September is National Potato Month, an important celebration as the potato is one of the staples in American cuisine. Whether you prefer them fried, baked, roasted, or as chips, the potato is quite a stud. Did you know that 1.7 billion pounds of potatoes are harvested in Michigan annually, according to the Michigan Potato Industry Commission? The potato industry contributes about $1.24 billion to Michigan’s economy, including more than 3,000 jobs in potato production and processing. Southwest Michigan alone is home to several companies that are mashing it up in the potato industry. Learn more about three local companies that are totally spudtacular:
- Walther Farms is a third generation, family-owned business headquartered in Three Rivers. “Growing people by growing potatoes” is the company’s thing, with a focus on innovation, technology, and people. The company feeds seven million people every year and has locations across the U.S.
- In Lawton, Packers Distributing is one of the region’s most reliable food service and retail distribution companies. Also a third generation family operation, Packers processes the totally tuber vegetable by canning, freezing, and processing it for distribution.
- Fresh Solution Farms of White Pigeon is a grower-owned and operated producer, distributor and marketer of fresh, high–quality potatoes and onions. With an established network of growers, the farm is able to operate a national marketing and supply chain to make sure that the rest of the country can eat Michigan potatoes.