Potato Picnic

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In July, the annual Potato Association of America (PAA) meeting took place at North Dakota State.

“The PAA serves as the official professional society for anyone involved in potato research, extension, production and utilization,” Harlene Hatterman-Valenti, assistant department head professor, said. Hatterman-Valenti also added that hosting the meeting in a state where potato production is the 6th highest in the country was important to many members of the PAA.

“It has been in existence for 101 years and is composed mostly of technical people such as university researchers, USDA scientists, agronomists from large potato farms and members of supporting ag companies that work closely with the potato industry,” Gary Secor, professor of plant pathology and co-chair of the meeting, said.

Hatterman-Valenti has been a part of PAA since 2000, and Secor has been with PAA for about 40 years.

Information specialist Karen Hertsgaard said on the plant science page, “Scientists attending the meeting presented more than 70 research papers and posters on potato breeding and genetics, plant protection, physiology and extension, production and management.”

Two hundred and forty delegates from 21 states and 13 countries were present at the meeting, as well as graduate students who got an opportunity to talk with professionals.

The meeting had formal presentations on potato research, diseases, industry, genetics, entomology, weeds and economics along with other subjects by PAA members and graduate students. There were also informal conversations, dinners and social events“A barbecue catered by NDSU Carnivore Catering and Live Auction to benefit the Frank Haynes Graduate Student PAA Endowment Fund was held at Bonanzaville in West Fargo. During the live Auction, McCain Foods purchased and gifted to the NDSU potato research team a quilt created and donated by Carol and Don Halseth. The quilt will be displayed in Loftsgard Hall,” Hertsgaard said.

According to Secor, a special beer was brewed for the event and was very popular amongst attendees.

The next PAA meeting will be held July 22-26, 2018, in Boise, Idaho.

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