on Thursday, 13 May 2021. Posted in Blog & News

Washington potato growers are blessed to farm on magnificent soil and in a climate that produces the highest yield of potatoes in the world. They know that they are in control of this soil through their lifetimes, yet are committed to relinquishing it to the next generation of potato growers in a condition that will continue to provide those yields into the foreseeable future. That is why WA potato growers are fastidious about sustainability, that is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. To meet this sustainability goal, WA potato growers practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to manage potato insect pests, plant pathogens, and devastating nematodes with the bare minimum of pesticide inputs, and manage their soils with well-conceived crop rotations, cover crops, and green manures that contain soil erosion and enhance organic content and nutrients, while reducing soil-borne pathogens and nematodes. They also use sophisticated irrigation systems that provide just enough water and nutrients to optimize potato yield and not so much that water and nutrients leave the field. WA potato growers continually invest in research, at nearly $1 million annually, to refine IPM, develop earth-friendly ways of overcoming insect pests, pathogens, and nematodes, and enhance soil health. In fact, the WA potato growers and processors recently committed $3.4 million to invest in the hiring and laboratory outfitting of a Washington State University Distinguished Endowed Chair in Potato Soil Cropping Systems. The interest generated from this endowment will provide this scientist approximately $120,000 annually for research to heighten the sustainability of WA agricultural soils. WA potato growers also care about the sustainability of the citizens of WA. In 2020 after the devastating COVID-19 epidemic shut down much of the private sector causing mass layoffs, WA potato growers stepped up to deliver over 1 million pounds of nutritious potatoes free to WA residents throughout the state. Now THAT’s sustainability!

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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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