Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Fun and Memorable Potato Stories from our Farmlinkers

“Cheese Cave” in Springfield, Missouri Photo Credit: Brown Political Review
From left to right: Luis Yepiz, Ben Collier, and Sophia Adelle on Capitol Hill for The United Fresh Conference.
Storm surge floods the parking lot to McElroy’s Harbor House restaurant in Mississippi on August 26 as Hurricane Ida approached. Hannah Ruhoff
Photo credit: SunHerald.com
Emerson Davis, and Hilary Gallito
March 17, 2022

This Thursday marks Saint Patrick’s Day, commemorating the life of Saint Patrick, patron saint of Ireland! We decided to tell some of the fun stories about potatoes, shamrocks, or anything Ireland, that our  fellow Farmlinkers had shared. 

Our first story comes from Owen Dubeck, the Creative Pillar Lead, who reminisced on The Farmlink Project’s third ever delivery.  According to Owen, The Farmlink Project in April of 2020 was “just a text channel of friends trying to figure out what the food space was, and how we could make an impact and send food to our local food banks.” So when the Farmlinkers were able to track down a potato deal with Doug Hess’ Fall River Farms in  Ashton, Idaho, Owen rose to the occasion and offered to help the delivery run smoothly. 

Owen said he was not sure if he should go at first–it was a fifteen and half hour drive from his hometown of Los Angeles–but he settled with the mentality of, “let’s send this.” He drove to Idaho, where he tried to load potatoes. Owen said, “They actually weren’t loaded in correctly. They got to Los Angeles and the pallets were in backwards and an entire pallet of potatoes exploded.” Although they lost a pallet, the delivery of nearly 40,000 pounds of potatoes was successful.  On his trip back to Los Angeles, Owen received word that ABC World News Tonight was going to broadcast The Farmlink Project’s Story, and they needed media from the trip to the potato farm.

In the middle of rural Utah, Owen pulled off of a highway runoff and into a Dairy Queen where he plugged his laptop charger into an outlet and ducked under a service window to avoid notice of any employees. He hurriedly sent photos of the trip to team members on The Farmlink Project, who in turn,  sent the photos to ABC World News. A few short hours later, Owen was on TV in front of all of America, raising money for and kickstarting what would become The Farmlink Project today.  While the potato deal did not go exactly as planned, Farmlink members were spreading the word about a cause that today has led to the delivery of more than 60,000,000 pounds of produce to families in need. 

Our next two stories came from our Hunger and Outreach Team co-leads. First up: Clayton Elbel. 

To preface: usually, potatoes, nutrient-heavy as they are, are very much in-demand and are constantly being donated to food banks. Out West (like in the Great Plains and Rockies), there is less access to produce to begin with, unlike in the Northeast where there is a readily available supply of basic staple produce. This means, for example, a potato deal in a state like Montana might be in much higher demand than one in Pennsylvania. Once stocked with potatoes, food banks in the Northeast may seek out rarer and more expensive items (like salad kits, fruits, or non-traditional vegetables).

“When [The] Farmlink [Project] is getting surplus and trying to coordinate moving it to food banks that are (a) close to the distribution side and (b) serve small, more rural communities, it's often hard to move them because (a) they already have surplus–like the farms have already offered it to local food banks–and (b) potatoes are something that food banks constantly order because they know it's so nutrient dense,” Clayton said.

He told us the story of a hectic potato deal from back in October 2021, where Farmlinkers moved 15 pallets (approximately 400,000 lbs) of red/purple and Russet potatoes from Van Buren, Maine (a town near the Canadian border) to Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, and DC.

Most potatoes are harvested during the months of September and October, so during the time of the deal, many food banks were already stocked on potatoes. Clayton and Jay LaJoie  from LaJoie growers had to work especially hard during this time to find homes for the surplus potatoes: “It [the work] was very painstaking. It took us two and a half weeks to move this–for comparison, it takes only about a week to move most mega deals.” Clayton recalled.

