Potato Expo 2010

An event you can't afford to miss

Published in the December 2009 Issue Published online: Dec 16, 2009
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"Potato Expo 2010, first held in 2009, is the largest conference and tradeshow for the North American potato industry. There's nothing else like it! This is the one place where attendees from across the supply chain come together to do business."

This is the overview you find at www.potato-expo.com describing what has, after just one year, become the premier event for the U.S. potato industry. And for the over 900 attendees and 65 exhibitors who gathered in San Antonio in January 2009 for the inaugural Potato Expo, this new industry meeting certainly met all expectations.

"This has been a great meeting," said Nelson Cox, a process grower from Warden, Wash., at the conclusion of Potato Expo 2009. "It's been very beneficial to associate with everybody, all the growers, researchers and suppliers, involved in the entire potato industry, in one place, and at one time."

Judy Henninger, a representative of Ag World Support Systems, and one of the 65 exhibitors at the Potato Expo 2009 Trade Show, added, "The Kickoff Reception was one of the finest events we have ever attended."

To be held January 4-6, 2010, at the Loews Royal Pacific at Universal Studios, Orlando, Fla., "Building a 2020 Vision" serves as the theme for Potato Expo 2010.

An event two years in the making, R.D. Offutt Company Farm Division Manager Keith McGovern, a grower on the initial USPB Frozen Process Grower Communications Committee, was one of the founding voices behind the formation of this industry conference and tradeshow.

"In previous years, I spent each winter traveling to several potato meetings, because R.D. Offutt is involved with fresh, processing, chip and seed production," he explained. "While traveling in Russia, some of my business associates expressed a desire to attend an industry-wide potato meeting in the United States. I couldn't give them a recommendation on which one they should go to."

Potato Expo represents the consolidation of the former USPB Chip Seminar, National Potato Council (NPC) Seed Seminar and the Annual Potato Industry Outlook Summit. Potato Expo also delivers the first-ever national meeting of process growers.

USPB President and CEO Tim O'Connor was also pleased with the outcome of Potato Expo 2009.

"Having the industry meet in one place, at one time, instead of holding separate meetings is a huge success," he said. "The chance to interact with many sector-specific and general industry members at one meeting is a great benefit. When all of the sectors meet together, and everyone recognizes the common interests they share, the potato industry functions the way an industry should, and gains additional opportunities-ones that had been missing in the sector-specific meetings that were previously held."

USPB Chairman Tom Qualey added, "The ability to get insights about our business from other industry segments and individuals was invaluable. It is always great to get together with people who have a common interest, and to discuss and learn about our strengths, weaknesses and opportunities."

McGovern concluded, "Potato Expo 2009 exceeded my expectations for an industry meeting in many ways. It was very well attended. The content of the meeting was engaging and kept people at the meeting, but I think the number one gain from this conference was giving growers the opportunity to communicate with the other sectors."

Already, it is clear Potato Expo 2010 will far exceed the 2009 event in both attendees and exhibitors. And while the 2009 general and breakout sessions offered both a broad overview and in-depth discussions of current industry topics facing the fresh, process, chip and seed sectors, the 2010 schedule clearly builds on that success, as well as incorporating comments from post-meeting evaluations given by attendees.

The USPB once again is proud to serve as the co-title sponsor, along with the NPC, of Potato Expo 2010. You really can't afford to miss Potato Expo 2010. See you next month in Orlando!

For the complete and most current schedule, visit www.potato-expo.com