April 1, 2012 in Idaho

This will be hard to top: Potatoes to take 32-state tour

Associated Press photo

The Idaho Potato Commission displays its 6-ton tuber replica in front of the Capitol in Boise on Friday. It plans to truck the potato, made from steel, plywood, foam and concrete, around the country promoting the state’s signature agricultural crop.
(Full-size photo)

BOISE – Call it Tuber Tour 2012.

The Idaho Potato Commission is commemorating its 75th anniversary and hoping to dispel some bad press for potatoes by taking a lifelike, 6-ton spud on a seven-month, 32-state tour.

The Big Idaho Potato departed the state Capitol on Friday morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony by Gov. Butch Otter. The building-size potato that was first seen at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will make stops that include Chicago, New York, Washington, Denver and Los Angeles.

One stop will be outside the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where officials last year questioned whether potatoes should be included in school lunches and banned it from the food stamp program.

The public can trace the route on the Big Idaho Potato website, bigidahopotato.com.

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