NPC Wants YOU in D.C.

Published online: Feb 09, 2022 Articles, Event Calendar Kam Quarles, CEO, National Potato Council
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This column appears in the February 2022 issue of Potato Grower.

U.S. potato growers and industry partners from around the country are invited to the nation’s capital for the new NPC Washington Summit, Feb. 28-March 3, to help us fulfill our mission of “Standing Up for Potatoes on Capitol Hill.”

After last year’s virtual meeting, we are excited to get the industry back together in person for a new event that combines the NPC annual meeting and the industry’s grassroots lobbying event, previously known as the Potato D.C. Fly-In. We hope this broader singular meeting will welcome in more grower leaders and industry supporters who are interested in discussing, defining and advocating for their businesses and protecting their ability to farm.

Despite the COVID-inflicted challenges, the 2021 event saw the broadest participation in the history of the meeting. Attendees had the opportunity to hear directly from industry champions senator Susan Collins of Maine and Senator Jim Risch of Idaho, as well as key staff members from the Senate agriculture committee. Attendees also joined their state potato organizations for virtual visits with 46 members of Congress to communicate the industry’s policy priorities, including aggressively pursuing trade opportunities; investing in potato science and research; promoting agriculture transportation efficiencies; and supporting ag labor reform.

In 2022, we are excited to continue the momentum we built last February to promote policies that will improve the competitiveness of U.S. growers and enhance the ability for potato-related businesses to thrive.

Attendees joining us in Washington, D.C., will get a chance to hear directly from Beltway insiders who can provide insight on the current legislative and regulatory climates. This year—as things set up for a likely power-shifting midterm election—will be particularly important for growers to gain a better understanding of the political environment in which legislators and advocacy groups like ours will be operating.

While NPC and state potato organizations are always looking out for the best policy interests of our industry, growers themselves are, by far, the best advocates for this great industry. The NPC Washington Summit is an annual opportunity to demonstrate the breadth and depth of this industry, and we need growers and allied industry partners from across the country to demonstrate the real strength of this industry.

As always, the event will be strengthened by participants from of the Potato Industry Leadership Institute—an annual program organized by the Potato Leadership, Education & Advancement Foundation (Potato LEAF). After taking a year off due to the pandemic, the 2022 Leadership Institute class will participate in a 10-day program—starting in Californian and ending in D.C.—where they’ll receive an overview of the local and national potato industry, learn leadership development skills, and support the advocacy efforts of the industry. Learn more about the program and the foundation’s efforts to train the next generation of potato industry leaders at www.pleaf.org.

You can sign up to join us at the 2022 NPC Washington Summit by visiting www.nationalpotatocouncil.org. There’s strength in numbers, so please consider lending your voice to our efforts to Stand Up for Potatoes on Capitol Hill. We hope to see you in D.C.!