Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission encourages consumers to buy local

The Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission, Baton Rouge, plans an advertising campaign to encourage consumers to buy local.

Rene Simon, director, wants to make sure Louisiana growers have first access to those local markets.

“We’re placing more ads with small grocery-store chains in Louisiana,” Simon said. ‘We want to tap into those markets.”

The commission also hopes to increase promotion in schools to make sure local school districts know the nutritional value of sweet potatoes so students can enjoy them.

Nash Produce begins blogging recipes, articles on health benefits

Nash Produce, Nashville, N.C., plans to publish a blog in March.

Laura Kornegay, marketing director, said the company wants to provide consumers with more resources.

The blog will feature recipes and articles that show the sweet potato as a healthy choice. The company plans to share ideas to cook sweet potatoes to make the most of the nutrients they provide.

The blog will be linked to the company website at www.nashproduce.com and the company Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nashproduce.

California Council recognizes service of four industry leaders

The Sweet Potato Council of California played host to the 50th Annual National Sweet Potato Convention on Jan. 22-24 in Dana Point, Calif.

More than 300 growers, shippers and other industry professionals attended the conference.

Discussion topics included industry news and technical information.

Carson Barnes, president of Farm Pak Products Inc., Spring Hope, N.C.; Kendall Hill, co-owner of Tull Hill Farms, Kinston, N.C., Bob Scheuerman, retired California farm adviser; and Floy Yagi of Yagi Bros. Produce, Livingston, Calif., were honored for their service.

Benny Graves, executive secretary for the Mississippi Sweet Potato Council, received the distinguished service award.

U.S. Sweet Potato Council joins Half Your Plate campaign

The U.S. Sweet Potato Council, Columbia, S.C., has joined with Produce for Better Health to promote the Half Your Plate concept, which follows the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate guidelines.

The collaboration includes a recipe and other promotional efforts that will be published on the PBH website and used in other consumer resources, including cookbooks and informational sheets.

This is the second year the council has sponsored a recipe for the Half Your Plate sponsorship program.

The council also is planning to produce a video with Julie Upton, a registered dietitian and nutrition spokeswoman.

Walker also hopes to increase the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s use of sweet potatoes in school lunch programs.

“All these little things add up to increase the demand for sweet potatoes over time,” says Charles Walker, council executive secretary.

Wayne E. Bailey Co. adds food safety coordinator

Hilda Bryan joined Wayne E. Bailey Produce Co., Chadbourn, N.C., on Feb. 8.

As food safety coordinator, she will lead the company in maintaining and improving the company’s food safety programs and monitor the Produce Traceability Initiative program.

Bryan also will work with third-party audits at the facility, including good agricultural practices/good handling practices, GlobalGAP, and Global Food Safety Initiative.

Bryan has a BA in geography from East Carolina University and a forthcoming MA from ECU in geography, focusing her thesis on agriculture, specifically sweet potatoes.

“She is extremely passionate about food safety as well as the innovation and maintenance of our food safety programs,” said Adam Wooten, operations manager.