DENVER —Coming out of the January 2005 Grower Survey, 73 percent of U.S. potato growers rated the job being done by the United States Potato Board (USPB) as “excellent or good.” By many standards that level of support for an industry organization is very strong.
In the summer of 2006, the USPB Industry Communications and Policy (ICP) Committee and Staff Department were created with the goal of segmenting communications by each of the five production segments. ICP would continue to communicate the breadth and depth of the many USPB initiatives, domestically and internationally, all designed to increase demand for U.S. potatoes and potato products. In January 2009, when the next Grower Survey was conducted, 83 percent of U.S. potato growers rated the job being done by the USPB as “excellent or good,” an unprecedented 10 percent jump, thereby validating the new USPB industry communications strategy.
With the completion of the 2014 Grower Survey and the presentation of the results to the full Board at the USPB’s 42nd Annual Meeting on March 12 in Colorado Springs, Colo., 88 percent of U.S. potato growers now rate the job being done by the USPB as “excellent or good.”
USPB vice president over industry communications and policy David Fraser said, “While the 5 percent point jump to 88 percent is truly outstanding, and we are extremely pleased with this proof USPB industry communications programs are, indeed, successfully informing the industry of the ongoing programs, activities and success of the USPB’s efforts to build demand for potatoes and potato products, both domestically and globally, an even more remarkable number to us was the fact growers rating the job being done by the USPB as ‘excellent’ more than doubled from 13 percent in 2009 to 27 percent in 2014.” By contrast, the “excellent” rating had only increased one percentage point in 2009 to 13 percent from 2005.
“This significant jump between 2009 and 2014, compared to the one point increase in the ‘excellent’ rating between 2005 and 2009, clearly demonstrates the cumulative effect of the multimedia effort employed by USPB industry communications to reach U.S. growers with the message of how the USPB is ‘maximizing return on grower investment,’” said Fraser.
“As a former USPB chairman of the board stated several years ago, ‘If you don’t know what the USPB is doing, you’re either living under a rock, or you just don’t give a darn,’” Fraser continued. “We think the industry will agree these 2014 Grower Survey results clearly support that statement.”