Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Co-op seeks to lower supply
December 15, 2005 by HOLLY OWENS
MERRILL - Members of a new
potato cooperative have seen a 485 percent return
on their investment in the past nine months,
according to Jerry Wright, interim chief executive
officer with United Potato Growers of America.
A CEO for the national
group, Julia Cissel, has been hired, and United's
national headquarters should be operating in Salt
Lake City by March. Wright, who is CEO for United
Potato Growers of Idaho, has been serving as
interim CEO for the national group that was formed
Yields have gone up 70 percent in the last 40 years from 200 to 350 hundred weight per acre, Wright said, and United estimates that growers produce 13 million hundredweight of extra potatoes each year.
“We grow more potatoes. Potatoes that no man,
woman or child will ever eat,” Wright said.
“Consumption continues to decline and as an
industry we've been asleep.”
“We're going to shoot for
the 10 percent from 2004,” Staunton said.
United Growers in Idaho are creating a Web page
where growers can post acreage they're interested
in renting from another grower.
Nationwide, the United
represents more than 1,000 growers in state and
regional cooperatives in Colorado, the Klamath
Basin, Idaho, Nebraska and Kansas, Washington and
Oregon. Other states discussing joining include
North and South Carolina, New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, New York, California and Arizona. A
sister cooperative is being formed among the
provinces of Canada, United Potato Growers of
Wright, who has in the
past marketed products for General Mills, Heinz
and ConAgra, has been helping growers change their
marketing strategy, showing potato growers how
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2005, All Rights Reserved