Idaho Quarter Will Not Have Potato

Published online: Oct 04, 2005
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In a disappointing blow to the Idaho potato industry, the selections made for the Idaho quarter by Gov. Dirk Kempthorne will not contain the Famous Idaho potato.

A list of dozens of designs was whittled down to five by the governor who said he could not pick Idaho's most famous commodity without offending other commodity producers and manufacturers in the state.

Many in the potato industry thought it was a slam dunk for the quarter which will be released in two years. The Idaho Potato Commission made a statewide appear for those in the industry to send suggestions to the Arts Commission to include the potato.

While Wisconsin has a dairy cow, Georgia a peach, Kentucky a horse and so on, Idaho's most recognized symbol will not be included on the quarter.

Of the five selections made by the governor and sent to the U.S. Mint for final approval, only one has anything to do with agriculture. That is one that shows an aerial-type view of agricultural fields.

The coin will probably draw many exclamations of surprise by the public which on a heavy survey acknowledgement basis connects Idaho to the potato. The IPC has poured million of dollars into the advertising of the potato throughout the United States and the world for nearly 75 years.
One of Kempthorne's reasons for not selecting the potato was because it is already an established icon for the state and didn't need additional recognition on the state coin.