The United Stand

United Makes Sense in Today's Economy

Published in the April 2009 Issue Published online: Apr 30, 2009 Justin Isherwood, United Potato Growers Cooperative
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With the economy more dire than any time since the last depression, with T-bills at zero percent interest, with brave Wall Street going socialistic to save its backside and with OPEC reducing exports to provide a profitable margin for what is the defining resource on the planet, we are witness to a metamorphic event on a world scale; more intriguing is that we are potato growers. Potato growers, imagine that! Potato growers watching from the sidelines as brand-name entities self-destruct, evaporate and industrial giants are on their knees.

The pertinent question is: how come we get to watch? Why aren't we among the multitude of the maimed and dying?

The United Potato Growers of America was born out of sheer desperation and a market commodity only slightly less volatile than nitroglycerine.

Combined with the cruel fact the potato is about the least sexiest produce in the world, is the economic hazards of potato production and the diet fads that preyed on the potato.

Yet it is our industry that gets to watch from the sidelines as former legends of commerce shuffle past, battered, some already embalmed. Why not us?

One reason only: United Potato Growers of America, its sole effort being to identify the consumer use rate of the potato and match that market. How much is enough? What is surplus? Aim for one potato less-not to gouge the consumer, but instead provide a good product at a fair price.

Four years later, United Potato Growers of America has delivered a thing unprecedented in the history of the North American potato-profitability four years in a row. Again for emphasis, four years in a row! Things like this don't even happen to Indiana Jones.

Imagine growers from diverse regions formerly out to cut each other's throats, now united.

Imagine four years in a row, imagine acreage and production balanced to the end use. Those megatons of fertilizer, fuel, road miles and shipping costs not wasted. A proud achievement for a nation, an empire, but it was potato growers who did it.

The point is to keep it up, our string of wins. At this juncture of world economic dysfunction any failure is to court disaster. It is vital we not let down our industry, our communities, our families, our nation. Joining and supporting United is a critical part of our national recovery.

United stands for a competent farm sector able by its own ingenuity and integrity to do the math and limit over production.

Agriculture has a dual role to not only feed the nation but avoid being part of the problem.

Smart production isn't just about weed control and timely fungicide, our task is fair profitability, fair to the sector, fair to the consumer.

United is a call to the most basic kind of patriot-potato growers who do the math and solve the problem, not be a part of it. Anything else is not merely inept, it betrays the nation. Join United today, for your farm, for your children, for your country's sake.