This year’s winner of the annual Grower Achievement Award truly is a story of an operation that is building on success. The 2007 winner, Anthony Farms, is owned and operated by Victor and Christine Anthony of Scandinavia, WI. The Anthonys were on hand at the United Fresh Produce Association Washington Public Policy Conference on Sept. 13 to accept the honor.
The award is sponsored by Syngenta Seeds/ROGERS Brand, and is presented by American Vegetable Grower magazine, in cooperation with United Fresh Produce Association.
Before the award was presented, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns addressed a crowd of produce industry leaders. He discussed the latest free trade agreements and made some comments on the safety of the U.S. food supply.
“USDA strives to ensure we have a safe and abundant food supply in America,” he said. “I appreciate all you do to produce a safe food supply.”
The People Behind The Name
The Grower Achievement Award winner also puts food safety at the forefront. What truly makes this operation a winner, however, are the people who run it. Chris and Vic Anthony have been industry drivers, especially when it comes to marketing. Chris, in particular, has been very involved in communicating the health benefits of potatoes to consumers. She is the current chairperson of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, is a member of the United Potato Growers of Wisconsin Board of Directors, and has spent seven years on the Board Executive Committee of the U.S. Potato Board.
Vic Anthony also is a proven leader, having started the Wisconsin Marketing Program in the late 1970s and serving as a state representative to the National Potato Council.
The farm includes 5,000 acres of potatoes, sweet corn, beans for processing, and alfalfa. In addition to its marketing techniques, which include redesigning potato packages to include information on the best ways to use them, this grower also put the latest technology to good use and works to be a good steward of the land.
“The Lord has made this land available for us to use,” says Victor. “We want to leave this soil in better condition than when we found it.”
Chris Anthony agrees. “Our philosophy is that we have been very blessed with success, and we want to give back to the community in which we live and work.”