50 for 50: George Crapo

Published online: Dec 27, 2021 50 for 50, Articles, Grower of the Month
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Throughout 2021, as part of Potato Grower’s celebration of our 50th year in publication, we will be honoring in our pages and on our website 50 of the potato industry’s most innovative and influential individuals, companies and organizations over the past half-century. This “50 for 50” series will include researchers, salesmen, packers, processors and, of course, plenty of potato growers. A lot of them will be names you’ve heard before. To some, you’ll get a fresh introduction. Regardless, each has had an outsize impact on the U.S. potato industry, and each deserves our thanks and recognition. To view the full roster of “50 for 50” honorees, click here. 
This article appears in the December 2021 issue of Potato Grower

George Crapo grew up in Parker, Idaho, where, from a young age, he developed a deep and abiding love of farming and ranching. Many of the important skills and life lessons he employed throughout his life were learned firsthand working side by side with his father and uncles—men who taught him by example the value of hard work, honesty, and working together as a family.

Shortly after marrying his high school sweetheart, Linda, in 1959, and settling back down in Parker, Crapo bought a single-axle bobtail truck and began hauling potatoes for local farmers. In 1968, the purchase of a ten-wheeler marked the official start of Crapo Trucking. Sun-Glo of Idaho, a fresh-pack warehouse in nearby Sugar City, became a regular customer, and that relationship eventually led to Crapo becoming a Sun-Glo owner.

Around that time, Crapo’s father and uncles offered him the opportunity to farm an 80-acre piece near Parker. He later partnered with his father and four brothers in additional farming and cattle ventures. With the help of his brothers and sons, he was able to enlarge the farming and trucking operations to include a number of farms in southeastern Idaho and Montana.

Well-known for his perpetually positive and often visionary personality, Crapo was acclaimed for being forward-thinking, innovative and, in many instances, daring in his farming and business ventures. He was a big believer in the value of being active in the agricultural community and held leadership positions with the local irrigation district and canal board, the Soil Conservation Service Committee, the U.S. Potato Board, and Farm Credit Services, among others. In 1998, he was inducted into the Eastern Idaho Agriculture Hall of Fame; in 2010 he was honored as the Idaho Grower Shippers Association’s Russet Aristocrat.

In business as well as in his personal life, Crapo placed a high value on relationships, which was perhaps the biggest driver of his success. His passion for agriculture was on full display throughout his life, but he always maintained that his work was “more about raising children than raising crops.” When he passed away in September 2021, George Crapo left behind an enduring legacy of integrity, faith and family, not only for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but for those who had the good fortune to know and work with him in the industry he loved.