Business Updates: Southern Sweet Potatoes

08/31/2010 03:34:20 PM
Abbie Stutzer

Burch Farms welcomes new salesman

Charlie Grey joined the sales staff at Burch Farms, Faison, N.C., in the spring.

Owner Jimmy Burch said the company also added storage at the North Carolina main office. It also has increased its acreage in Georgia by 25% to keep up with demand, he said.

Dawson Farms adds on to processing plant

Dawson Farms, Delhi, La., is pouring new concrete slabs to accommodate new hoppers and loaders, said sales manger Roy Hansen. The change will help the company load ConAgra’s trucks more efficiently, he said.

Topashaw Farms adds packing facility

Topashaw Farms LLC, Vardaman, Miss., has added a packing facility this year, said Benny Graves, executive secretary of the Mississippi Sweet Potato Council, Starkville. The company has grown sweet potatoes for a long time and added the packing operation recently, Graves said. The facility is 35,000 square feet. It also has two curing rooms, which are 24,000 bushels a piece.

Topashaw Farms will most likely have 1,400 acres of sweet potatoes this year. The new crop is being harvested and will be put through the new facility. The goal is to produce up to 500,000 cartons a year, Graves said.

Wada Farms promotes sweet potato director

Shane Watt has been promoted from salesman for Wada Farms Marketing Group, Idaho Falls, Idaho, to director of sweet potato sales.

Watt said he had been in the new position for six months and was in the previous for 12 years.

The company also is looking to add equipment that will sticker bulk product. The company hopes it will increase brand recognition on individual potatoes, Watt said.

Wayne E. Bailey adds employees, storage

George Wooten, president and part owner of Wayne E. Bailey Produce Co., Chadbourn, N.C., said the company turned 75 this year.

The company plans a celebration at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit 2010 conference Oct. 15-18 in Orlando, Fla., Wooten said.

Pat Wooten also was recently made sales manager. He has sales manager experience in various industries and has been in the position for four months.

Corey Troutman has been named foodservice coordinator for the company. He has a food science degree from North Carolina State University and joined the company this summer.

The company is adding another 200,000-square-foot storage building in North Carolina and plans to increase production in 2011.

Lastly, Wayne E. Bailey also will continue working on a promotion it has been involved with over the last three years. The promotion includes a Christian music group, New Song, out of Atlanta, and its tour.

The group’s ministry partner is Holt International, which helps support children before they are adopted. The company is adding Holt’s logo to one of its foodservice packages.



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