Massive sweet potato grown in Holdenville

HOLDENVILLE, Okla. – Ever seen a sweet potato as big as a Thanksgiving turkey? Well, a Holdenville man grew one.

Fred Millard Jr., renowned for his numerous contributions to the freshwater turtle industry, grew a sweet potato that weighs 25 pounds and two ounces, according to an Oklahoma Department of Agriculture news release.

Millard, 79, is a lifelong gardener, and each year his goal is to grow his sweet potatoes bigger than those from the year before. It’s a challenge he not only issues to himself, but also his loved ones.

Millard doesn’t aim to claim world sweet potato records. Besting friends and family is plenty good enough for him.

“I’ll challenge anyone to a catfish supper if they can grow a bigger sweet potato than me,” said Millard. “Otherwise, they
have to buy me one!”

However, The Great Pumpkin Commonwealth, which records record-breaking pumpkins and other vegetables, has been asked to determine if Millard’s latest sweet potato breaks Oklahoma records.

Millard doesn’t plan to place his prodigious sweet potato on his mantle. He and his wife, Caroline, plan to cut it with a saw and can it. A good portion of it will go into Caroline’s famous sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving and Christmas, which she and Fred will share with their Hughes County neighbors.

“A sweet potato this big doesn’t require much peeling and you get quadruple the ‘good stuff’,” Millard said.

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