It's Jan. 11 today, a pleasant, sunny Tuesday, with a balmy temperature of 7˚ F, far different from last week's desert warmth in Las Vegas. Of course most of my time was spent inside the Rio Hotel at the 2011 Potato Expo and the mood at this year's Expo, compared to last year's Expo, was about as different and polar opposites, as the temperatures of Pocatello today and Las Vegas last week.
If the general mood of those attending the expo represents the national mood, than I would have to say that everyone, from growers and equipment dealers to the ag chemical producers and the tech support services, are feeling much better in the after-glow of the 2010 season.
The industry continues to face myriad issues that won't meekly disappear, and industry leaders are taking the fight to the consumers. Frank van Schaayk, McCain Ltd. Regional CEO of the United States and South America, announced the formation of the Alliance for Potato Research and Education (APRE) at the expo. It's an alliance of the five leading processors, Lamb Weston, Heinz, Simplot, McCain and Cavendish along with the NPC and the USPB to inform the public through research and education the nutritional value of potatoes and French fries.
You can read more about van Schaayk's announcement on our online newsletter, eSpudman.