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ANTIGO - More than 400 students got a great taste of healthy vegetables, including potatoes, at Lincoln Middle School in La Crosse, after the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) provided them with a potato-friendly salad bar.

On February 22, WPVGA took their donation to the next level by providing a true Field to Fork story.

Along with an appearance by the Wisconsin Spudmobile, growers and industry members from across the state provided presentations to students from two charter schools, namely Coulee Montessori and School of the Arts II (SOTA II), about potato nutrition, the Wisconsin potato industry, and the importance of buying local.

In addition to the two charter schools, Lincoln Middle School students had the opportunity to experience the Spudmobile throughout the day and hear similar presentations inside the vehicle.

“Putting a face to a name and directly connecting the industry to students is a huge step in helping people understand where their food comes from, how it’s grown, and fun ways to prepare potatoes and vegetables that are easy, quick, healthy and delicious,” says Dana Rady, WPVGA Director of Promotions.

The fun and educational presentations occurred on a day when the students enjoyed loaded baked Wisconsin Burbank potatoes for lunch, while using the bar for their fruit and topping selections.

"We are truly excited about the two new salad bars here at Lincoln Middle School," said School District of La Crosse Middle School Nutrition Manager Jerrilynn Donley. "Students first choose what they eat with their eyes, and the new salad bars have helped to increase fruit and vegetable consumption at school. The many compliments from our students and staff tell us we are on the right track for teaching the importance of healthy food choices. We are so thankful to the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association for providing us with this amazing opportunity."

Along with the Spudmobile team, the potato-growing organizations that  presented to students were:  Gumz Muck Farms, Endeavor, and Nuto Farms, Rice Lake.

It’s a small effort that goes a long way in narrowing the gap between Field and Fork and making an impact these students will taste at every meal.

 WPVGA is a non-profit organization that represents and promotes state potato and vegetable growers. We currently represent more than 300 members and affiliates. For more information on our commitment to sustainable agriculture, jobs and water use, visit www.eatwisconsinpotatoes.com.

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