2024 Spudman Impact Awards – John Forsythe

John Forsythe

Innovation manager at 1,4GROUP Inc.

John Forsythe’s potato career began when he was 10 years old and working alongside his dad, who had just started crop storage company Industrial Ventilation Inc.

“My biggest qualification was being small enough to squeeze into tight places in a storage,” he said.

John Forsythe

Those early years left a lasting impression and sparked a lifelong interest.

“Growing up during the rapid expansion of potatoes, not just in Idaho but across the country, showed me the value potatoes have in our everyday life,” Forsythe said. “This was a time when everything was new and a bit unknown. Growers were not afraid to try new, innovative solutions to growing, storing, packing and marketing.”

That excitement helped lead Forsythe down a path to his current position as innovation manager for 1,4GROUP Inc., where he’s still focusing on innovating and solving problems.

“It is wonderful to talk with a potato grower, no matter where they are, and share the passion for excellence; so many ideas have come from a simple discussion in a storage,” he said. “I am so lucky to have a workshop and talented engineers to explore, design and build equipment.”

Forsythe points to his father, who he calls a “master at innovation,” as one of his biggest inspirations and influences. Working together to find an alternative to chlorpropham (CIPC) for sprout control, they helped bring 1,4-Dimethylnaphthalene (1,4-DMN), a naturally occurring compound, to U.S. growers.

75 Applewood Dr. Ste. A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345


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