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Potato Commission swears in first female board member

The Idaho Potato Commission has sworn in three new commissioners, which wouldn’t normally be very big news, except that one of them, Peggy Grover, is the first female ever named to the commission. Grover recently finished a term as chair of the Idaho Grower Shippers Association, and is assistant manager of Benchmark Potato in Rexburg, the Capital Press reports; read their full report here.

IPC President and CEO Frank Muir called Grover “very well qualified,” and said she’ll bring a valuable perspective to the commission – especially since the potato commission’s target advertising market is women age 25-55 with children at home. Commissioners are appointed by Gov. Butch Otter from nominees submitted by their peers in the industry; they serve staggered three-year terms. The other two new commissioners are Ritchey Toevs, an Aberdeen farmer, and Tommy Brown, who works for Lamb Weston in Pocatello and is chairman of IACI’s raw products committee.

The Idaho Potato Commission, which has nine members, was established by state law and is best known for defending the good name of the state’s famous tuber and the “Grown in Idaho” seal, including in court; the Potato Commission owns the registered trademarks for “Idaho potato” and “Grown in Idaho.” It also operates the idahopotato.com website, which is headed, "The official home of the Idaho Potato" and includes everything from industry information to creative recipes featuring, of course, the Idaho potato.

Clark: Giant Potato This Way Cometh

Dick Wandrocke, former "mayor" of Fighting Creek, welcomes the Idaho Potato Commission's giant potato to Post Falls Friday afternoon. (Duane Rasmussen photo special to Huckleberries)

Ever since the Dawn of Man (or, for you feminists, the Dawn of Chicks), human beings have created mysterious, larger-than-life wonders that were meant to endure the mildew of time. The Great Pyramid. Stonehenge. Oprah … And now, the brainiacs at the Idaho Potato Commission have rolled out a spectacle to behold. The “Great Big Idaho Potato Truck.” Picture, if you will, a gleaming red semi hauling a flatbed trailer that is topped with a 28-foot-long, 11.5-foot-tall potato replica. When I heard this tuber tumor was coming to Spokane, well, I knew I had to put aside my usual deep thoughts and go take a gander. And so on Friday morning, I pulled my aged Jaguar into the Yoke’s parking lot on North Foothills Drive – and gasped. There it was in all its brown bulbous glory. The last time I saw anything so rotund, Gregory Peck was attempting to harpoon it/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Let's have a show of hands. How many out there saw the giant potato rolling through PostFalls into Silverwood Friday and Saturday?

Giant Spud Rolls Into Post Falls Today

The Great Big Idaho Potato Truck will visit Post Falls on its way to Silverwood Theme Park and then across the country.  This super-sized "Idaho Spud” is 28-foot long, 12-foot wide and 11-and-a-half foot tall.   It was built in honor of the Idaho Potato Commission’s 75th anniversary.  It is also trying to bring awareness to "Meals on Wheels". This Friday ( September 7th, 2012)  the potato will be on public display in the parking lot shared by Post Falls City Hall and the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce on Fourth Avenue. 4:30pm - 6:00pm: Post Falls City Hall 408 North Spokane Street. On Saturday ( September 8th) it will be at the Silverwood Theme Park from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. More here. (Photo from Facebook Friend Pam Jank's site).

Question: What would you like to see Idaho known for, other than spuds?

Tuber Tour 2012 Begins Today

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, six-ton spud on a seven-month, 32-state tour. The Big Idaho Potato departs the state Capitol this 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 be making stops that include Chicago, New York, Washington, Denver and Los Angeles. The Idaho Statesman reports that 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/AP. More here. (Courtesy: Famous Idaho Potato Tour Web site)

Question: Will a seven-month, 32-state tour involving a 6-ton potato help or hurt Idaho's image in this country?

Giant Potato Truck To Reappear

The year 2012 is the 75th anniversary of the Idaho Potato Commission, and the organization is planning several major events to kick off a yearlong celebration, according to Frank Muir, president of the commission. One of those major events will be the launching of a yearlong 75th Anniversary Famous Idaho Potatoes Tour featuring a semi-truck with a flatbed trailer carrying a giant replica of an Idaho potato. A famous souvenir postcard from Idaho depicts a giant potato on the back of a flatbed truck. That image was the inspiration for the tour — the commission decided to “make it come to life” by building an oversized potato onto the back of a big rig and drive it all over the country for everyone to see/Rand Green, Produce News Daily. More here. H/T: Jorja (Twitter)

Question: Are you one of us North Idahoans who don't want our state known for potatoes?

In Defense Of ‘Small Potatoes Bowl’

It’s only a matter of time before some wisecracking college football writer dubs the newly renamed Famous Idaho Potato Bowl the Small Potatoes Bowl. Maybe it’s already happened. It’s been a whole day and a half since Boise’s postseason bowl game introduced its new moniker to the world. So who knows? We’re not much for this newfangled Googling thing here on the back 40 (and we’re not talking 40 yard line, either). Smart alecks, your harvest time has arrived. If you can’t find a way to bash Boise’s contribution to college football’s postseason mashup, turn in your credentials. Meanwhile, Idaho, put on your game face and develop a thick skin. No biggie: after all, we all know the skin’s the best part of a baked-to-perfection russet/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: What current college football bowl name is currently the worst?

Potato Bowl Already Attracting Jabs

The digs are beginning to roll in re: the newly named Famous Idaho Potatoes Bowl. Graham Watson of rivals.com offers: "I would be highly disappointed if every meal didn't include some sort of spud and if the players didn't compete in a potato sack race. It's hard to fathom what kind of swag this bowl will be handing out: A sack of potatoes? Mr. Potato Head dolls? Bags of the TGI Friday's potato skins chips? Or maybe, in sticking with the logo theme, normal items made to look like potatoes. Like the limited edition potato Xbox? Or the potato iPod? What about the Bose potato-shaped noise-canceling earphones?" More here.

Question: What will Chris Berman and the sportscasters at ESPN say about this newly named bowl?

Hum-Bowl Now Idaho Potato Bowl

Brian Murphy/Idaho Statesman offers this news release from Idaho Potato Commission: "The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl was unveiled today as the new name for the Humanitarian Bowl which features a top selection from the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and the Mid-American Conference (MAC). The nation's longest-running outdoor cold-weather Bowl, played since 1997, will take place on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 3:30 p.m. MST at Bronco Stadium in Boise, Idaho and televised on ESPN. The Idaho Potato Commission signed a six-year naming rights deal to sponsor the Bowl, beginning immediately and running through the 2016 game. More here.

Question: Do you like the change in name from Humanitarian Bowl to Idaho Famous Potato Bowl?

Potato Commission Targets Little Fry

Under a 1936 U.S. Patent and Trademark Office certification, the commission can regulate the way the word Idaho is used in connection with any potato product. And if the commission doesn’t enforce the rules consistently, the feds could rescind the certificate, said commission president and CEO Frank Muir. Enter the Idaho Fry Co., which opened two months ago. The restaurant could keep Idaho in its name, Muir said, if it pays a $100 annual fee, agrees to use 100 percent Idaho potato products and submits to commission auditing. The commission isn’t bluffing, either; it runs DNA tests on restaurant samples to make sure a potato is as Idaho as advertised. Oh, and the restaurant would also have to change its name in some undefined manner that makes clear that the Idaho Fry Co. is not Idaho’s fry company. Something, says Muir, like Fry Co., featuring Idaho potatoes/Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Izzit me — or does the Idaho Potato Commission seem to be more than a bit anal about the use of the Idaho brand name?