Potato Grower

August Potato/IGSA 2010

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CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE | STEVE THORNE IT’S TIME AGAIN TO WELCOME ALL of you to the Idaho Grower Shippers Association Annual Convention in Sun Valley, Idaho. This annual convention is the 82nd, and in behalf of the board of directors, my wife, Jeanne, and I would like to invite all of you and at the same time thank you for your attendance. After all, it is all about you. It is your convention and you are the people that make it happen. All of you, like me, look forward to this time to participate, learn and interact with friends and associates in the industry. Wow, 82 years—there has been a lot of business come and go over this period. It is a real credit to all of you for the longevity of this industry. I personally would like to thank all of you who have been so faithfully involved in every aspect of this industry— grower, shipper, supplier, receiver and most of all consumer of Idaho potatoes. The time rendered by the board of directors over the past few years, and especially this season, has provided insight to some of the greatest challenges this industry has faced and will face in the future. In speaking in behalf of the board, we relish this time at Sun Valley, in atmosphere of friendship, to hear your concerns and rewards about our great Idaho potato industry. Each year presents its challenges and each year is different. We are probably all in agreement there has not been a season like the one we are now finishing. In view of this season, when we plea for your input and concerns, we think we all understand one definite fact. And that fact is everyone needs to get involved. There are great people in the Idaho potato business. I can attest to this as I have served with such people on the board of directors. As each person concludes his/her time of service, that wisdom and knowledge is certainly missed. I wonder how they will be replaced. But what is refreshing is as new members start to participate, affirmation comes that “we the people” in the industry will be represented by members who have the industry’s concerns at heart. The issues become concerns, and those concerns are taken seriously and solutions sought to better the industry as a whole. The industry is constantly flooded with challenges. And those challenges bring change. Change, on the other hand, brings a feeling of being overwhelmed by those responsible to implement it. We certainly have been made aware of the word “change” over the past couple of years. With this in mind, and the fact that change probably causes more apprehension than ever before, your input is certainly sought and your thoughts are highly esteemed. Therefore, in view of the 2009–2010 season we have just experienced, I am sure you can understand why this industry needs all of our participation. Travis Blacker, president of the IGSA and this year’s Convention Committee, again have an outstanding convention agenda planned for your benefit. Various seminars and discussions pertaining to the most recent demands of the industry, e.g.: sustainability, traceability, transportation, etc. One of the keynote speakers will be Bruce Peterson, President of Peterson’s Insights. Bruce, recently retired Vice- President of Wal-Mart, and developer of Wal-Mart’s superstore concept, has agreed to conduct one of the planned seminars. The women’s luncheon features John O’Leary and his wife, Susan. Mr. O’Leary’s motivational story of a miraculous and triumphant fight to overcome a major physical adversity in his life is a part of the convention not to be missed. Our lives will be touched with his experience. We especially would like to extend a special invitation to all the women in attendance to be a part of this special format at the luncheon. The Idaho Potato Commission will be valued again with their support and presentation of how’s, where’s, why’s and when’s. The input from Frank Muir and all of the IPC brings enthusiasm and knowledge to the convention. We look forward each year to their support and willingness to provide all the latest developments for Idaho potatoes. I would be amiss of I didn’t take time to thank Travis Blacker for the enthusiasm and capabilities he demonstrates as president of the IGSA. With his leadership in just the two years he has served as president, he has set precedence in advancing the format, bringing in new innovative ideas, increasing sponsorship and membership and adding to the financial reserves of the organization. His constant willingness to travel, learn, report and get involved in all aspects of the industry has rewarded everyone affiliated with the IGSA. He has become a friend to all. On behalf of the IGSA, we thank you, Travis, for your commitment. As you are all aware, we have evolved over the past few years. With a new association president, realignment of districts and associate members on the board, we are trying to meet the challenges of where the future will take the Idaho industry. The experiences of serving have been most rewarding. I would like to mention one such experience. The IGSA has joined PGI with a political action committee; and serving as secretary-treasurer of the committee, I had the opportunity to distribute funds to some of the Idaho candidates for legislative elections. In distributing some of these monies to an incumbent the industry supports and thanking this person for her service, she said, “Do you know in all the years I have served, I have never just been thanked for my service?” And with a tear in her eye, she concluded, “You Idaho Potato people really care, don’t you?” Thank you to those who over the years have provided the sweat and tears to make the Idaho potato industry what it is. We look forward to renewing acquaintances. To those who have never been, I say, “Come to Sun Valley and find out what we are all about!” STEVE THORNE Chairman, IGSA Board of Directors “We are probably all in agreement there has not been a season like the one we are now finishing. In view of this season, when we plea for your input and concerns, we think we all understand one definite fact. And that fact is everyone needs to get involved.” 8 IGSA 2010 IGSA “Idaho Potatoes...Safe and Sustainable Food for Today and Tomorrow”

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