Spudmobile is a classroom on wheels

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer
The Spudmobile is Wisconsin potato industry’s most comprehensive educational and informational resource center, on wheels and will be parked on the grounds of the EAA during the WPS Farm Show.

What's nearly 38 feet long and travels hundreds of miles stopping at fair, festivals, farm shows, football games and schools? If you guessed the tricked out RV dubbed the Spudmobile you would be correct.

Decked out with a vinyl wrap emblazoned with a plethora of potatoes, the flashy vehicle has more than what meets the eye - inside, that is. The Spudmobile is Wisconsin potato industry’s most comprehensive educational and informational resource center, on wheels, says Donna Rady of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association. .

"Our goal at every event we attend is to educate consumers about our industry and to help them experience being a farmer especially if they don't come from an agricultural background," she said, adding that the Spudmobile will be open to visitors during the WPS Farm Show in Oshkosh next week.

As soon as visitors enter, they are taken on an intentional journey from field to fork, beginning with farmers’ growing practices, use of up-to-date technology and practices that conserve Mother Nature’s resources at the Environmental Stewards exhibit.

Rady said several exhibits were updated to include more kid-friendly games and messaging to help visitors of all ages 'experience' the field to fork process, from virtually planting seeds, caring for plants, learning about different potato varieties and the people that grow them, to harvesting the potatoes and transporting them to stores and eventually to their dinner plate. In addition, visitors can take home recipes for several potato dishes..

"Kids get hands on learning through the different games and conversations our driver, Doug Foemmel has with them," Rady said. "Doug's been with the Spudmobile for years and is very knowledgeable about our industry and very easy to talk to."

Once visitors leave, they do so with a renewed perspective of an industry so important and valuable to the Badger State and the world.

Did you know?

When harvested, about 34% of the U.S. crop is used for frozen potato products, 28% for fresh market, 12% for potato chips, 10% for dehydrated potatoes, and 16% for livestock feed, potato seed or farm consumption.