In addition to its annual Hall of Fame inductions, the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) presented several other annual industry awards at a banquet held February 5, 2020, in Stevens Point.
The WPVGA Researcher of the Year Award went to Dr. Paul Bethke,an associate professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Horticulture. Dr. Bethke attended UW-Madison where he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. In 2006, Dr. Bethke joined the potato team in Madison as a researcher with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. His research is focused on how genetics and the environment influence potato tuber quality, especially as it relates to quality out of storage. His group is currently working on projects related to diploid potatoes, the appearance of red skinned potatoes, the formation and consequences of lenticels, aerial imaging, stem-end chip defect and potato virus Y.>p>