2019 Olympia Potato Day

on Friday, 01 February 2019. Posted in Blog & News

This week potato farmers gathered in Olympia meeting with state legislators, staff members, and agency personnel. Family potato farm perspectives were shared, communicating various challenges, and expressing the need to fund soil health research. The Washington State Soil Health Initiative provides a win-win opportunity for potato growers, the environment, and local communities. Growers also supported the recommendations of the bipartisan Pesticide Application Safety Workgroup emphasizing the need for dedicated funding to expand pesticide and applicator training at the Washington State Department of Agriculture. Growers also shared their concerns with some of the carbon and energy proposals. Establishing carbon and energy fees would, directly and indirectly, impact potato production in Washington, making it difficult to compete in the low-margin global marketplace. Potato processing is energy intensive and trade exposed. Agriculture has a major economic impact in our state, contributing not only $7.4 billion to the economy but also providing 36,000 jobs. Potato farmers were proud to serve over 1,600 baked potatoes allowing our growers to connect with people from each of Washington’s 49 legislative districts. Olympia Potato Day continues to be one of the most popular days during each year’s legislative session.

 

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Encouraging school foodservice operators to use more poatoes

Encouraging school foodservice operators to use more poatoes

As America’s Favorite Vegetable, potatoes can help provide students with the nutrients and energy they need to do their best during the school day. That’s why it’s important to remind school foodservice operators that potatoes are not only delicious, but also cost-effective and a nutritious addition to the school menu. In partnership with the School Nutrition Association (SNA), two webinars featured potatoes.  The first webinar, “Maximize Your Menus and Minimize Labor Constraints with Potatoes”, showcased potatoes through on-trend, student-friendly menu innovations and solutions to ease labor strains. The second webinar, “Fun Summer Feeding with Potatoes”, showcased how putting potatoes at the center of the plate can enhance summer feeding programs in fresh and fun ways. Both webinars included a live cooking demonstration with Potatoes USA Culinary Director Chef RJ Harvey, RD and Award-Winning Author Dayle Hayes, MS, RD. The demonstrations were pre-recorded in the Potatoes USA Spud Lab and were a big hit with the participants. Webinars Key Takeaways: Nutritional benefits of potatoes at an affordable price How potatoes can limit food waste Ways potatoes can take over as the center of the plate How serving potatoes to children over the summer can be fun Upon webinar completion, attendees were able to earn continuing education credits. All recipes and resources utilized in the webinar are available on the SNA website for future download. Following are some quotes from the operators who were very engaged in the webinar chat. “My favorite Webinar I’ve seen so far this year. VERY helpful and insightful. Well Done!”  “Love Dayle and RJ as a team. Can they please start a cooking youtube series? ‘Dayle and RJ: Potatoes for All!’” “Great webinar, gained new ideas for using potatoes. Thank you!” SNA is recognized as the authority on school nutrition and utilizes weekly webinars to educate their 50,000+ members. For more information on K-12 School Foodservice marketing activities, email potatoesraisethebar@potatoesusa.com.

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