Healthy Grown” potato program, launched in 1996, has been working to advance growers’ use of biointensive IPM, reduce reliance on high-risk pesticides, and to enhance ecosystem conservation efforts by the development and implementation of “Healthy Grown” potato standard. This program has become a national model for the successful adoption of sustainable agricultural practices by the potato industry. A major goal of the “Healthy Grown” program is to develop marketplace incentives that reward farming practices which promote agricultural sustainability and enhance environmental farming systems. This joins with the growing consumer demand for products that are produced with sustainable methods. The activity benefits Wisconsin by putting its growers in a leading position to capture this expanding market!
In 2014/15, the “Healthy Grown” standard was updated to encourage more education between the growers and the University of WI – Madison. Furthermore, paperwork and reporting requirements were updated to streamline the certification process. Finally, to keep it local, applications, auditing, certification fees and data maintenance for the Healthy Grown program will be run out of the WPVGA office.
Now is the time to sign up for certification for the 2016 growing season. If you are interested in signing up and checking out the updated standard and process, please contact Julie Braun and the WPVGA office at: [email protected] or 715-623-7683. Sign up by February 15th to ensure program status.
NOTE: If you sign up for certification for 2016, we will have a required grower meeting regarding pesticide programs with the UWEX specialists on February 29th from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Hancock Research Station. More details to come!