“It was a mess. We could not find placement for two weeks. So we get to Philadelphia with a load, right. And I get a phone call from the Food Bank saying, ‘Oh, we actually can't take it, we're at capacity’ and I'm [just thinking], ‘Oh, that's awesome because we already paid $1,500 for the truck. But then we found another place in 15 minutes!’ It was sort of fun, like, it was a fun 15 minutes for my blood pressure.”

Fortunately, the potatoes in Philadelphia were able to find a home soon after, “on the deal flow side, it was like very chaotic energy. You know, which embodies St. Patty's Day,” Clayton said. Despite the chaos, ultimately all was well, and all 15 pallets of potatoes made their way to food banks in four different locales.

Finally: Honor Zetzer.

Honor fondly remembered  singing with her fellow teammates at their meetings this past summer. Honor said she and her team “tried to find produce related music to play, and we found this song singing about potatoes. “ It became their anthem

Honor had decided to make the Hunger and Outreach Team Meeting potato themed, involving potato zoom backgrounds and decor.  While the team shared their favorite ways to eat potatoes, they decided to play a song to commemorate the moment and found the Potato Song on Spotify (the first song that came up when they searched “potato”). 

Lindsay Carline, Hunger and Outreach Team Member, who was on that call, said that “everyone was so shocked when the lyric started, and we all just started laughing.”

Thanks for checking out our potato stories! We wish everyone a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Don’t forget to celebrate potatoes, by eating them, or singing about them!

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Inside Farmlink

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Fun and Memorable Potato Stories from our Farmlinkers

March 17, 2022

This Thursday marks Saint Patrick’s Day, commemorating the life of Saint Patrick, patron saint of Ireland! We decided to tell some of the fun stories about potatoes, shamrocks, or anything Ireland, that our  fellow Farmlinkers had shared. 

Our first story comes from Owen Dubeck, the Creative Pillar Lead, who reminisced on The Farmlink Project’s third ever delivery.  According to Owen, The Farmlink Project in April of 2020 was “just a text channel of friends trying to figure out what the food space was, and how we could make an impact and send food to our local food banks.” So when the Farmlinkers were able to track down a potato deal with Doug Hess’ Fall River Farms in  Ashton, Idaho, Owen rose to the occasion and offered to help the delivery run smoothly. 

Owen said he was not sure if he should go at first–it was a fifteen and half hour drive from his hometown of Los Angeles–but he settled with the mentality of, “let’s send this.” He drove to Idaho, where he tried to load potatoes. Owen said, “They actually weren’t loaded in correctly. They got to Los Angeles and the pallets were in backwards and an entire pallet of potatoes exploded.” Although they lost a pallet, the delivery of nearly 40,000 pounds of potatoes was successful.  On his trip back to Los Angeles, Owen received word that ABC World News Tonight was going to broadcast The Farmlink Project’s Story, and they needed media from the trip to the potato farm.

In the middle of rural Utah, Owen pulled off of a highway runoff and into a Dairy Queen where he plugged his laptop charger into an outlet and ducked under a service window to avoid notice of any employees. He hurriedly sent photos of the trip to team members on The Farmlink Project, who in turn,  sent the photos to ABC World News. A few short hours later, Owen was on TV in front of all of America, raising money for and kickstarting what would become The Farmlink Project today.  While the potato deal did not go exactly as planned, Farmlink members were spreading the word about a cause that today has led to the delivery of more than 60,000,000 pounds of produce to families in need. 

Our next two stories came from our Hunger and Outreach Team co-leads. First up: Clayton Elbel. 

To preface: usually, potatoes, nutrient-heavy as they are, are very much in-demand and are constantly being donated to food banks. Out West (like in the Great Plains and Rockies), there is less access to produce to begin with, unlike in the Northeast where there is a readily available supply of basic staple produce. This means, for example, a potato deal in a state like Montana might be in much higher demand than one in Pennsylvania. Once stocked with potatoes, food banks in the Northeast may seek out rarer and more expensive items (like salad kits, fruits, or non-traditional vegetables).

“When [The] Farmlink [Project] is getting surplus and trying to coordinate moving it to food banks that are (a) close to the distribution side and (b) serve small, more rural communities, it's often hard to move them because (a) they already have surplus–like the farms have already offered it to local food banks–and (b) potatoes are something that food banks constantly order because they know it's so nutrient dense,” Clayton said.

