Washington Grown

Juice grape grower Art den Hoed and Chris Voigt, executive director of the Washington Potato Commission, chat during filming of an episode of “Washington Grown” at den Hoed’s vineyard in Sunnyside in August 2017. The commission has decided to continue producing the show.

Washington's potato growers have renewed their support for the "Washington Grown" television series, said Chris Voigt, executive director of the state potato commission.

The commission partners with other agricultural organizations to produce the TV show with North By Northwest, a production  company based in Spokane.

"All of the growers feel it's just so critically important that we tell our story to the public," Voigt said.

The show is viewed by 3 million households, Voigt said.

"It really emphasizes the connection of food and farms through every episode," he said.

The commission will ask other commodity and agricultural groups to add their support for the series.

A season is typically 13 episodes. Each episode costs roughly $25,000 to produce.

Voigt sees the series continuing beyond eight  seasons.

"There's really only like 120 potato farms in the state and eventually we're going to get to every single one of them, right?" he said. "But you know, every farm has a story to tell. Everybody has a different heritage, different production technique—there's just an endless supply of stories to be told."

Industry representatives will weigh stories of farms and restaurants in deciding subject matter for future episodes, Voigt said.

"There may be certain issues we're faced with in agriculture we want to make sure the public knows about and has a better understanding," he said.

Voigt said possible topics could be alfalfa seed production, pesticide and fertilizer use, cattle ranching on public rangeland or cattle and wolves.

"It's kind of, 'Here are some cool stories to tell,' but also, 'Here are some stories we need to tell, let's go find farms where we can do that,'" he said.

The commission has also weighed the possibilities of expanding the series into a regional "Northwest Grown" program, beyond Washington. That could still be a possibility in the future, Voigt said, but the series will focus on Washington agriculture, likely through season 10, he said.

The seventh season of the series is currently airing.

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