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Potato Expo 2020 Breaks Attendee and Exhibitor Records

Potato Expo 2020 Breaks Attendee and Exhibitor Records

Potato Expo 2020 Breaks Attendee and Exhibitor Records

February 13, 2020
More than 2,000 U.S. potato growers and industry members from a dozen countries turned out for Potato Expo 2020 at The Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., to do business and prepare their operations for the future.

Now in its 12th year, the annual Potato Expo has become the largest meeting of its kind in North America. The Potato Expo 2020 broke previous records with 2,019 attendees and 189 exhibitors covering more than 90,000 square feet in the Expo Hall.

Check out the highlights...

Chef Rock Claims Title of 2020 Top Spud

The fifth annual Spud Nation Throwdown cook-off, hosted by award-winning chef and best-selling author Chef Jeff Henderson, brought together an exciting fusion of tastes and flavors as a diverse group of chefs incorporated potatoes into their dishes.

The Throwdown included Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill Las Vegas’ Chef Daniel Stramm, Chef Robert 'Stew' Stewart from the OWN Network’s 'Raising Whitley' and Food Network's 'Guy’s Grocery Games' and 'Cutthroat Kitchen,' and winner of Season 3 of 'Hell's Kitchen' on FOX, Chef Rock Harper.

The Throwdown was won by Chef Harper with his dish featuring Patatas Bravas.

Headline Speakers Focus on Technology, Trends and the Future

Maintaining its reputation as a place to help better position the industry for the future, the Potato Expo 2020 addressed many pressing issues from evolving consumer trends to disruptions in agribusiness.

Technology and digital expert Erik Qualman discussed the habits that effective leaders use to thrive in today’s digital era.

Mike Lee, co-founder and co-CEO of Alpha Food Labs and founder of The Future Market, shared his perspective on consumer behaviors that are shaping the future of food.

David Parker, executive vice president of FLM Harvest, described current agribusiness trends and disruptors, and their implications on the future.

The Potato Leadership, Education, and Advancement Foundation (Potato LEAF) launched at Potato Expo 2020

Potato LEAF was created to provide tools, training, and support necessary to develop growers and industry members as leaders.

Shelley Olsen of LJ Olsen, Inc. in Othello, Wash., and Potato LEAF chair:

“Like most family farms, developing the next generation of leaders is part of our DNA. But as family farms become more complex, the demands upon our leaders become more intense.”

“I’m pleased to see the industry come together to launch the Potato LEAF organization dedicated to growing leaders who will thrive in the competitive global marketplace of the future.”
The podcast, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts, provides a platform for growers throughout the country and policy makers in Washington to learn about industry policy priorities and hear from growers and experts on the latest issues affecting the industry.

Potato Research Poster Session

This year's Potato Research Poster Session showcased 14 posters on research being conducted on potato production, diseases and soil health.

The poster session is coordinated by the Potato Association of America.

The Potato Talks on the Expo Stage

The Potato Talks on the Expo Stage were the center of activity featuring engaging discussions and entertainment all centered around potatoes and potato production.
What are people saying?

Duane Grant, Grant 4-D Farms, Rupert, Idaho:

“The Potato Expo provides us the opportunity to expose our next generation of farm leaders to the entire industry. They pick up new ideas and make new connections, helping to broaden their understanding of the opportunities available in the potato business.”
Larry Alsum Alsum Farms, Inc Friesland, Wisconsin:

“The Potato Expo is a great event to network with growers, suppliers and others in the potato industry. Very organized and efficient way to get a lot of work done.”
David Parish, AIS, Cheyenne, Wyoming:

“Always one of the most productive weeks of the year. Best single meeting spot for the potato industry in North America. Highest value of travel dollars spent every single year.”
Jed Ellithorpe Aspen Produce, Center, Colorado:

“It’s the what’s happening now social event of the year for the potato industry.”
Phil Hickman, Dublin Farms, Inc., Horntown, Virginia:

“There is no other chance for potato growers from all over the USA to meet, talk and exchange ideas. We should all try to be a part of this every year.”
Jason Davenport Allied Potato Bakersfield, California:

“The Potato Expo 2020 in Las Vegas was a great success for the potato industry participants to come together to learn more ways to satisfy changing customer demands for potatoes in a growing and evolving market.”
RJ Andrus Idahoan Foods, Idaho Falls, Idaho:

“The Potato Expo has become the premier place to gather, network and socialize with colleagues across the globe. If you have not attended, I would encourage you to do so!.”
Jennifer England, Macro Plastics, Union Gap, Washington:

“Fantastic, one stop place, to meet up with current and new customers in a relaxing atmosphere. Very educational too!!.”

Potato Expo 2021

Companies in this Article
The National Potato Council is looking after the interest of the potato growers in the United States. The NPC website provides information on potato history, potato cultivation, potato statistics and US state potato organisations
The Potato Leadership, Education, and Advancement Foundation (LEAF) is a 501(c)3 (US non-profit) organization, created to provide tools, training, and support necessary to develop growers and industry members as leaders.