Potato Collaboration Pt 2

Potato Collaboration Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. Washington, Oregon and Idaho Potato Commissions have a working relationship unlike that for most crops. The three have formed a partnership of sorts to fund research that in turn helps the growers and the industry in general.

Washington Potato Commission’s Matthew Blua says it really makes the research more inclusive …

BLUA … “I’ll give you a good example. We have a great nematology project that involves scientists from ARS in Corvallis, from Washington State University, and also from University of Idaho working together. And, this probably wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t bring them together in the same room when we actually invited our scientists to give seminars about their projects.”

And, Blua sees this collaboration continuing in the years ahead …

BLUA … “Oh absolutely! And you know what, it turns out when the PC’s get together, the Potato Commissions get together to discuss research projects, we’re normally pretty much on the same page. We get along very well, we enjoy each other’s collegiality and we only meet a few times a year.”

But, he says there are still challenges …

BLUA … “Well, I think one of our challenges going forward is replacing scientists that are retiring. It turns out, in the Land Grant University systems, they’re really taxed, they don’t have as many dollars coming in as they used to so we’re having to dig a little deeper to make sure we get our positions filled, but it’s important to us and we’re doing it.”

Blua says working together helps make potato growing more profitable and sustainable in the long run.

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