b'Minnesota Department of AgricultureCommissioner Visits The ValleyThomPetersen,theMinnesotaDepartmentofAgricultureCommissioner visited the Red River Valley on October 10th. Hewas accompanied by his Executive Aide, Kajsa Beatty and BruceKleven, advocate for potatoes in the state legislature.The delega-tion visited with Sugarbeet Growers on Wednesday. They weregoing to tour some field operations, but after all the rain that wehave had the fields were pretty wet so it was changed to move thevisit indoors to some of the facilities locatedin the area. Johnson said, "This visit shows Petersen\'s commitment to repre-sentingallagriculturalareasofthestate.IreallybelievetheCommissioner listened, observed and learned about potatoes and USDA/ARSWorksiteManager,DarrinHaagenson(left)the serious harvest conditions we are experiencing in the valley talks with the delegation on the research that is done onand a good working relationship was established with him."potatoes at his facility.First stop was the USDA/ARS facilty located in East Grand Forks,Minnesota. Darrin Haagenson, USDA/ARS Worksite Director waskind enough to give a tour. He talked about the research on chipand fry samples that is conducted at the facility. This happenswith input from several universities and growers from not onlythe Red River Valley but from growers across the nation.Next stop was Mayo Manufacturing where Mike Delisle gave atour of his business. He talked about what it takes to get equip-ment ready for sale including welding, fabrication and paintingof the equipment. He is expanding his business to keep up withthe demand for equipment. The Minnesota delegation tours Mayo Manufacturing inEast Grand Forks, Minnesota with owner Mike Delisle.From Mayo Manufacturing we went over to Folsen Farms andthen to A&L Potato washplants where we got to see the wash-plants in operation and a full tour of both facilities.I appreciate the potato growers of Minnesota, and everyone asso-ciatedwiththepotatoindustryinNWMinnesota.Thankstothose who took the time to show us the research facilities, potatoprocessing facilities, and the manufacturing equipment that allgo into getting potatoes to consumers around the country, saidPetersen,Its an intricate process that involves many differentindustries, supports so many jobs, and is unique to the Red RiverValley.A&LPotato,Inc.ownerRandyBoushey(left)withMinnesota Ag Comssioner Thom Petersen.24 POTATO GROWER NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019'