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Potato history celebrated through book

Posted on September 13, 2017 by Taber Times

By Greg Price
Taber Times

Coming off the heels of its 50th anniversary last year, the Potato Growers of Alberta (PGA) is getting ready to unveil its 50th anniversary history and cook books.

“It started off as a combination book (history/cook book), but the history section got too big so we split it up. We were aiming at around 300 pages and we got up to 425,” said Wendy McDonald, financial and communications administrator for the Potato Growers of Alberta. “There’s a short coloured section, but it’s mostly all in black and white.”

The history book has a number of different sections, including growers’ stories.

“There’s close to 90 growers stories which are both past and present growers,” said McDonald. “Their stories include how and why they got into it and some of the challenges over the years. It’s a great read. The other chapters include how the industry developed.”

That included the organization being named three different things over the years including the Alberta Potato Commission, which then switched to a marketing board and then eventually becoming the Potato Growers of Alberta.

“Potatoes have quite the history here and we didn’t want to leave any of it out, including how we all get together and learn and network,” said McDonald.

Hopes are the 50th Anniversary Book of the Potato Growers of Alberta will come out by Sept. 15 from the printers. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of each book (approximately $3) will go towards charity, which is the Alberta Foodbanks Breakfast Program.

“We are also giving back by paying it forward,” said McDonald.

The Potato Growers of Alberta are also hoping its recipe book comes out at the same time which will include industry growers putting in their recipes, along with recipes from the organization’s past five history books which have been developed over the years.

“A portion of the proceeds from the recipe book will be going to that same charity,” said McDonald.

The history and recipe books will be available for sale when they arrive at the Potato Growers of Alberta office in Taber at 6008 46th Avenue. The organization will also be on the look out for vendors willing to sell the books at their establishment as well.

“We will be going into Taber and outside as well in the province,” said McDonald.

Cindy Fletcher, accounts clerk and promotions co-ordinator with the PGA helped put the recipe book together. Deb Brewin has joined the PGA as its contract history and archives technician, putting work both towards the history and recipe books.

The history book is entitled ‘The PGA’s 50th Anniversary: A Window to the Past.’ Cost of the hard-cover history book is $40 with the recipe book being $10.

The PGA has also put together a 50th anniversary video that can be found on YouTube.

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