For us, it’s hard to think about potato harvest without the Klamath Basin Potato Festival being mentioned. In our last post about potato harvest, we mentioned the Potato Festival in a list of other activities going on during harvest. However, if you look through our Farm Blog, you’ll see we’ve been participating in the Spud Festival for years.
Obviously, our history with the Potato Festival goes back before that.
Years and years ago, before we moved into our processing plant in Malin and weren’t farming as many acres, Jan would gather and clean the potatoes entered for the Spud Festival. Parade time would find the Walker family gathered at the home of Glenna Walker, aka Grammie, aka Bill and John’s mom. The kids would gather candy thrown from the floats while Glenna hosted family, friends and neighbors.
Over the years, things changed and new traditions developed. Our companies started getting more involved with the Spud Festival and creating new rituals. For a few years, we put together floats and tossed candy and bags of potato chips to the crowds, hoping to take home the bragging rights for the best float while the chipping potatoes hand selected by our agronomy team earned ribbons in the potato judging. The office staff started a potato lunch potluck where everybody brings something different to top off baked potatoes with. Between the camaraderie and community involvement, it created an opportunity for fun during a crazy time of year.
Our Klamath Basin Potato Festival float from 2011
Our traditions have changed again, and in a way have come full circle. The huge floats of years past have gone to the wayside for now as the trucks are needed on the road and our staff is busy. The office potato potluck still lives on, and instead of our agronomy team entering the potatoes for judging, our employees’ kids entered them this year. Still wanting to be involved with the parade and the community, last year we started a new tradition that will likely carry forward. From Grammie’s garage, just across the street from the Merrill Civic Center, our office team handed out hot drinks and potato chips to friends, family and anyone else who came to Merrill to watch the parade.
We’re proud to be a part of a community that celebrates ag the way the Klamath Basin Potato Festival does. We’re also proud to have a group of dedicated employees who help us carry participate in the community. Thank you to our staff who helped during the Spud Festival, and thank you to everyone who stopped by for a bag of chips and something to sip!