Potato Bytes

News from Northland Potato Growers Association
Serving the potato industry in North Dakota and Northwest Minnesota.
R J Andrus Elected National Potato Council President

T J Hall Installed on Executive Committee

The National Potato Council (NPC) installed its 2023 roster of Executive Committee members this week at the organization’s annual Washington Summit. During the Annual Meeting of the Voting Delegates, RJ Andrus of Idaho Falls, Idaho, was elected to serve as the Council’s President for the next 12 months and T J Hall from Hoople, North Dakota was installed on the Executive Committee as Vice President of Grower Outreach and Industry Research.

Andrus is a third-generation farmer and an owner of TBR Farms located in Hamer, Idaho. He has served on the Executive Committee since 2019, in roles including Vice President of Grower Outreach and Industry Research, and, most recently, as Vice President of Legislative Affairs. A 2006 graduate of the Potato Industry Leadership Institute, now run by the Potato Leadership, Education, and Advancement Foundation (Potato LEAF), Andrus serves as Vice-Chairman of the Potato LEAF Board.
The full Executive Committee, L to R: Ben Sklarczyk, Johannesburg, Michigan - Vice President, Finance; Ted Tschirky, Pasco, Washington - Vice President, Trade Affairs; Jared Balcom of Pasco, Washington - Immediate Past President; RJ Andrus, Idaho Falls, Idaho – President; Dean Gibson, Paul, Idaho – Vice President, Legislative Affairs; Bob Mattive, Monte Vista, Colorado – First Vice President and Vice President, Environmental Affairs and T J Hall, Hoople, North Dakota – Vice President, Grower Outreach and Industry Research. photo courtesy NPC
Northland Potatoes Sends Nick Desautel and Cole Vculek to Leadership Training

The Potato Industry Leadership Institute (PILI) is a 10-day program that provides an overview of the U.S. potato industry, the challenges and issues beyond the production sector, and the roles of the industry’s state and national organizations in maintaining a positive business climate for potato growers.

Northland Potato Growers Association sponsored delegates for 2023 were Nick Desautel from Grafton, North Dakota and Cole Vculek from Oakes, North Dakota.  

The 2023 program began in Buffalo, New York, traveled through Pennsylvania, and concluded in Washington, D.C., where the class participated in NPC’s Washington Summit.
Nick Desautel cooking with Potatoes USA’s Chef RJ Harvey.
Cole Vculek (left) showing off his cooking skills.
NPC Releases Report Detailing the Economic Impact of Potatoes on U.S. Economy

This analysis marks the first time any organization has measured and reported on the national economic impact of America’s favorite vegetable. Given its prominence in our diet and wellbeing, potatoes provide a significant contribution to America’s economic activity, including direct activity (growth, processing, wholesaling, and retail) and job creation—making potatoes an essential component of our prosperity as a nation built and sustained by potato growers who indirectly put people to work in every city and town across our great country.

The U.S. potato sector is vital to America’s economic lifeblood, generating an estimated $100.9 billion in economic activity in 2021 alone. Our sector is responsible for supporting an estimated 714,000 domestic jobs and providing wages of $34.1 billion annually to those employed along our supply chain. An impressive 0.4% of the entire U.S. workforce relies on our industry for their livelihoods, contributing $53 billion towards annual GDP growth.

Minnesota Dept. of Ag Seeking Strategic Plan Input

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is looking for public input as the agency develops a strategic plan for 2023-2027. Building on feedback gathered in the fall of 2022 for legislative session ideas, the MDA is again looking for input as the department reviews and shapes goals and priorities for the next four years.

The MDA seeks to engage with communities throughout Minnesota to hear ideas that reflect the diversity of the state. Input is welcome from all, especially emerging and beginning farmers who may have had little to no interaction with state government.

Citizens are encouraged to share their ideas online or by attending one of two virtual input sessions. The online form is open until 5 p.m., Friday, March 10, 2023.

The input sessions will be held:

Please send requests for interpretation through the registration link three business days ahead of the session to ensure accommodation. Recordings of these sessions will be available for 30 days after they occur.

Note that all submissions and ideas will be reviewed and considered; however, not every item can be included in the final strategic plan.
Potato Bytes TV & Movie Trivia
Last Week's Photo

Last week's trivia photo was from the CBS sitcom Hogan's Hero's that aired for six seasons, from 1965 to 1971.

It was answered correctly by Todd Forbush, Mark Thompson, Butch Kraska, Andy Robinson, Karen Radke, Chris Holmes, Camburn Shephard, Nick Sinner, Victoria Stamper, Paul Dolan, Mike Sitzmann, Darcy Blazek, Brian Hapka, John Lundeen, Dean Steel, Patrick Beauzay, Keith Bjorneby, Craig Magnusson, Dorothy Viker, Vicky Boyd, Darwin Luedtke, Dan Monson and Clark Camilli.

This Week's Photo

What motion picture is this scene from? Send your answer by clicking on the red tab below.

All those answering correctly will be recognized in the next Potato Bytes
New Northland Potato Logo Clothing and Accessories Now Available on Online Store

Grower Members Receive $25 Off on Their First Order!

With the new name and logo for our growers association, comes a brand new online store where you can buy some great looking clothing and accessories.

Brand names like Carhartt, OGIO, Eddie Bauer, Nike and more are available in many styles, sizes and colors with your choice of embroidered and screen print designs.

And Northland Potato grower members can get a $25 discount on their first order, just email Jacey for the special code.

Hurry! Order your great looking sweatshirt, sweater, polo, tee shirt, sweater, cap or beanie today!

Irish Cheddar Shepherd's Pie

Ground lamb and aromatic vegetables, slow-simmered in a rich brown gravy, topped with silky smooth mashed potatoes flavored with aged Irish cheddar and chives.

Dish: Main Dish
Cuisine: Irish
Potato Type: Yellow
Prep Method: Pan Fried

Get one delicious, potato recipe delivered to you each week. You’ll always have new, tasty ideas to surprise and delight your family and friends—even on a busy weeknight. Sign up
Coming Events @ a Glance

March 7

May 28-30

July 20
  • NPGA Golf Open - Park River, ND

August 24
  • NPGA Field Day - Larimore, Forest River Colony and Hoople, ND

September 5 - 9