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Champion of the Industry

Nora Olsen has a list. It’s a bucket list, of sorts, she has kept for the past 10 years of all the potato research she’d like to carry out. It’s no wonder that list is dwindling after the University of Idaho professor and extension potato specialist’s tireless efforts for the sector. Olsen champions the potato industry and its stakeholders, especially growers, because she loves her work and feels honoured to be part…

We Have Common DNA

Peter VanderZaag has been on a vigorous campaign to alleviate poverty and hunger through potato science and production almost his entire life. His work improving potato production in Central Africa, Southeastern Asia, and China has had far-reaching effects. The researcher was heavily influenced by his heritage — generations of VanderZaags in the Netherlands have been potato producers — and most notably his Uncle Date, a distinguished potato scientist. “My Uncle Date was…

Worth Their Weight in Gold

Since John Nordgaard has been with Black Gold Farms, the company’s size has quadrupled. Employees have increased from around 30 in 1997 to 185 full-time staff today. As director of operations then, and executive vice-president of operations now, Nordgaard has participated in much of that growth. Although, he’d be the last person to say so. At Black Gold Farms, Nordgaard oversees operations for all farms across multiple states, he has also managed…

The Honour is Ours

After spending more than three decades with the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Genetic Improvement of Fruits and Vegetables Laboratory as a research plant geneticist developing improved potato varieties, Kathleen Haynes says a significant highlight of her career has been bringing researchers together to work on projects for the benefit of the potato industry. “I’m most proud of the working groups we assembled to address problems in the industry,” she says. This year,…

From our Desk

Potato Industry and Producer Engagement Increasing

EXCITEMENT IS IN the air as Manitoba gets ready to host the 103rd Potato Association of America Annual Meeting in Winnipeg at the end of July.  It’s a time for the sector’s scientific branch to share research information about all facets of the potato industry, to recognize members who have made significant contributions to the sector, and to nurture and mentor upcoming researchers. It’s also an opportunity for all industry stakeholders, including…

2019 PAA Symposium Unites and Sustains Industry

THE SYMPOSIUM BEING held at PAA’s annual meeting is an event no one will want to miss. “These are the hottest topics in the industry right now,” says Tina Brandt, co-chair of the 2019 PAA Symposium and Variety Development Manager for the J.R. Simplot Company. The event, which is being hosted by PAA’s Marketing and Utilization section, is also a little different this year, she adds.  “This one is unique in that…

Sugar End Disorder and Stem-End Chip Defect Stress Factors and Management – A Spud Smart Webinar & Podcast

Sugar ends is a physiological disorder that can occur at a tuber’s bud or stem end. The disorder’s symptoms usually aren’t apparent until the tuber’s exposure to colder temperatures — around 10 C or below. The stress that causes the disorder’s development occurs early in the growing season and may be difficult to determine.   Stem-end chip defect is another serious threat affecting tuber quality for chip potato growers. What are the causes…

Community and Science Strengthens Industry

Robert Thornton, an extension vegetable specialist and professor emeritus at Washington State University has been attending Potato Association of America (PAA) annual meetings since the early 1960s. He says the biggest reason he has maintained his membership for more than five decades is it keeps him honest. “Every year is an opportunity to have your thinking questioned,” Thornton says. “You can stay isolated in your own area of concern and be very…

PAA Local Arrangements Committee Hits It Out of the Park

Many potato industry thought leaders will be converging in the centre of Canada this summer for the 103rdPotato Association of America Annual Meeting. Researchers, agronomists, producers, graduate students, and plant breeders and pathologists represent some of the industry stakeholders who will attend the meeting July 28 to Aug. 1 in Winnipeg, Man. Conference organizers are expecting up to 240 participants from Canada, the United States and Mexico, as well as from many…

McCain and Day & Ross Celebrate Long-Service Employees

Thirty-nine employees from McCain Foods Canada and The Day & Ross Transportation Group were honoured for 25-years of service during the 2019 Awards Banquet held recently at the Delta Hotel in Fredericton, NB. Master of Ceremonies was Luc Marcoux, General Counsel, Day & Ross Inc., who shared a congratulatory message from president and CEO, Max Koeune, which included “Family is at the core of our company values; it is ingrained in our…

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