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Potato-Vegetable Growers Give $5 Million For UW-Research


Potato growers plan to give five million dollars to U-W Madison during the next decade to conduct research for the industry.

Members of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association...based in Antigo.. will pay for the new research with higher assessments on their product sales. Last summer, the industry increased its assessment by one penny for every 100 pounds of potatoes and vegetables produced -- and the association's board plans to raise it by one more cent next year.

Association Executive Director Tamas Houlihan outlines the goals..

"....the plan is to dedicate $500,000 annually for the next ten years to a Wisconsin potato research fund which will be directed by potato grower representatives to support areas that we determine to be our priorities. It will be through the UW-Foundation, however. Our ultimate goal is to raise $10 million for this fund over the next 10 years with the additional contributions from growers, vegetable processing companies and allied members..."

Growers now pay six cents per hundredweight for marketing and research. Houlihan says the increase in monetary support comes from the great value the producers see in the U-W researchers and facilities.

The Rhinelander Agricultural Research Station, also known as the UW Lelah Starks Potato Breeding Farm, has been a home for University potato breeding research for more than 50 years.

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