WASHINGTON, D.C. — Potato farmers who attend National Potato Council’s upcoming Potato Expo 2018 in Orlando, Fla., will also be helping to feed children in need.
Potato Expo is scheduled for Jan. 10-12 at Rosen Shingle Creek, and will be followed by the NPC’s annual meeting Jan. 12-13.
NPC will solicit donations from guests at the event, aiming to fund at least 2,000 Hi-Five Kids Packs, which are provided by Second Harvest of Central Florida to keep children who qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches fed during weekends and breaks. The packs contain cereal, milk, juice, fruit cups and shelf-stable potato products.
Potato Expo co-chairman Jim Tiede, a farmer from American Falls, Idaho, said the Eastern Idaho dehydrated potato manufacturers Idahoan Foods and Basic American Foods have donated potato products for the packs.
“They get those kids eating those potato products at an early age, and they’ll be buyers for the rest of their lives,” Tiede said, adding that the primary reason for the donations is to support a good cause and “feed some hungry kids.”
The headline speaker during Potato Expo will be Jim Knight, described as an author, a “business culture catalyst” and a former Hard Rock International executive. His talk will be titled “Culture that Rocks: How to Amp up or Revolutionize a Company’s Culture.”
The event’s keynote speaker will be Merril Hoge, a former NFL star and ESPN analyst and a cancer survivor. Hoge played college football at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho. His talk will be called “Finding a Way: Succeeding in the Face of Adversity.”
In addition to the talks, Tiede said the event will include exhibits featuring “state-of-the-art chemicals and equipment.” The expo will also include the Third Annual Spud Nation Throwdown, a cooking competition hosted by supermarket expert Phil Lempert.
“The most important part is the networking you get to do with the other growers from other areas,” Tiede said.
For more information, or to register, visit potato-expo.com.