The Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association shared its successes in the field of sustainability and sought input from others at a recent conference in San Francisco.


Tim Feit, the Antigo-based association’s director of promotions and consumer education, attended the Arlington, Va.-based Food Marketing Institute’s Sustainability Summit Aug. 17-19, according to an association news release.


On Aug. 16, Wisconsin potatoes sold under the state’s eco-friendly Healthy Grown label were served at FMI’s Sustainability Task Force Members Dinner preceding the conference.


At the summit, Feit talked up not only the Healthy Grown program but also the initiative that produced it — the Wisconsin Eco-Potato Partnership, a collaboration with the University of Wisconsin and the World Wildlife Fund that helps potato growers reduce the use of nutrients, pesticides and other crop protection additives and increase the use of integrated pest management practices that protect the environment.


The Eco-Potato Partnership is the winner of numerous awards, including a U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary’s Honor Award for Maintaining and Enhancing the Nation’s Natural Resources and Environment.


Feit said conversations he had with other conference attendees provided him with insights for the association’s ongoing work on a qualitative research project, whose aim is to identify the challenges growers face in meeting consumer demand for local, sustainable produce.