Montcalm Field Day August 7 to Highlight Research

July 16, 2014   
Research in the present and future is the focus of the Potato Field Day in Montcalm County Aug. 7. Don Sklarczyk of Johannesburg, who chairs the Michigan Potato Industry Commission’s Research Committee, said that one of the priorities of the event is to identify research issues of highest concern to the industry. He urges attendance by as many growers as possible to assure a broad range of viewpoints as the committee deliberates on future research options.

The day’s program will be split between the Douglass Township Hall in the village of Entrican and the Michigan State University (MSU) Research Farm and the Commission’s storages a few miles west of there.

The last session of the day, running from 1:30 to 4:30 P.M., consists of the traditional tours of the potato research plots at the MSU farm guided by MSU specialists in charge of the projects. The day’s food feature is a BBQ lunch scheduled for noon until 1:30 at the farm.

The Field Day kicks off at 9:30 A.M. at the township hall with Sklarczyk leading the discussions on where to direct future research efforts. “We’d like input from growers from all sectors and regions and also from processors and industry partners and the MSU researchers,” he said. He noted that potential areas of research could be pertinent for funding either by the Commission or under Project GREEEN (Generating Research and Extension to meet Economic and Environmental Needs), a legislatively supported initiative based at MSU to enhance research in plant agriculture.

That session runs all morning until the lunch break at noon. At 1:00 the Research Committee will re-convene, this time in the conference room of the Commission’s Cargill Research and Demonstration Storage adjacent to the MSU Research Farm, to finalize its list of research priorities.

Mike Wenkel, the Commission’s executive director, stressed the significance of the Field Day agenda. He said that in his two years in his position he has been impressed with the high quality of Commission-funded research and the outstanding extent of the grass-roots participation in achieving that quality. He said, “So many growers voluntarily contribute their time and energies to improve their industry in this way. Few industries can match that record.”

He also thanked the Field Day sponsors for their generous support. The sponsors of the 2015 event are
Simplot, MPIC and MSU ABR.

The Weekly Potato Report