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National Potato Council takes USDA staff on Potato Production Tour

National Potato Council takes USDA staff on Potato Production Tour

USDA staff from the AMS Plant Variety Protection Office and APHIS Biotech Regulatory Services on a tour of the Sterman Masser Potato Farm facilities in central Pennsylvania on August 23. Here they learn how dehydrated potato flakes are made.

September 1, 2016
The National Potato Council (NPC) hosted USDA staff from the AMS Plant Variety Protection Office and APHIS Biotech Regulatory Services on a tour of Sterman Masser Potato Farm facilities in central Pennsylvania on August 23.

The goal of the tour was to educate USDA staff on the details of potato production and the innovative work being done by Sterman Masser.

John Keeling, NPC CEO:

“NPC believes getting out of the office and into the field can shed light on the challenges growers face and the steps they take to address those challenges.”
The first stop was the Keystone Potato Products Facility, which is a dehydration plant that has a sustainability focus.

Staffers learned how water is taken from abandoned anthracite mines and treated to remove iron and manganese. The filtered water is later returned to the watershed, restoring an environment affected by acid mine drainage. Steam created with the methane gas from the nearby landfill is used for dehydrating, cooking, peeling, and washdown.

The tour also included a stop at the Masser solar panel farm and potato packing operations. Attendees capped the day with a visit to the famous Utz potato chip factory in Hanover, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Paul Zankowski, Commissioner, Plant Variety Protection Office, USDA (tour attendee):

“The Pennsylvania potato tour provided an in-depth view of the challenges and innovative solutions of U.S. potato growers and processors.”

“The Sterman Masser potato facilities that we toured used state-of-the-art, sustainable methods to conserve water, energy, and other resources while supporting the local economy.”
Companies in this Article
Keystone Potato Products LLC is a small manufacturer of dehydrated potato flakes, potato flour and cut potatoes in the North Eastern United States. 
The National Potato Council is looking after the interest of the potato growers in the United States. The NPC website provides information on potato history, potato cultivation, potato statistics and US state potato organisations
Utz Snacks is the largest independent privately held snack brand in the US. Weekly, Utz produces over 1 million pound of potato chips and nine hunderd thousand pounds of pretzels in 4 manufacturing facilities.