Breeding, Promotion/Marketing, Varieties

Canada: In praise of the Yukon Gold potato

Gary Johnston shows off Yukon Gold and Ruby Gold potatoes in his Guelph, Ont., home. Although retired from the University of Guelph where much of his work as a potato breeder was conducted, the 83-year-old continues to grow and regrow breeding stock from his successful varieties in a greenhouse behind his house. (Judy Creighton/CP)Fifty years ago the Yukon Gold potato was invented. One man is on a mission to make sure the world knows it and celebrates this Canadian success story. On Barack Obama’s table at holiday feasts; on Justin Trudeau’s plate at his White House state dinner; and on the Oscar gala hors-d’oeuvres trays, was a small yellow potato called the Yukon Gold. Alexander York von Sivers, a 59-year-old man in Toronto, is on a mission to make sure everybody knows it. “It’s a story that had to be told,” he says. York has been working for three years to publicize the 50th anniversary of the invention of this potato, which was bred by researchers at the University of Guelph in 1966. “I’m going after every food editor in the United States,” he says. “If I had my way, I’d have a huge Yukon Gold event in Times Square.” More

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