He told us the story of a hectic potato deal from back in October 2021, where Farmlinkers moved 15 pallets (approximately 400,000 lbs) of red/purple and Russet potatoes from Van Buren, Maine (a town near the Canadian border) to Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, and DC.

Most potatoes are harvested during the months of September and October, so during the time of the deal, many food banks were already stocked on potatoes. Clayton and Jay LaJoie  from LaJoie growers had to work especially hard during this time to find homes for the surplus potatoes: “It [the work] was very painstaking. It took us two and a half weeks to move this–for comparison, it takes only about a week to move most mega deals.” Clayton recalled.

“It was a mess. We could not find placement for two weeks. So we get to Philadelphia with a load, right. And I get a phone call from the Food Bank saying, ‘Oh, we actually can't take it, we're at capacity’ and I'm [just thinking], ‘Oh, that's awesome because we already paid $1,500 for the truck. But then we found another place in 15 minutes!’ It was sort of fun, like, it was a fun 15 minutes for my blood pressure.”

Fortunately, the potatoes in Philadelphia were able to find a home soon after, “on the deal flow side, it was like very chaotic energy. You know, which embodies St. Patty's Day,” Clayton said. Despite the chaos, ultimately all was well, and all 15 pallets of potatoes made their way to food banks in four different locales.

Finally: Honor Zetzer.

Honor fondly remembered  singing with her fellow teammates at their meetings this past summer. Honor said she and her team “tried to find produce related music to play, and we found this song singing about potatoes. “ It became their anthem

Honor had decided to make the Hunger and Outreach Team Meeting potato themed, involving potato zoom backgrounds and decor.  While the team shared their favorite ways to eat potatoes, they decided to play a song to commemorate the moment and found the Potato Song on Spotify (the first song that came up when they searched “potato”). 

Lindsay Carline, Hunger and Outreach Team Member, who was on that call, said that “everyone was so shocked when the lyric started, and we all just started laughing.”

Thanks for checking out our potato stories! We wish everyone a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Don’t forget to celebrate potatoes, by eating them, or singing about them!

Inside Farmlink

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Fun and Memorable Potato Stories from our Farmlinkers

March 17, 2022

This Thursday marks Saint Patrick’s Day, commemorating the life of Saint Patrick, patron saint of Ireland! We decided to tell some of the fun stories about potatoes, shamrocks, or anything Ireland, that our  fellow Farmlinkers had shared. 

Our first story comes from Owen Dubeck, the Creative Pillar Lead, who reminisced on The Farmlink Project’s third ever delivery.  According to Owen, The Farmlink Project in April of 2020 was “just a text channel of friends trying to figure out what the food space was, and how we could make an impact and send food to our local food banks.” So when the Farmlinkers were able to track down a potato deal with Doug Hess’ Fall River Farms in  Ashton, Idaho, Owen rose to the occasion and offered to help the delivery run smoothly. 

Owen said he was not sure if he should go at first–it was a fifteen and half hour drive from his hometown of Los Angeles–but he settled with the mentality of, “let’s send this.” He drove to Idaho, where he tried to load potatoes. Owen said, “They actually weren’t loaded in correctly. They got to Los Angeles and the pallets were in backwards and an entire pallet of potatoes exploded.” Although they lost a pallet, the delivery of nearly 40,000 pounds of potatoes was successful.  On his trip back to Los Angeles, Owen received word that ABC World News Tonight was going to broadcast The Farmlink Project’s Story, and they needed media from the trip to the potato farm.

In the middle of rural Utah, Owen pulled off of a highway runoff and into a Dairy Queen where he plugged his laptop charger into an outlet and ducked under a service window to avoid notice of any employees. He hurriedly sent photos of the trip to team members on The Farmlink Project, who in turn,  sent the photos to ABC World News. A few short hours later, Owen was on TV in front of all of America, raising money for and kickstarting what would become The Farmlink Project today.  While the potato deal did not go exactly as planned, Farmlink members were spreading the word about a cause that today has led to the delivery of more than 60,000,000 pounds of produce to families in need. 

