BURLEY, Idaho-The Southern Idaho Potato Cooperative has elected new leaders.
Mark Darrington, of Declo, was elected to replace Doug Gross, of Wilder, as SIPCO president. Ritchey Toevs, of Aberdeen, was voted vice president, and Milo Call, of American Falls, was elected treasurer.
Gross will remain on the SIPCO board, which also includes: Mark Coombs, of Caldwell; Ryan Cranney, of Oakley; Paul Behrend, of Aberdeen; and Kent Petersen, of Blackfoot.
SIPCO represents Idaho growers during contract negotiations with processors. When he assumed the role of SIPCO president two years ago, Gross said his goal was to build better communication with processors and to bring more even pricing with a profit margin across Idaho's growing regions.
Shortly after he started, he hired Dan Hargraves as executive director.
"We definitely, through Dan's efforts, have a much better rapport with processors, and we're still working on pricing issues," Gross said. "In the current environment, we think we have been quite successful."
Gross considers the development of an indexed contract with Heinz, which reflects changes in input costs, to be a significant SIPCO accomplishment during his tenure.
"It's brought much better awareness to the growers in calculating their true costs," Gross said.
SOURCE: John O'Connell, Capital Press