Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 6 8 POTATO GROWER EPA Tour Educates Regulators If you are reading this, it’s a good bet you have seen a working potato farm or other vegetable farm in real life. That is not a given with the reg- ulators and policymakers in Washington, D.C. To help encour- age hands-on experience, the National Potato Council organizes and sponsors the Policy Makers and Regulators Field Education Tour each year. The purpose of the tour is to offer EPA staff the opportunity to see potato production, discuss pesti- cide utilization, and interact with farmers outside the confines of Washington, D.C. Growers who host the tour provide employees at EPA firsthand feedback on their steward- ship of pesticides and the process to bring potatoes from field to table. The tour typically takes place during the August Congressional recess. The NPC has a two-decades-long history of successful tours involving EPA staff members. The most recent tours have included New Jersey in 2014, where EPA staff rolled up their sleeves and used shovels to dig their own potatoes, and Oregon’s Columbia Basin in 2013, where the tour focused on sustainable approaches to water issues. The group size ranges from 10 to 25, depending on location and schedul- ing. After the tour, participating EPA staff members often comment on how they gained a better under- standing of the impact of the agency’s policy decisions on potato production. Every year growers share what measures they take to protect wildlife, preserve habitat, and effectively implement Integrated Pest Management pro- grams. This summer in mid-August a dozen staff from EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs, including members of the divisions that handle product regis- trations and reviews, will tour the Red River Valley. On a map this is the area where Minnesota and North Dakota meet, renowned for its fertile land and home to cities Fargo and Grand Forks. NPC has significant membership in these potato-grow- ing areas. The tour will include visits to the local farms of Pete Ewing and R.D. Offutt Farm Operations, and Sand Plain Research Farm at Becker, Minnesota, which is affiliated with the University of Minnesota's NPC Mes sage by John Keeling, NPC Executive Vice President and CEO