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Idaho potato harvest tour unearths prized vegetable

For three days, foodservice distributors and operators, retailers and social media influencers from across the county rolled up their sleeves and experienced Idaho during its busiest season — the Idaho potato harvest.

In about eight short weeks, approximately one-third of all potatoes grown in the United States are harvested, sorted and stored. This massive quantity of potatoes, about 13 billion pounds, will feed millions of people in America and around the world.

This year marks the 10th annual harvest tour. “People know Idaho potatoes are different from potatoes grown in other states and the best way to show it is through an Idaho immersion experience,” said Jamie Bowen, director of marketing for the Idaho Potato Commission. “The state’s warm days, cool nights, mineral rich volcanic soil, and fresh mountain water all contribute to the creation of America’s favorite vegetable, the Idaho potato — and that’s what we want our guests to see first-hand.”

In addition to educating the influential group, the three-day schedule provided many opportunities to network and deepen relationships.

Highlights of the tailored tour included:

  • Time on the farm digging spuds and talking to farmers about the crop, including all the TLC needed to grow the famous quality Idaho potatoes
  • Visit to a potato shed where the harvested potatoes are stored until needed. The mammoth metal buildings use state-of-the-art climate control technology to keep potatoes fresh for up to a year
  • Tour of a shipping facility where each potato is sorted by size and quality, then packaged and shipped to the customer
  • Idaho potatoes at every meal

"The purpose of the trip is to inspire foodservice operators to add more Idaho potato recipes to their menu, educate distributors and retailers about the benefits of carrying more Idaho potato sku’s, and provide social media influencers with content to create inspiring and educational posts,” said Bowen.

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