What was called the largest meeting of potato growers in Washington state in the last 10 years was held last week to discuss the Potato Management Company's diversion program.
Over 100 growers attended the Pasco, WA, DoubleTree Hotel event at which Gary Bingham, director, explained the program.
Growers will be asked to divert 10 percent of their open potatoes or 10 percent of their contract overages for charitable food purposes and to be spread on fields as fertilizer.
Bingham said about 15 of the larger growers signed up. By Saturday night, Jan. 13, Bingham hopes to have all the key players in Washington signed up to participate. He is receiving help from fresh-packers in Washington.
A meeting will be held in Klamath Falls, OR, Wednesday, Jan. 10, and three more in Idaho. The company has set a deadline of Jan. 15 for the program to work or it will be dissolved.
Bingham says growers in Colorado and Wisconsin have called expressing an interest. He will try to arrange meetings in those states as well.
Bingham says while there may be some fine-tuning of the exact methodology of verification, there is nothing that can't be worked out by PMC directors.