Idaho Potato Commission
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The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) is a self-governing agency of the state of Idaho that promotes the Idaho potato and protects the "Grown in Idaho" seal through advertising, public relations, promotions and other marketing initiatives.
The Idaho Potato Commission was established in 1937 as the Idaho Fruit and Vegetable Advertising Commission, primarily responsible to promote the potatoes, onions, apples and prunes produced in Idaho. Maine was the biggest potato producer of the country back then. In its first year of operations, the Commission spent a little over $20,000 in advertising, and $58,000 the year after.
The commission introduced the “Grown in Idaho” seal in 1959 to help elevate the visibility of Idaho potatoes and has become a symbol consumers actively look for when purchasing potato products. In 1939, the Commission removed apples and prunes from its campaigns, and changed its name to Idaho Advertising Commission
In the 1950s, the Commission was facing multiple cases of violations of the Grown in Idaho label. The Commission tested a system to stamp all potatoes for 20 years, to no avail. The "Packed in Idaho by" label was created in 1959.
In the early 1990s, the Commission started talks with toy company Hasbro to use Mr. Potato Head as its state's mascot. Before the deal was sealed, the movie Toy Story was released and the plan was dropped. In 1983, the Commission had already introduced a mascot, Potato Buddy, a cowboy potato cartoon that became Spuddy Buddy in 1994.
In 2007, the state of Idaho harvested 1/3 of the US production of potatoes, and 40,000 Idaho residents were employed directly or indirectly by the potato industry.
The primary responsibility of the Idaho Potato Commission is to promote the Idaho potato and protect the "Grown in Idaho" seal through advertising, public relations, promotions and other marketing initiatives. It also supports various research projects that benefit all Idaho potato industry members.
In January 2014, Peggy Grover was the first woman to be appointed to the board of the Idaho Potato Commission. In September 2017, Mary Hasenoehrl was the second woman to be appointed member of the board, and the first woman to represent growers on the board.
- Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, a college football game sponsored by the Commission
- "Idaho Potato Commission celebrates 70 years". Spudman.com. July 2007. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
- "Idaho Potato Commission Becomes Title Sponsor of Famous Idaho Potato Bowl". Prnewswire.com. 3 August 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
- "Hot spot: Idaho Potato Commission; look for the label". Adage.com. 30 September 1996. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
- JB Wogan (24 January 2014). "Meet the First Woman Appointed to the Idaho Potato Commission". Governing.com. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
- "Idaho Potato Commission appoints first female grower, Mary Hasenoehrl". 21 September 2017. Retrieved 24 November 2017.