The concept of Healthy Grown Potatoes was an idea which was conceived in the mid-nineties by a group of Wisconsin potato farmers as an experiment in large-scale, reduced-pesticide agriculture. IPM (Integrated Pest Management) farming practices offer common ground for growers, environmentalists and health-conscious consumers.
The Healthy Grown Program was developed through a collaborative effort by the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association, World Wildlife Fund, the University of Wisconsin and other conservation groups such as the International Crane Foundation and the Defenders of Wildlife. This collaboration is now celebrating ten years of working together to protect our environment and implement more stringent growing practices for the good of the land.
Major achievements of the collaboration include reducing overall crop protectant toxicity units by 37% in the first three years of the collaboration and development of the first ever eco-system restoration component to be certified under the Healthy Grown program. These results have been recognized nationally when the program received one of the prestigious USDA Secretary’s Honor Awards for Maintaining and Enhancing the Nation’s Natural Resources and Environment in 2003, received the World Wildlife Fund Gift to the Earth Award, received the international IPM Award of Achievement in 2005, and received the International Crane Foundation Good Egg Award for Excellence in 2006. These are just some of the reasons why the program is a great success!