Potato Expo continues to grow
More than 1,500 growers and industry leaders from across the U.S. and a dozen countries attended the National Potato Council’s fourth annual Potato Expo in Orlando, Fla. The event is the largest gathering of the potato industry in North America.
Attendees were able to participate in a variety of education sessions on myriad topics facing the potato industry. Acrylamide, PVY, zebra chip and sustainability were just a few of the issues addressed in the breakout sessions. Keynote speakers included Gordon Bethune, former CEO and chairman of Continental Airlines, and Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida.
A number of the break-out sessions, speeches and interviews were recorded and can be downloaded at Spudman.com as MP3 files.
This year’s Expo also featured 130 companies in its two-and-a-half-day trade show, showcasing cutting-edge technology along with recent innovations and the newest equipment in all sectors of the potato industry.
Vendors at the trade show were extremely happy with the record number of visitors and with the continued expansion of the Expo and trade show. Jim Miller, vice president of sales and marketing for Ag-Pak, said his company has had a booth at every trade show since the inaugural expo in San Antonio, Texas.
“We go to so many shows and it’s hard to tell the return we get, but with this it’s easy to measure,” Miller said. “We can tailor our booth to a specific industry at this show. It’s so focused that in this case we can exhibit just technology that is relevant to potato packers. I wish the other commodities would follow suit.”
Carl Zacharias, of Austin, Manitoba, and Quick-Zip Steel Buildings, has had a booth at the trade show for the past three years and said the trade show gives him time to reconnect with his customers.
“This was our first show,” said Talal Daas, of NorStar Corp., “and we made some very good contacts.” Daas said they experienced high-quality traffic during the trade show.
All three vendors, Miller, Zacharias and Daas, indicated that they would be at next year’s expo in Las Vegas. In fact Daas said that they had already put in their reservation for next year.
To view a photo gallery from Potato Expo 2012 visit Spudman.com and find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SpudmanMagazine.