Nick Blanksma, Vice Chairman, Grower (District 2A)
Nick Blanksma is a fourth generation Idaho farmer and a third generation potato grower. Nick and his family reside in Hammett, which is a small farming community in southwest Idaho. He graduated from the University of Idaho with degrees in Agricultural Systems Management and Agricultural Economics. He currently serves the potato growers of Idaho on the Idaho Potato Commission and is chairman of Research and Education. Nick also serves as a board member on the Pacific Northwest Potato Consortium.
Originally in the dairy and livestock business, the Blanksma family began growing potatoes in the Nampa area when Nick’s grandfather, Harold, returned from World War II. Not wanting to milk cows all day, Harold saw opportunity in potatoes with processing facilities being built by J.R. Simplot in nearby Caldwell. Farm operations expanded shortly after with new irrigation techniques to Canyon, Owyhee and Elmore counties, making arid land now farmable. With this expansion came a new generation of potato growers. Nick’s father Jeff and his uncles, Rob and Jimmy, began their life’s journey as Idaho potato growers, settling down in the Owyhee and Elmore county areas. Today Nick, alongside his father Jeff and brother Jeff, continue to raise quality potatoes with a rotation of edible bean seed, alfalfa and wheat.
Nick is married to his beautiful wife Loni and has two future Idaho potato growers in his children Mazie, 3, and Wayden, 2.