Our next two stories came from our Hunger and Outreach Team co-leads. First up: Clayton Elbel. 

To preface: usually, potatoes, nutrient-heavy as they are, are very much in-demand and are constantly being donated to food banks. Out West (like in the Great Plains and Rockies), there is less access to produce to begin with, unlike in the Northeast where there is a readily available supply of basic staple produce. This means, for example, a potato deal in a state like Montana might be in much higher demand than one in Pennsylvania. Once stocked with potatoes, food banks in the Northeast may seek out rarer and more expensive items (like salad kits, fruits, or non-traditional vegetables).

“When [The] Farmlink [Project] is getting surplus and trying to coordinate moving it to food banks that are (a) close to the distribution side and (b) serve small, more rural communities, it's often hard to move them because (a) they already have surplus–like the farms have already offered it to local food banks–and (b) potatoes are something that food banks constantly order because they know it's so nutrient dense,” Clayton said.

He told us the story of a hectic potato deal from back in October 2021, where Farmlinkers moved 15 pallets (approximately 400,000 lbs) of red/purple and Russet potatoes from Van Buren, Maine (a town near the Canadian border) to Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, and DC.

Most potatoes are harvested during the months of September and October, so during the time of the deal, many food banks were already stocked on potatoes. Clayton and Jay LaJoie  from LaJoie growers had to work especially hard during this time to find homes for the surplus potatoes: “It [the work] was very painstaking. It took us two and a half weeks to move this–for comparison, it takes only about a week to move most mega deals.” Clayton recalled.

“It was a mess. We could not find placement for two weeks. So we get to Philadelphia with a load, right. And I get a phone call from the Food Bank saying, ‘Oh, we actually can't take it, we're at capacity’ and I'm [just thinking], ‘Oh, that's awesome because we already paid $1,500 for the truck. But then we found another place in 15 minutes!’ It was sort of fun, like, it was a fun 15 minutes for my blood pressure.”

Fortunately, the potatoes in Philadelphia were able to find a home soon after, “on the deal flow side, it was like very chaotic energy. You know, which embodies St. Patty's Day,” Clayton said. Despite the chaos, ultimately all was well, and all 15 pallets of potatoes made their way to food banks in four different locales.

Finally: Honor Zetzer.

Honor fondly remembered  singing with her fellow teammates at their meetings this past summer. Honor said she and her team “tried to find produce related music to play, and we found this song singing about potatoes. “ It became their anthem

Honor had decided to make the Hunger and Outreach Team Meeting potato themed, involving potato zoom backgrounds and decor.  While the team shared their favorite ways to eat potatoes, they decided to play a song to commemorate the moment and found the Potato Song on Spotify (the first song that came up when they searched “potato”). 

Lindsay Carline, Hunger and Outreach Team Member, who was on that call, said that “everyone was so shocked when the lyric started, and we all just started laughing.”

Thanks for checking out our potato stories! We wish everyone a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Don’t forget to celebrate potatoes, by eating them, or singing about them!

Inside Farmlink
No items found.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Fun and Memorable Potato Stories from our Farmlinkers

March 17, 2022

This Thursday marks Saint Patrick’s Day, commemorating the life of Saint Patrick, patron saint of Ireland! We decided to tell some of the fun stories about potatoes, shamrocks, or anything Ireland, that our  fellow Farmlinkers had shared. 

Our first story comes from Owen Dubeck, the Creative Pillar Lead, who reminisced on The Farmlink Project’s third ever delivery.  According to Owen, The Farmlink Project in April of 2020 was “just a text channel of friends trying to figure out what the food space was, and how we could make an impact and send food to our local food banks.” So when the Farmlinkers were able to track down a potato deal with Doug Hess’ Fall River Farms in  Ashton, Idaho, Owen rose to the occasion and offered to help the delivery run smoothly. 

