Transportation software specialist opens

A company specializing in transportation software for the potato and other industries has opened.

Idaho Falls, Idaho-based FusionTMS offers transportation software that is integrated with Famous software, said FusionTMS’s Creg Fielding. The company’s software provides a quicker, more simplified way to analyze transportation-related data. After a small initial fee, users pay as they use the system, Fielding said.

“Instead of having to manually import and export data or go to several outside systems to get logistic work done, FusionTMS allows you to quickly and efficiently get all of your work done in a single system and provide business intelligence from the vast amount of data that’s being processed daily,” Fielding said.

The company, which until now has kept a low profile, planned to launch a website,, sometime before the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit convention in October, Fielding said.


Pleasant Valley Potatoes owners celebrate centennials

Two of the four grower owners of Aberdeen, Idaho-based Pleasant Valley Potatoes celebrated their 100-year anniversaries this year, said Ryan Wahlen, the company’s sales manager.

The company’s other two grower owners recently passed their century marks.

At the annual Aberdeen Days festival this summer, Pleasant Valley celebrated its anniversary with two floats. One was a giant potato, the other was a flatbed trailer holding 80 or 90 descendants of the original farming families.

In addition to the anniversary, Pleasant Valley has replaced all of its warehouse refrigeration systems, Wahlen said.

“We also refrigerated all of our shipping and staging areas, so the cold chain is never broken. It really makes a difference with the harvest season.”

Other upgrades at the facility include a new scale and a new parking area for trucks, Wahlen said.


Southwind Farms hires marketing coordinator

Heyburn, Idaho-based Southwind Farms has hired Sherise Jones as its new marketing coordinator on a contract basis.

Jones is no stranger to the Idaho produce industry. She also handles marketing for the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee.

Jones will keep her job in the onion industry, and will work for Southwind on a contract basis, said Robert Tominaga, Southwind’s president.


Wada Farms’ new bag made in part out of potatoes

A new potato bag from Wada Farms Marketing Group LLC has potatoes on the outside as well as on the inside.

Idaho Falls, Idaho-based Wada’s Tater Made eco-friendly bag is made in part from potato starches that have been converted into pallets, said Chris Wada, the company’s director of marketing and export programs.

Up to 25% of each bag is made from spuds, and the bag is recyclable, Wada said.

“We’re always looking for a way to bring value to the customer, and this helps retailers meet their sustainability objectives. So far we’ve gotten good feedback and support.”

The bags, set to hit retail shelves in mid-October, will be used to pack potatoes under the Wada label and other labels, including store brands, Wada said.

Initially, Tater Made bags will hold 5 pounds of Idaho russets only. But the company has plans to extend the line to include 10-pound bags and other varieties, Wada said.

The bag also could earn “biodegradable” status. The potential use of that term is pending, Wada said.