To celebrate the harvest, the IPC created a short, animated video hosted by the IPC mascot, Spuddy Buddy that depicts the lifecycle of a potato. After watching the video, participants played a short memory game and were then entered into a $10,000 sweepstakes-$5,000 for them and $5,000 for the school of their choice. This was the first time we ever celebrated the potato harvest online, and it was a resounding success. Even though the sweepstakes is over you can still play the game at www.idahopotato.com.
In addition to housing the "Idaho Potato Harvest Game," the IPC website has been improved with new features to keep hungry consumers coming back for more:
n The popular Denise Austin Widget has been enhanced and includes helpful tips on health and nutrition as well as ways to save money in the kitchen. The new widget, "Watching Waistlines and Wallets with Denise and Friends," will continue to feature tips from Denise Austin as well as tips from the University of Idaho Extension.
n Due to popular demand, the Watching Waistlines & Wallets micro site offers more healthy and affordable recipes and photographs than ever before.
n The press is now headlining the nutritive benefits of potatoes. To keep consumers updated on the latest potato news, a Newsfeed scrolling the most current potato updates from around the globe appears on the IPC website homepage.
We've also continued to work with our famous friends to help promote Idaho's famous potatoes. Fitness guru, Denise Austin, continues her role as the IPC's spokeswoman. We've updated our national television commercial featuring Denise to better communicate the value of Idaho potatoes-for around 25 cents, one 5.3-ounce spud has only 110 calories, contains zero fat and cholesterol, and is packed with important vitamins and nutrients.
This fall, revered TV personality Mr. Food (aka Art Ginsburg) and Olympic Gold Medalist in Cycling, Kristin Armstrong, both hit the airwaves to talk taters to consumers. Mr. Food, who is best known for his quick and easy cooking philosophy as well as his focus to always help his viewers save money at the supermarket, featured the versatile vegetable on his daily show highlighting all aspects of the Idaho potato including the harvest, storage, cooking tips and, of course, delicious, cost-saving recipes.
Idaho native Kristin Armstrong eats Idaho potatoes to keep her fueled during her strenuous training and competitions. Two weeks after she raced in the 2009 UCI Road World Championships in Mendriso, Switzerland, Kristin conducted over 20 television interviews from her home in Boise. She discussed her career and shared her recipe for Parmesan Potatoes. In case you missed these interviews, they are available on the IPC website.
In closing, I'd like to recognize Mark Coombs of DC Land, who is the new chairman of the Idaho Potato Commission, and R.J. Andrus of Idahoan Foods, LLC, who is serving as vice chairman. I'd also like to thank Shawn Walters of Walters Produce, Inc. who served as Chairman last year. Shawn will remain on the Commission for another three-year term. This year we are also welcoming a new Commissioner, Boyd Foster of Vista Valley Ag. Inc.
I wish all of you a prosperous year.