About 540 people attended Manitoba Potato Production Days held last week at the Keystone Centre in Brandon.

There were roughly 80 exhibitors set up this year with keynote speakers coming from as far as Idaho and Europe.

Dan Sawatzky is the manager of Keystone Potato Producers.

"The mood here for the most part is somewhat optimistic," he said. "I think the growers want to put the tough year (2018) behind them. Growers tend to be fairly optimistic and the one thing that we see is a climate of increasing demand, increasing consumption."

Sawatzky says Simplot's expansion at Portage is a bright spot for the province, along with improvements being made by McCain Foods.

He's also impressed with the amount of young people getting into the industry.

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