If you happened to look at your calendar last week, you may have noticed the third Tuesday of August was already here. Why does that particular Tuesday matter, you ask? It’s time for the annual Open House Field Day, of course!
This year we held our 12th annual Open House Field Day on August 21st. We were favored with a pleasant amount of sunshine and despite the large forest fires burning north, south and east of us, the wind kept the smoke at bay and the skies clear. The day started with breakfast at the Running Y Lodge, where Weston and Kevin Kane from RaboBank put together a presentation. Afterwards, the field tours commenced.
Since we’ve been working the Running Y Ranch this year and are proud of what we’ve accomplished in the several past months, we thought it was fitting to show off a couple of the potato fields we have planted there. Weston, John and Dan fielded questions about the varieties, the soil and quality of the chipping potato crop. Our guests were even treated to an impromptu lesson about potato plants and potato seed by none other than Duane “Sarge” Preston, professor emeritus from the University of Minnesota. Not only is Sarge well-known, highly respected potato expert, he’s also an all-around nice guy.
After the tour of Running Y Ranch fields, everybody headed down to Malin to tour the packing shed. Bill, John, Weston and plant manager Matt Thompson guided our guests through the packing shed and showed them samples of varieties our agronomist Daniel Jepsen dug up. Along with fresh potato samples, the varieties were fried up to show how nicely they work for potato chips as well as to demonstrate the differences between varieties. Discussions surrounded the quality of the chipping potatoes that were presented, and a few people even snuck a taste of the sample chips!
As we do every year, after the shed tour, we treated our guests to a round of golf at the Arnold Palmer-designed Running Y golf course. Following golf, dinner was served at the club house where awards for longest drive, closest to pin, top team scores and lowest team scores were awarded. Want to see those pictures? You’ll have to tune in for our next blog post on the Open House Field Day!