Spudnik campus

Spudnik employs about 350 people in Blackfoot, Idaho, and is expanding.

An expanding Spudnik Equipment Co. plans to showcase innovations, offer seminars and detail its career opportunities at a new event Jan. 20-21.

The first Spudnik Ag Summit, at the company’s campus at 580 W. 100 N., Blackfoot, Idaho, aims to expand on an annual customer-appreciation day that drew 800 to 1,200 customers, said Andrew Blight, sales support and marketing manager. The summit will be held annually.

The company manufactures planting, harvesting, handling and transportation equipment. It focuses on potatoes and sugar beets, and also makes equipment for other commodities.

“We want to talk about issues customers are concerned about,” Blight said. Examples include more effective potato cleaning in the field and in storage, and opportunities to improve quality of the product from grower to end user.

A freeze in early October affected some of Idaho’s potato harvest.

“As we’ve continued to grow as an industry, we have had great conditions over the last few years but know we occasionally have tough conditions,” Blight said.

Part of the summit will address overall harvesting plans, and ideal planting and harvesting times, given that conditions can get tough, he said. A customer base that stretches across North America broadens Spudnik’s perspective on challenges and potential solutions.

Emma Forrey, sales support and marketing specialist, said some of Spudnik’s engineering staff will discuss cleaning and separation technologies. Franz-Bernd Kruthaup, with Spudnik parent Grimme Group of Damme, Germany, is slated to give an outlook for the industry in China, India and Europe.

Programs run from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. each day, with a career night slated at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 20 — anyone interested in internships or careers can attend, Forrey said — and a customer-appreciation dinner at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 21.

Spudnik employs about 350 people and expects to hire 50 to 75 more over the next three to four months, Blight said. The company is in the late stages of building a 160,000-square-foot addition for fabrication, welding, painting and assembly. The addition, which the company began occupying Thanksgiving week, brings the combined footprint to 360,000 square feet in four buildings.

The company recently bought STC Trailers, and over the next six months or so plans to move manufacturing from the former STC site in Blackfoot to the Spudnik campus, he said.

Event information: Forrey, 208-970-8611 or emma.forrey@spudnik.com.

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