Mar 25, 2024
Longtime Idaho grower Atchley dies at age 79

Idaho potato grower and irrigation innovator Clen Atchley died March 17 at age 79.

A member of the East Idaho Agriculture Hall of Fame and longtime National Potato Council board member, Atchley owned and operated Flying A Ranch in Ashton, Idaho, along with wife Emma Atchley. The nationally recognized seed potato operation grows between 800 and 1,000 acres of seed potatoes annually and sells between 200,000 and 250,000 sacks of seed potatoes, according to the Ashton Chamber of Commerce.

Clen Atchley

Flying A Ranch also grows wheat, canola, alfalfa and grain on its 5,000 acres, which include a small cattle operation.

Atchley installed the first pivot systems east of Ashton and played a key role in bringing the Marysville Pipeline Project to fruition, according to an obituary. Atchley was also a member of the United Potato Growers of Idaho, the Teton Regional Land Trust and numerous local water boards and grower organizations.

Clen and Emma Atchley raised two daughters and, after several trips to Chile, hosted Chilean students and taught them large-scale American farming principles, according to the obituary.

The Atchley Foundation Charitable Trust donated $500,000 to the University of Idaho — where Clen and Emma Atchley met— to fund research in the school’s Seed Potato Germplasm Program.

Clen Atchley is survived by Emma, daughters Evelyn and Laura (Clayton), two grandchildren and a brother. Funeral services were held March 21.

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


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