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US: Foreign markets want American produce, says Oregon potato producer

GAZETTE PHOTO: RAY PITZ - U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., holds up a potato she picked up from the 500 acres of potatoes planted just off of Scholls-Sherwood Road on June 8 as Jeff Urbach, co-owner and president of Amstad Produce, looks on. Bonamici was in the area asking Urbach and other business owners what expanded markets would mean for them.U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., got a crash course in potato growing and production Monday morning with a visit to Amstad Produce in Sherwood, Oregon in an effort to see how the business would benefit with more overseas markets. During her Sherwood visit, Bonamici talked to Amstad Produce’s Jeff Urbach, co-owner and president, and Jim Cramer, director of sales and marketing, “to find out what expanded markets mean to them.” What she discovered was that the American market for tubers is down. What that means is finding new foreign markets for the farm’s product. In fact, Urbach was fresh off the plane from a trade mission to the Dominican Republic and Panama, saying that many foreign markets want produce from the United States. “They want American,” said Urbach. “It means food quality. It means safety.” More