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For the first time in 25 years, U.S. fresh potatoes crossed into Mexico on May 11 destined for markets beyond the previous 26-kilometer restricted area. The news signaled the start of Mexico’s process to restore full market access for U.S. potatoes after decades of disputes and legal obstructions. NPC CEO Kam Quarles joined the podcast to talk about the unwavering, bipartisan support from Capitol Hill, USDA, and USTR required to restore U.S. fresh potato access, and the work moving forward to ensure the border remains open.The Eye on Potatoes Podcast is made possible by our presenting sponsor, Syngenta. Delivering solutions to help producers face the potato industry’s complex challenges, Syngenta provides growers with unmatched field expertise along with an array of effective products. Explore syngenta-us.com/spud-doctor to discover solutions for your potato growing obstacles.
Each year, the Potato Industry Leadership Institute (PILI) brings together outstanding potato growers and industry representatives for eight days of training and professional development, starting in a potato growing region and concluding in Washington, D.C. when the class links up with participants of the NPC Washington Summit. During the 2022 Washington Summit, Eye On Potatoes hosted a live podcast recording with PILI alumnus and 2022 Grower-leader Doug Posthuma from Wisconsin, 2022 PILI attendee Bevan Lenz from Colorado, and Potato LEAF Vice President Mike Wenkel to talk about their personal leadership growth and value the program delivers to the industry. For more on PILI, visit pleaf.org. The Eye on Potatoes Podcast is made possible by our presenting sponsor, Syngenta. Delivering solutions to help producers face the potato industry’s complex challenges, Syngenta provides growers with unmatched field expertise along with an array of effective products. Explore syngenta-us.com/spud-doctor to discover solutions for your potato growing obstacles.
Sustainability and climate change continue to be a part of the conversation, both in policy discussions and within the potato supply chain. During Potato Expo 2022, we sat down with two of the industry's sustainability leaders who are working to ensure the potato industry remains at the front of agriculture’s sustainability success story.Guests: John Mesko, Executive Director, Potato Sustainability AllianceMike Wenkel, COO, National Potato CouncilThe Eye on Potatoes Podcast is made possible by our presenting sponsor, Syngenta. Delivering solutions to help producers face the potato industry’s complex challenges, Syngenta provides growers with unmatched field expertise along with an array of effective products. Explore syngenta-us.com/spud-doctor to discover solutions for your potato growing obstacles.
Fresh off his election as NPC's 2022 President, Jared Balcom of Pasco, Washington, along with NPC VP of Legislative Affairs RJ Andrus of Idaho Falls, Idaho, sat down during the Washington Summit to talk about the council's 2022 policy agenda and the power of growers speaking with one voice to Stand Up for Potatoes on Capitol Hill. The Eye on Potatoes Podcast is made possible by our presenting sponsor, Syngenta. Delivering solutions to help producers face the potato industry’s complex challenges, Syngenta provides growers with unmatched field expertise along with an array of effective products. Explore syngenta-us.com/spud-doctor to discover solutions for your potato growing obstacles.
For more than 25 years, Amy Walter has built a reputation as an accurate, objective, and insightful political analyst with unparalleled access to campaign insiders and decision-makers. Before her NPC Washington Summit keynote address, Amy sat down with Eye on Potato host Lane Nordlund to provide a sneak peek into the issues, trends and events that are shaping today’s tumultuous political environment.Guest: Amy Walter, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Cook Political Report with Amy WalterThe Eye on Potatoes Podcast is made possible by our presenting sponsor, Syngenta. Delivering solutions to help producers face the potato industry’s complex challenges, Syngenta provides growers with unmatched field expertise along with an array of effective products. Explore syngenta-us.com/spud-doctor to discover solutions for your potato growing obstacles.
Food insecurity, climate change, and sustainability are not words typically associated with the nutritional value of food. Even so, as USDA sets the stage to write their next Dietary Guidelines, activists are pushing to expand the federal government’s definition what “nutrition” could mean to policymakers and consumers. At Potato Expo 2022, top experts in food policy sat down to talk about how anti-potato activists are trying to influence nutrition policy – and what the industry is doing to head them off at the pass.Guests: Allie Graham, MS, RDN, Senior Director, Food Policy & Global Regulatory Affairs, Food Directions Robert Guenther, Chief Public Policy Officer, International Fresh Produce Association The Eye on Potatoes Podcast is made possible by our presenting sponsor, Syngenta. Delivering solutions to help producers face the potato industry’s complex challenges, Syngenta provides growers with unmatched field expertise along with an array of effective products. Explore syngenta-us.com/spud-doctor to discover solutions for your potato growing obstacles.
