It’s That Time Again

Published in the August 2014 Issue Published online: Aug 10, 2014 Ryan Bybee Chairman IGSA Board of Directors
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It is that time of year again—The time that the potato industry reflects on the last season and looks forward to the opportunities that the new crop will bring. It is also the time we as an industry get together at the annual Idaho Grower

Shippers Association convention in beautiful Sun Valley, Idaho.

As chairman, I would like to remind everyone in our industry that as you reflect on the past season and look forward to the new opportunities that will come in the future, you ask yourself,

“What can I do to help our industry be successful?” We all strive on a daily basis to grow ourselves and our operations, but are those things helping the Idaho potato industry?

Charles Dickens once said, “Industry is the soul of business and the keystone of prosperity.” We cannot blame our failures or success as an industry on others. We need to collectively learn from our mistakes to make the future prosperous for all of the Idaho potato industry.

Together we have built one of the most recognizable brands in not just the United States, but the world. As a single shipper or grower we can accomplish many things. Working together as an industry, we will do amazing things and see greater success for all of us.

The Idaho potato industry is the backbone of the state and what we are known for worldwide, and the IGSA annual convention is the best time to renew our focus and build those relationships that make our industry what it is.

The convention committee has worked long and hard to bring a full slate of educational seminars, new industry information and some great activities to this year’s  convention. Our industry is changing very rapidly, and the IGSA wants to help your organization stay ahead of the curve. We will also have the opportunity to hear from the leaders of other industry associations on issues that are up and coming. I promise there will be nothing about moving your cheese or campfire songs.

Besides the educational sessions and industry updates, there will be plenty of time for everyone to enjoy all that Sun Valley has to offer, including golf, fishing, beautiful scenery and more golf. If those activities are not for you, remember that on Thursday all guests are invited to attend the IGSA social luncheon.

Following a wonderful lunch in the Sun Valley Lodge dining room, this year’s event speakers promise to be fantastic.

The Christensen sisters, Ali and Christina, from America’s Got Talent, will speak on dealing with cystic fibrosis while growing up and becoming world-class singers.

Each luncheon attendee will receive a copy of their wonderful CD, and they will be available for a signing session afterwards.

Our annual IGSA business meeting will be Friday morning. Don’t miss the chance to see firsthand what the IGSA has done this very busy past year. The IGSA board and its president, Mark Klompien, have worked vigorously on many issues, including Mexico access, getting our potatoes into the WIC program, and many Idaho-only hurdles.

The work that is done behind the scenes every day by the IGSA is astronomical.

Make sure you let the board and Mark know how much you appreciate the work they do.

We will wrap the convention up with the chairman’s banquet and awarding all of the activity prizes. We will culminate the banquet by honoring Bob Wilkins of GPOD of Idaho with this year’s Russet Aristocrat award.

It has been an honor to serve you as chairman this past season. While on the board I have had the opportunity to get to know many of you in our industry better and meet many new friends. I can honestly say we work in the best industry in the world. No other industry can claim to provide one of the most nutritious, economical and versatile foods to the world! I hope to see all of you at our convention this year and wish you all a successful season.