Potato Grower

Potato Annual 2018

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WWW.POTATOGROWER.COM 7 WWW.POTATOGROWER.COM 7 more and more organic production onto the farm. The entire operation was certified organic in 1996, growing potatoes, alfalfa, dry beans, wheat, corn, garden bean seed and cover crops. Their most significant crop in terms of acreage is alfalfa, which supplies feed for organic dairies in the area and plays the vital role of helping control perennial weeds in the crop rotation. Depending on the year, "The biggest reason I farm is the chance to work alongside family and friends," says Cooper Brossy, left, pictured with his father, Fred. Boxelder trees in the beginning stages of fall foliage along the banks of the Little Wood River, which runs through the Brossys' farm. between 20 and 35 acres are in potatoes, which Brossy says can make up as much as 25 percent of the farm's income, despite the small number of acres devoted to them. "It just fit my philosophy of farming," says Brossy of the switch to organic. "And the conventional commodity business just doesn't fit a farm like this as well as organic production does. "The switch to organic crops would not have been nearly as smooth without the help of some really good friends and mentors who helped me get started," he continues, specifically citing Mike Heath and Nate Jones, both of whom have operated successful organic farms in southern Idaho for decades. "It really helps when you have somebody to encourage and support you through a transition like that. Twenty-odd years in, we continue to help each other regularly." Brossy is adamant that the story of Ernie's Organics is much more than the story of Fred and Judy Brossy. Dozens of people have contributed significantly to the farm's success—from tutors like Heath and Jones, to loyal, long-serving full-time employees, to seasonal help, to neighbors who come in during harvest just for the chance to drive a big old truck. Credit also goes to the farm's

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