How is inflation related to changes in the post-pandemic global economy? What non-pandemic-related factors have been influential in causing higher prices for some goods, including food? What aspects of higher inflation are particularly important for influencing potato production?These questions (and more!) were answered by the experts at Potato Expo 2022 to help members of the potato industry mitigate increasing costs. During a first-ever live taping of an Expo Stage session, Eye on Potatoes Podcast host Lane Nordlund was joined by University of Idaho Assistant Professors Pat Hatzenbuehler and Liang “Jimmy” Lu to give attendees a better understanding of economic environment of increasing production costs, especially for fertilizer and fuel. Guests: Pat Hatzenbuehler is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist – Crops Economics at the University of Idaho. Pat performs evidence-based research and extension work on agricultural commodity markets with a focus on market structure and conditions for crops grown in Idaho. Liang “Jimmy” Lu is an Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Idaho. Jimmy studies agricultural supply chains, agri-food e-commerce, and big data. The Eye on Potatoes Podcast is made possible by our presenting sponsor, Syngenta. Delivering solutions to help producers face the potato industry’s complex challenges, Syngenta provides growers with unmatched field expertise along with an array of effective products. Explore syngenta-us.com/spud-doctor to discover solutions for your potato growing obstacles.
Two years after the U.S. potato industry celebrated the Mexican Supreme Court's unanimous ruling in favor of allowing U.S. fresh potato imports, as we begin 2022, the industry has never been closer to finally supplying this important trading partner with high-quality U.S. product. During Potato Expo 2022 in Anaheim, California, the industry's trade experts sat down to discuss efforts underway to knock down trade barriers in key countries such as Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and other promising markets.Guests: Matt Lantz, Vice President of Global Access, Bryant Christie Inc.John Toaspern, Vice President of International Marketing, Potatoes USAKam Quarles, CEO, National Potato CouncilThe Eye on Potatoes Podcast is made possible by our presenting sponsor, Syngenta. Delivering solutions to help producers face the potato industry’s complex challenges, Syngenta provides growers with unmatched field expertise along with an array of effective products. Explore syngenta-us.com/spud-doctor to discover solutions for your potato growing obstacles.
RJ Harvey joined Potatoes USA in 2017 as its Culinary Director, where he develops flavors, ideas, and concepts for the U.S. potato industry. RJ called into the podcast to talk about his background, role in fueling performance through potatoes, and impacting healthful changes across the culinary industry by adding potatoes to menus. RJ also talks about putting potatoes on center stage at Potato Expo 2022 to showcase their diversity, adaptability, and versatility. Joining him will be Food Network Personality Simon Majumdar for two fun and educational Expo Stage sessions.  For RJ's recipes for the holiday season, visit potatogoodness.com. To register for Potato Expo 2022, Jan. 5-6, in Anaheim, California, visit potato-expo.com. 
In light of the multiple potato wart finds on Canada’s Prince Edward Island (PEI), during a meeting of the Potato Association of America on December 1, 2021, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) provided growers and industry partners an update on its soil sampling efforts throughout the province’s potato production area. Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council calls in to discuss how CFIA's own data -- which demonstrates a clear and troubling reduction in sampling -- leaves the industries on both sides of the border with uncertainties about the spread of the disease on PEI and what the future holds for reopening trade with this important industry partner. 
On Nov. 6, Mexico's National Service for Agricultural Health, Food Safety, and Agri-Quality (SENASICA) published the Phytosanitary Requirement Sheet for U.S. potato imports to the entirety of Mexico. NPC CEO Kam Quarles and Potatoes USA Chief Marketing Officer John Toaspern joined the podcast to announce another important step that was taken to fully reopen the market for U.S. fresh potatoes:  an operational work plan that was signed by Mexico and the United States. 
With the NPC Executive Committee together this week for their first in-person meeting in D.C. since February 2020, President and Maine potato grower Dominic LaJoie joined CEO Kam Quarles for an update on the organization's end-of-year policy activities and previews of the Potato Expo 2022 and NPC Washington Summit. 
Thilani Jayakody, a third-year graduate student in the Michigan State University’s Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, was recently announced as the recipient of the Potato LEAF's 2021-22 Academic Scholarship. Thilani joins podcast host Lane Nordlund and NPC's Mike Wenkel for a conversation about her background, academic research, and the importance of the Potato LEAF scholarship in helping her reach her career goals.  The Potato Leadership, Education and Advancement Foundation (Potato LEAF) provides a $10,000 scholarship award annually to one graduate student with a strong interest in research that can directly benefit the U.S. potato industry. As a Ph.D. candidate and graduate research assistant, Thilani was recognized for her research in potato genome editing focused on the application of new breeding techniques for crop improvement.For more information on Thilani's work and the Potato LEAF Academic Scholarship, visit pleaf.org.   
