Wisconsin agriculture connects with consumers - Paycheck

Wisconsin agriculture connects with consumers

 Buying American-made products is wonderful. But buying fresh products made in Wisconsin is even better. Consumers have options when it comes to finding, selecting and purchasing products from the great dairy state.

   “It’s important for consumers to know who produces their food and how it’s done as many younger generations are farther removed from agriculture,” said Dana Rady, director of promotion, communication and consumer education with the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association. 

   The WPVGA represents potato and vegetable growers across the state in areas such as government and legislative affairs, research and processing. Rady works specifically with the promotions committee in Langlade County. The goal of that committee is always to connect consumers with producers, she said.

   “We educate consumers about where their food comes from, how it’s produced and why it’s important to buy local,” she said. “We also educate about the nutrition potatoes naturally provide as well as the many versatile ways consumers can prepare the different varieties of potatoes produced in the state.”

   The Spudmobile is a major way to raise awareness of Wisconsin agriculture. It’s a revamped recreational vehicle equipped with photos and videos to help educate and raise awareness of agriculture. It comes with a driver who answers questions about the industry and explains the exhibits in the vehicle.

   “Finding us on social media is probably the easiest,” Rady said. “Look for Eat Wisconsin Potatoes.”

   The website for WPVGA is https://wisconsinpotatoes.com/.

   The Something Special from Wisconsin program through the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is another great resource for consumers who want to buy Wisconsin-made products around the state. The program began in 1983 and quickly became highly recognizable. 

   “Participating companies utilize the SSfW brand that consumers recognize as top quality and high value,” said Lois Federman, program director. “The goal is to build upon Wisconsin’s reputation for providing quality products and services by bringing recognition and credibility to Something Special from Wisconsin members.”

   To be eligible to use this brand, companies must certify that at least 50 percent of a product’s ingredients, production or processing is from or completed in Wisconsin. Simply look for the brand logo on product labels.

   “This effort is important because it supports local, Wisconsin agricultural businesses of all sizes,” Federman said. “SSfW provides a quick and reliable way to identify genuine Wisconsin products and services at grocery stores, retail outlets, farmers' markets, and restaurants throughout the state.”

   The website for SSfW is https://somethingspecialwi.com/

Mary Hookham

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