WPVGA Grower Education 2015
I was in Wisconsin this week meeting with customers and attending the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Association’s (WPVGA) Annual Grower Education conference. I was worried when our flights were cancelled due to the blizzard that shut down most flights in and out of O’Hare airport on Sunday Feb. 1st. The good news was I got to see one of the most entertaining Super Bowls in years, instead of flying into a blizzard.
RedLine Solutions was selected by the WPVGA after a competitive evaluation of Produce Traceability Software Suppliers and to date we have helped over 25 member companies by providing our PTI Light software, barcode printers, scanners, and labels to meet Walmart PTI labeling requirements. This year's session on Food Safety Management was led by WPVGA’s Director of Communication, Dana Rady, and a panel of Wisconsin growers who had participated in WPVGA Hosted HACCP training discussed FSMA, Third Party Audits, and Hazard Analysis. In that session attendees learned how FSMA will require growers to have a HACCP Plan, and how leading Wisconsin Growers had used their training to implement plans within their own companies. RedLine’s Director of Product Management, Carol Golsch, and I presented on how to use PTI Lite to assist you in gathering data when doing mock or actual recalls. We even toured the world famous WPVGA Spudmobile!
The conclusion of the conference was the annual WPVGA Annual Industry Awards. Highlights included 2014 WPVGA President Larry Alsum, of Alsum Farms & Produce, presenting President’s Awards to his daughters Wendy Alsum-Dykstra and Heidi Alsum-Randall, and new WPVGA Executive Director Tamas Houlihan. Eric Schroeder of Schroeder Bros. Farms, Inc. was named WPVGA Young Grower of the Year.
While the temperatures in Central Wisconsin never rose above 14 degree’s the four days we were in Wisconsin, much warmth came from the WPVGA members and staff. Throughout the three day event and my customer visits the character and comradery among Wisconsin growers was apparent. It is clear that the WPVGA helps provide a forum for education, commerce, and community for its members and is successfully building market presence and market share for Wisconsin potatoes and vegetables.