February 2024
NPC preparing for monumental 2024 Washington Summit By Kam Quarles, CEO, National Potato Council

It seems like every election cycle, politicians tell us that this is the most important election of our lifetimes. Hyperbole aside, the 2024 General Election and the policy discussion leading up to and after Election Day will certainly have major implications for the U.S. potato industry for decades to come.

Beyond deciding who will control the White House and each chamber of Congress, this year will set the stage for policy decisions that could: change the definition of potatoes in federal feeding programs; determine how specialty crops are supported in the next five-year farm bill; and expand market opportunities to keep U.S. potatoes flowing to foreign consumers.

Kam Quarles

It is with this backdrop that the National Potato Council welcomes potato growers and industry members to Washington, D.C., to “Stand Up for Potatoes on Capitol Hill.”

Mark the dates and register to join us for the 2024 NPC Washington Summit, Feb. 26-March 1 at the Washington Marriott at Metro Center. With much on the line, this year’s Summit is a can’t-miss event for those who want to lend their voice to our policy priorities and work together to protect the future of the potato industry.

The 2023 Summit provided an opportunity to communicate our priorities directly to policymakers, both within the Administration and with key members of Congress. Of particular note, we were pleased to welcome Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who praised potato growers for their significant contribution in providing America with nutritious, delicious potatoes while supporting rural communities and the entire U.S. economy.

During Vilsack’s session, NPC thanked him for his leadership over two Administrations in helping open the full Mexican market to fresh U.S. potatoes and raised important issues such as enlisting USDA’s support to prevent the spread of potato wart from Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Attendees were also joined by members of Congress who addressed their agriculture and small business priorities. Speakers included Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.); Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.), ranking member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee; Sen. Angus King (I-Maine); and Parish Braden, Republican staff director of the House Agriculture Committee.

At the 2023 NPC Washington Summit, NPC thanked Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for his leadership in helping open the full Mexican market to fresh U.S. potatoes. Photo courtesy of NPC.

During the 2024 Washington Summit, we look forward to hearing from a variety of political and policy experts, including a returning favorite: David Wasserman, senior editor and elections analyst for The Cook Political Report with Amy Walter. We will also build off last year’s release of our Spud Nation economic impact report — which found that the potato value chain contributes more than $100 billion annually to the U.S. economy — with a report on the value of potato trade to our nation’s gross domestic product.

If you are a potato grower, or if you are involved in any way with the potato industry, this is an event you won’t want to miss! Here are just a few of the reasons why:

  • Learn about the latest industry policy priorities and political developments impacting the future of the industry.
  • Get updated on government regulations and bills moving through Congress that could impact your business.
  • Hear from political and policy experts on how to make the biggest impact when you meet with staff and members of Congress.
  • Reconnect with other potato growers and allied industry partners from across the country.

Finally, attendees will have an opportunity to meet the next generation of U.S. potato leaders being trained at the 2024 Leadership Institute, an annual program organized by the Potato Leadership, Education, and Advancement Foundation (Potato LEAF). This year’s class will participate in a 10-day program — starting in Idaho and ending in D.C. — where they will receive an overview of the local and national potato industry, learn leadership development skills and support the educational efforts of the industry.

Learn more about the program and the foundation’s efforts to support future leaders at pleaf.org.

The politics and policies of 2024 will have a lasting impact on our industry and our nation. We hope you can lend your voice at NPC’s Washington Summit as we work together to create a stronger environment for your operations to thrive! Learn more and register today at nationalpotatocouncil.org.

We hope to see you in D.C.!

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


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