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K-State Today

January 23, 2020

Freeland's column published in Badger Common'Tater

Submitted by Gloria Freeland

Some people might be familiar with Oscar Mayer's "Wienermobile" — a car shaped like a hot dog on a bun. But probably fewer know about Wisconsin's "Spudmobile."

Gloria Freeland, assistant professor of journalism and mass communications, didn't know anything about the Spudmobile until she visited the traveling resource and educational center for all things related to potatoes in the northern part of Wisconsin last fall. She wrote about what she learned in "This spud's for you," one of her weekly online "Kansas Snapshots" columns. That column, in turn was published in a national trade publication, Badger Common'Tater, in December.

Badger Common'Tater, a leading source of information, news, education, and highlights of the potato and vegetable industry in Wisconsin, was first published in 1948. It now has a circulation of 6,000 in all 50 states, with readers in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Honduras, India, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Peru and the United Kingdom.

The Wisconsin Spudmobile is an almost-40-foot-long RV, which travels to schools, state fairs, festivals, parades, Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears football games, and stores that sell Wisconsin potatoes.

The Badger State comes in number three in potato production in the U.S., behind Idaho and Washington. Wisconsin has 63,000 acres of potatoes, with each acre averaging 42,000 pounds. The average American eats 120 pounds of potatoes a year.

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