National Potato Council Vice President of Legislative Affairs JR Andrus from Idaho joins CEO Kam Quarles for a discussion on proposals being floated in Congress to fund infrastructure improvements on the backs of family farmers. JR says that some infrastructure investments are important, however they should not be paid for by undermining U.S. family farms that are still struggling to recover from the pandemic.
NPC 2021 President and Maine potato grower Dominic Lajoie and NPC CEO Kam Quarles sat down with us to preview next week's Summer Meeting Virtual and update the industry on a number of policy development that have occurred since the Annual Meeting in February, including: NPC’s efforts over the pandemic to secure $350 million for growers to offset foodservice disruptions; Ongoing negotiations between the U.S. and Mexico to reinstate access to U.S. fresh potatoes; and, The latest efforts on Capitol Hill to address comprehensive immigration reform, including ag labor reform. For information about or to register for NPC's Summer Meeting, July 26-28, visit nationalpotatocouncil.org/summer-meeting.
Farmers, ranchers, and forest owners are on the frontlines of climate change and have an important role to play in developing solutions. That shared understanding led an unprecedented group — representing farmers, forest owners, the food sector, state governments, and environmental advocates — to form the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA), of which the National Potato Council is a member. This week, Randy Russell, founder of The Russell Group, which manages the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance, joins the podcast to talk about how the FACA coalition got started and why it was so important that potato growers have taken a seat at the table.To learn more about FACA, visit agclimatealliance.com. 
This week, the Eye on Potatoes podcast welcomed Mark Klompien, President and CEO of United Potato Growers of America, to provide an outlook for remainder of this current shipping crop and a look head to plantings and acreage for the 2021 fresh potato crop. Additionally, in his role as Chairman of United Fresh’s Government Relations Council, Mark discussed the United Fresh/PMA merger and what it means for potato organizations.  Learn more about UPGA at unitedpotato.com. 
The Leadership Institute Alumni Summit, July 13-15, will bring together Potato Industry Leadership Institute graduates to network, refresh skills, and learn new techniques to better position themselves for success in the potato industry. All past graduates of the Institute are invited to participate in the three 90-minute workshops that will be active, engaging, fast-paced, high energy and packed with tips to put to use immediately.Two of the three sessions will be led by Laurie Richards – a familiar face to Institute grads – as she’s taught leadership training seminars for the Institute for many years. Laurie and Mike Wenkel from Potato LEAF join the podcast to talk about what alumni can look forward to during this first-ever virtual summit. Courses will include: Refining Your Leadership Skills Refining Your Conflict Management Boosting the Team's Morale Registration closes June 18, 2021. For additional information visit pleaf.org. 
After years of delay, on April 28, Mexico's Supreme Court unanimously ruled to overturn a lower court decision that prevented the Mexican federal government from implementing regulations to allow for the importation of fresh U.S. potatoes throughout the country. The ruling, cheered by the U.S. potato industry and its supporters in the U.S. federal government, marks the end of a decade-long legal process that began when Mexico’s potato industry sued its government to prevent competition from imports.NPC Vice President of Trade Affairs Jared Balcom and NPC CEO Kam Quarles call in to celebrate the decision and discuss next steps, including urging Mexico to immediately reinstate the rules to allow for the normalization of trade between our countries.Mexico is the third largest export market for U.S. potatoes and products valued at over $270 million in 2020. Despite the restriction to the 26-kilometer border region Mexico is the second largest market for fresh potato exports accounting for 106,000 metric tons valued at $60 million in 2020. The U.S. potato industry estimates that access to the entire country for fresh U.S. potatoes will provide a market potential of $200 million per year, in five years. 
National Potato Council COO Mike Wenkel calls in to talk about the upcoming Leadership Institute Alumni Summit, to be held July 13-15, which will virtually bring together graduates of the Potato Industry Leadership Institute to network, refresh skills, and learn new techniques to better position themselves for success in the potato industry. Also Mike discusses Potato LEAF's 2021-22 Academic Scholarship, which will provide one $10,000 scholarship to honor a graduate student (Master’s degree or higher) working to conduct research and provide information that will improve the future of the U.S. potato industry. Learn more about both opportunities at pleaf.org. Plus, NPC CEO Kam Quarles joins the podcast for a trade policy discussion, including the ongoing standoff in Mexico’s Supreme Court, which continues to delay ruling on a set of cases that could allow for the full importation of fresh U.S. potatoes.
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