November/December 2012
National Potato Council By Jim Tiede and Todd Michael

Whether you have attended POTATO EXPO each of the past four years or you are considering joining us for the first time, this year’s conference and tradeshow has something new for every member of the U.S. and international potato value chain.

From January 9-11, more than 1,500 industry leaders are expected to attend the conference and tradeshow at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. Attendees can expect to learn about the top challenges and solutions facing the potato industry, network with key decision makers throughout the value chain, and hear from nationally recognized speakers on ways to improve their businesses.

Business-Focused Speakers

By popular demand, this year’s general session speakers will explore ways to thrive in business with insights and inspiration that attendees can take home to their own operations.

The 2013 Keynote Speaker is David Novak, chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands, Inc., the parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Not only does Novak run the operations of this Fortune 500 company, he personally trains the company’s management and franchisees in leadership development. During his address, Novak will emphasize the value of teamwork and a belief in people that rewards and recognizes customer-focused behavior with his trademarked Taking People With You” program.

Other general session speakers include: Ken Schmidt, the former brand visionary and communications strategist for the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, who will teach attendees to create a business culture that helps them stand out in a crowded marketplace; Phil Lempert, The Supermarket Guru, who returns to Potato Expo to lead a lively consumer discussion digging into what purchasers really want from the potato industry; and Dan Manternach, Ag Services Director of Doane Advisory Services, who will look into his crystal ball to forecast 2013 ag pricing and provide risk management counsel.

Expanded Networking Opportunities

Year after year, attendees rank “networking” as the number one reason why they return to Potato Expo. And borrowing a term from this year’s host city, Las Vegas, Potato Expo 2013 is “doubling down” by featuring more opportunities than ever before to meet with peers, friends and potential business partners.

On Thursday, January 10, from 5:30-7:00 PM, three targeted networking receptions will bring together specific members of the industry. Choose from a group that includes your peers: Women in the Potato Industry; Young Leaders (for attendees ages 35 and under); or Potato Industry Leadership Institute Alumni sponsored by Syngenta.Potato Expo 2013 will continue to include two of our most popular events: the Kick-Off Reception and the Thursday night special event. This year’s Kick-Off Reception, Wednesday, January 10 from 5:30-7:00 PM, is co-sponsored by the United Potato Growers of America and John Deere. The Thursday night special event is called Potato Royale and sponsored by Bayer CropScience. That night, attendees will be invited to channel their inner James Bond for an evening of 007 games, refreshments, and entertainment for the whole family.

Record-Breaking Tradeshow

Potato Expo’s Tradeshow will showcase more than 130 companies demonstrating the latest and greatest technology, innovations and equipment for the potato industry. This year’s record-breaking 40,000-plus square feet of Tradeshow space will also make room for the new Expo Stage, sponsored by BASF.

For the first time, Potato Expo 2013 will feature interactive and education panel discussions of industry experts, growers and consumers – right on the tradeshow floor. The Expo Stage will include a number of short panels, including: the input decisions and challenges of farm managers; consumer perspectives in purchasing fresh potatoes, chips and fries; moving sustainability catchphrases to common practices; and the outlook for potato products in restaurants and Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs).

Sector-Specific Breakout Sessions

Finally, attendees will be offered a one-stop-shop to get the most current information on a wide variety of industry issues and trends though the breakout sessions. Potato Expo 2013’s four specific market tracks – chip, process, seed, and fresh production – will allow attendees to choose from more than 20 sessions so they target topics that are most applicable to their businesses.

Whatever the primary reason for making the trip to Las Vegas, every attendee will leave Potato Expo 2013 with new ideas, connections and great memories. Visit, for a full schedule of speakers, sessions and events, and make your travel plans today. Potato Expo 2013 is one event you can’t afford to miss!

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


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