Owen said he was not sure if he should go at first–it was a fifteen and half hour drive from his hometown of Los Angeles–but he settled with the mentality of, “let’s send this.” He drove to Idaho, where he tried to load potatoes. Owen said, “They actually weren’t loaded in correctly. They got to Los Angeles and the pallets were in backwards and an entire pallet of potatoes exploded.” Although they lost a pallet, the delivery of nearly 40,000 pounds of potatoes was successful.  On his trip back to Los Angeles, Owen received word that ABC World News Tonight was going to broadcast The Farmlink Project’s Story, and they needed media from the trip to the potato farm.

In the middle of rural Utah, Owen pulled off of a highway runoff and into a Dairy Queen where he plugged his laptop charger into an outlet and ducked under a service window to avoid notice of any employees. He hurriedly sent photos of the trip to team members on The Farmlink Project, who in turn,  sent the photos to ABC World News. A few short hours later, Owen was on TV in front of all of America, raising money for and kickstarting what would become The Farmlink Project today.  While the potato deal did not go exactly as planned, Farmlink members were spreading the word about a cause that today has led to the delivery of more than 60,000,000 pounds of produce to families in need. 

Our next two stories came from our Hunger and Outreach Team co-leads. First up: Clayton Elbel. 

To preface: usually, potatoes, nutrient-heavy as they are, are very much in-demand and are constantly being donated to food banks. Out West (like in the Great Plains and Rockies), there is less access to produce to begin with, unlike in the Northeast where there is a readily available supply of basic staple produce. This means, for example, a potato deal in a state like Montana might be in much higher demand than one in Pennsylvania. Once stocked with potatoes, food banks in the Northeast may seek out rarer and more expensive items (like salad kits, fruits, or non-traditional vegetables).

“When [The] Farmlink [Project] is getting surplus and trying to coordinate moving it to food banks that are (a) close to the distribution side and (b) serve small, more rural communities, it's often hard to move them because (a) they already have surplus–like the farms have already offered it to local food banks–and (b) potatoes are something that food banks constantly order because they know it's so nutrient dense,” Clayton said.

He told us the story of a hectic potato deal from back in October 2021, where Farmlinkers moved 15 pallets (approximately 400,000 lbs) of red/purple and Russet potatoes from Van Buren, Maine (a town near the Canadian border) to Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, and DC.

Most potatoes are harvested during the months of September and October, so during the time of the deal, many food banks were already stocked on potatoes. Clayton and Jay LaJoie  from LaJoie growers had to work especially hard during this time to find homes for the surplus potatoes: “It [the work] was very painstaking. It took us two and a half weeks to move this–for comparison, it takes only about a week to move most mega deals.” Clayton recalled.

“It was a mess. We could not find placement for two weeks. So we get to Philadelphia with a load, right. And I get a phone call from the Food Bank saying, ‘Oh, we actually can't take it, we're at capacity’ and I'm [just thinking], ‘Oh, that's awesome because we already paid $1,500 for the truck. But then we found another place in 15 minutes!’ It was sort of fun, like, it was a fun 15 minutes for my blood pressure.”

Fortunately, the potatoes in Philadelphia were able to find a home soon after, “on the deal flow side, it was like very chaotic energy. You know, which embodies St. Patty's Day,” Clayton said. Despite the chaos, ultimately all was well, and all 15 pallets of potatoes made their way to food banks in four different locales.

Finally: Honor Zetzer.

Honor fondly remembered  singing with her fellow teammates at their meetings this past summer. Honor said she and her team “tried to find produce related music to play, and we found this song singing about potatoes. “ It became their anthem

Honor had decided to make the Hunger and Outreach Team Meeting potato themed, involving potato zoom backgrounds and decor.  While the team shared their favorite ways to eat potatoes, they decided to play a song to commemorate the moment and found the Potato Song on Spotify (the first song that came up when they searched “potato”). 

Lindsay Carline, Hunger and Outreach Team Member, who was on that call, said that “everyone was so shocked when the lyric started, and we all just started laughing.”

Thanks for checking out our potato stories! We wish everyone a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Don’t forget to celebrate potatoes, by eating them, or singing about them!

Inside Farmlink
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Fun and Memorable Potato Stories from our Farmlinkers

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