Industry Invited to Attend PAA Annual Meeting

PAA meeting to be held in Boise July 22-26

Published online: Jul 03, 2018 Event Calendar Pamela J.S. Hutchinson, UI potato cropping systems
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This article appears in the July 2018 issue of Potato Grower.

Everyone involved in the potato industry is invited to the Potato Association of America’s (PAA) 102nd annual meeting, July 22 to 26 in Boise, Idaho.

Hear about, network, and exchange ideas on the latest potato research and extension information during the 2018 PAA meeting at the Boise Centre in downtown Boise. You’ll also get a chance to tour Idaho agriculture, experience one of the most vibrant cities in the western U.S., and enjoy unique Idaho outdoor activities. People from all facets of the potato industry nationally and internationally attend this annual meeting. Attendees need not be a PAA member to participate.

The PAA’s first annual meeting was held in Ithaca, N.Y., in 1914 and was attended by 67 American delegates. This professional organization of private and public potato researchers, university extension and industry personnel and growers represents the scientific arm of the potato industry and now has over 550 members from 32 countries on six continents. Special sustaining members include agribusiness, grower commissions and boards and farming operations. Besides fostering emerging technologies and global approaches for potato improvement, the PAA’s mission is to collect and disseminate scientific information relating to all phases of the potato industry including teaching, research, outreach, breeding, certification, production, pests, transportation, processing and marketing and utilization.

Since the first one in New York, the annual PAA meeting has been in 26 other states, Washington, D.C., six Canadian provinces and Mexico City. The only other time the annual meeting was held in Boise was in 1985. Not surprisingly, the city and area have changed and grown since then.

For more information on the PAA or to become a member, visit   

Please visit for more information on registration, lodging and events. Join the online 2018 PAA meeting community and stay in the know by tweeting #PAABoise.


Meeting Highlights:

Sunday evening, July 22

The annual meeting kicks off with a president’s reception overlooking the Boise downtown area from the top of Jack’s Urban Meeting Place (JUMP).


Monday, July 23

A grower and industry session takes place in the morning and a half-day symposium, “Impact of Quarantined Pests on Potato Production,” in the afternoon. You’ll also hear from international guest speaker Huang Sanwen, a professor at the Institute of Vegetable and Flowers at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing.

A special one-day registration of $75 is available for the Monday Grower and Industry Session, Symposium and international guest speaker presentation. 


Tuesday, July 24

Presentations at sessions focused on the six PAA sections: Breeding and Genetics; Certification, Extension, Production and Management; Physiology; Plant Protection; and Utilization and Marketing. A poster session will follow the presentations in the afternoon.

Experience unique Idaho culture Tuesday evening at an outdoor Basque Block Party with food and traditional dance.


Wednesday, July 25

More exciting research and extension presentations will be held in the morning, and an annual business meeting in the afternoon. The day will conclude back at the JUMP in the evening for the annual banquet.

At the banquet, the Honorary Life Membership award will be presented, recognizing outstanding contributions to the potato industry. This is the highest award bestowed on an individual by the PAA. The 2018 PAA Honorary Life Membership inductees are Robert Hoopes of Frito-Lay Inc.; Rick Knowles of Washington State University; Stephen Love of the University of Idaho; and Leigh Morrow of McCain Foods.


Thursday, July 26

“Wine and Hops” agricultural tour. Western Idaho has long been known for production of seed crops such as alfalfa, sweet corn, onions and carrots that make their way to fields around the world. More recently, the area has become known for producing world-class wines and bountiful crops of hops used in brewing beer. Tour stops will include lunch at a local winery.

Rumor has it that during its 2018 Famous Idaho Potato Tour helping raise awareness, funds and food for non-profit organizations, the Big Idaho Potato Truck also will be attending the PAA meeting in Boise.


Other Activities

Attendee Sunday activities on your own include fishing, rafting, golfing and, for graduate students, an escape room team-building exercise. On Monday evening, you can attend a Boise Hawks baseball game or the Pedals and Pints bike tour of downtown Boise. On Thursday, as an alternative to the ag tour, whitewater rafting on the Payette River is offered with a professional guide. Also included as part of the meeting is an accompanying person’s program including a day trip to Payette Lake near McCall, Idaho.