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2018 Tentative Schedule

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

10:00 am – 1:00 pm Michigan Seed Potato Assoc. Board Meeting

12:00 pm – 6:00 pm Registration Open

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Exhibitor Set-up

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm General Education Session - Managing Risk In Your Operation
In today’s business climate there are multiple avenues of risk that need to be managed to ensure a safe environment for you and your employees conduct business. Some of these risks do not surface as key areas to manage yet they can have a direct effect on your company’s bottom line.

Understanding how FSMA Implementation will impact potato operations

FDA's decision to limit the regulatory exposure of potatoes under FSMA does not dictate industry practice. This session will identify some of the risk growers, shippers and packers will likely need to. 
– Susan Leaman, iDecisionSciences

Understanding Today's Crop Insurance

The 2014 Farm Bill changed many aspects of today’s crop insurance options.
– Shelly Heinze and Todd Davis, Spartan Insurance 


3:00 pm – 3:30 pm Refreshment Break

3:30 pm – 5:30 pm General Education Session – Emergency Rescue Training  Each year Michigan loses 18-20 farmers due to on-farm accidents. Learn how to create a “Safety Culture” in the industry as you expand your knowledge on emergency preparedness. 
- Wayne Bauer, Ag Safety 

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Michigan Potato Industry Commission Meeting

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm PGMI PAC Reception

Dinner on your own

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

7:00 am – 5:00 pm Registration Open

7:00 am – 8:45 am Breakfast in Exhibit Hall

7:00 am – 8:45 am MPIC Variety Release Committee Meeting

9:00 am – 10:45 am General Session

In addition to the annual business meeting of the Michigan Potato Industry Commission, we will hear a variety of industry updates.
• MPIC Annual Meeting, Phil Gusmano
• National Potato Council Update, John Keeling
• Potatoes USA Update, Blair Richardson and Laura Bischoff
• United Potato Growers of America Update, Mark Klompien
• USDA Ag Statistics, Debbie Friday, Officer-in-Charge Specialty Crops Market News


10:45 am – 11:15 am Refreshment Break

11:15 am – 12:00 pm Breakout Session 1

National Issues Update

John Keeling, National Potato Council Get updated on national policy and politics with a twist on how all of it might impact Michigan potato production. Immigration, nutrition policy, the 2018 Farm Bill, tax reform and a host of regulatory include some of the possible topics.

Economic Trends

Paul Isely, GVSU Gain insight into the current economic trends from a global to local scale and walk away with perspective on what is on the horizon for Michigan and our national economy.


12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch w/ Frank Turchan, Executive Chef, University of Michigan
We hear of efforts to connect consumers with their food and the farms that grow it. Chef Turchan will share his passion for providing a uniquely memorable dining experience for students, faculty and guests.

1:45 pm – 2:45 pm Potato Growers of Michigan, Inc. Annual Meeting

PGMI Annual Business Meeting

State Issues Update

w/ Matt Smego - Michigan Farm Bureau & Tony Des Chenes - Michigan Legislative Consultants

2:45 pm – 4:15 pm General Session

Marketing Michigan Potatoes - What are consumers saying? 

Join us for a deep dive into national trends on consumer buying habits along with gaining an understanding of what consumers across the nation, and specifically in Michigan what they are saying about Michigan potatoes. Additionally, the commission will highlight consumer focused marketing plans for the coming year.
• National consumer trends and buying habits of potatoes, Sarah Reece, Potatoes USA
•  What Michigan consumers are saying: MPIC Focus Group Results, Spencer Flynn, M3 Group 
• The Michigan Potatoes Strategy on Potato Marketing, Mike Wenkel and Nate Chesher, MPIC 


4:15 pm – 4:45 pm Refreshment Break

4:45 pm – 5:45 pm Michigan Seed Potato Assoc. Annual Meeting

MSPA Annual Business Meeting

Management of PVY Through Combined Use of Mineral Oil and Insecticide Along With Other Cultural Practices

Matheresh Singh - Agricultural Certification Services

5:45 pm – 7:30 pm Exhibitor and Sponsor Reception

Dinner on your own


Thursday, February 15, 2018

7:00 am – 12:00 pm Registration Open

7:00 am – 2:00 pm Exhibit Hall Open

7:00 am – 7:45 am Breakfast in Exhibit Hall

7:45 am – 9:15 am MSU Potato Variety Evaluation, Dave Douches & Chris Long

9:15 am – 10:15 am Breakout Session 2 

Update on Insect Pest Management in Potatoes - Zsofia Szendrei & Erin Hill, Michigan State University

This session will include updates on current research and recommendations related to (1) controlling insect pressure in potatoes and (2) utilizing cover crops in your rotation.

Pathology and Nematology Updates - Jamie Willbur and Marisol Quintanilla

This session will include updates on current research and recommendations related to controlling pathogens and nematodes to minimize their impact on production.

Insight into the Cass County Water Use Project, Todd Feenstra, Tritium, Inc.

Water is a vital resource to potato production. This session will look at tools being developed in a water modeling project that could result in the ability to create regional groundwater model to enhance the accuracy of the Michigan’s Water Use Assessment Tool.

10:15 am – 10:45 am Refreshment Break


10:45 am – 11:45 am Breakout Session 3 

Nutrient Management & Weed Control Updates, Kurt Steinke and Erin Burns, Michigan State University

This session will include updates on current research and recommendations on the utilization of nutrients in potato production and weed control and suppression.

Technology & Soil Health Updates, Bruno Basso and Noah Rosenzweig, Michigan State University

This session will focus on current research related to incorporating technology into potato management strategies and updates on ongoing research into enhancing soil health in potato production. 

Finding the Next Generation of Talent, Kelly Millenbah, Michigan State University

The evolution to today’s high-tech agriculture is only part of the industry’s challenge as we look to the next generation of talent. Gain an understanding of the new workforce and how you may need to change your practices and culture to recruit the best and brightest.


12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Breakout Session 4 

Understanding the Impacts of Blackleg – Dickeya and pectobacterium - Amy Charkowski, Colorado State University

Pectobacterium and Dickeya, which are broad host range bacterial pathogens, can have a significant impact on annual potato production. Learn about the current research on how these bacteria infect potatoes and how to detect them in potatoes and the environment.  

Using Social Media and Your Website to Brand Your Farm and Promote Industry Messaging - Elaine Bristol, MAC and Nate Chesher, MPIC

Telling the story of your operation is critical as we work to connect with consumers and raise awareness of Michigan potatoes. This session will provide you with the tools you need to tell our story, with an emphasis on your operation.

How America Eats and the Impact on the Demand for Potatoes, Sarah Reece, Potatoes USA

The way American’s eat is changing and causing a direct effect on the demand for America’s favorite vegetable, the potato. Discover how these changes will impact demand for your product.


1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Awards Luncheon

Is Your Technology Secure?

Viruses and spyware infect computers across the globe on a weekly basis and your data could be at risk. Learn about the risks, why you should care, and how to minimize the potential threat to your organization.
Chad Paalman – NuWave Technology Partners