Oct 19, 2022
New hire and promotions at Idaho Potato Commission

Sam Eaton

The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) recently announced the addition of Sam Eaton as the new vice president of legal and government affairs. The former director of policy and counsel for Governor Brad Little of Idaho will primarily manage IPC’s government affairs at the federal, state and local levels, direct IPC’s trademark licensing, and provide legal and regulatory advice to the Commission.

“Sam’s experience in working with legislative and executive officials, as well as Idaho’s biggest organizations, including commodity groups, has already proven to be extremely beneficial in the few months he’s been on board,” explained Jamey Higham, president and CEO, IPC. “Sam’s expertise and enthusiasm will greatly contribute to the IPC’s ongoing commitment to strengthening the Idaho potato brand and building a strong and unified industry.”

As director of policy and counsel for Governor Brad Little of Idaho, Sam managed and coordinated agency policies and priorities for the Governor. He also provided policy and legal advice to the Governor on agriculture, energy, and natural resource issues. Prior to that, Sam served as legal counsel in the office of Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter.

Sam received his undergraduate degree from Gonzaga University and his law degree from the University of Idaho. Sam lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two young daughters.

Industry veteran, Travis Blacker, was promoted to vice president of industry relations and research. Travis has been with IPC since 2012, building and developing relationships between IPC and all industry members: growers, shippers and processors. He has worked very closely with the University of Idaho and other industry leaders on many research programs including ways to improve and increase crop production. Prior to joining IPC, Travis was president of the Idaho Grower Shippers Association.

Ross Johnson has been promoted to vice president of retail and international. Previously the director of these two departments, Ross now directly manages all of IPC’s retail advertising and promotions, including Potato Lover’s Month, the largest and longest running retail display promotion in the country. On the international front, Ross will oversee all global projects, including generating demand and sales for Idaho potatoes in 23 countries and mining new opportunities around the world.

“We’ve got a solid team of very talented folks in the Eagle office who are all committed to building the Idaho potato brand,” continued Higham. “Guided by the leadership of these three gentlemen, we’re poised for a very successful year.”

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