Idaho Potato Commission
Frank Muir was appointed President and CEO for the Idaho Potato Commission in 2003. Muir is leading Idaho’s effort in expanding its “Famous Potatoes” throughout the world via aggressive marketing strategies including creative advertising, public relations and social media. He is regularly interviewed by the media and has been the potato’s most faithful defender. He received a Master’s Degree, with highest honors in Business Administration from Brigham Young University. His marketing career began at General Mills Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he successfully managed several consumer products under the Betty Crocker, Nature Valley and Big G cereal brand names. More recently, he was Vice President and General Manager at ConAgra Foods, Irvine, California. He successfully led major turnaround strategies for several national and regional brands and led acquisition teams for several companies and brands.
Frank will speak on the following:
- New Idaho Branded Lamb Weston Product
- Update on Marketing Programs and TV Advertising
- Big Idaho Potato Truck Tour
- Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
- Social Media
- Public Relation Events
- Retail and Foodservice Programs
Blair Richardson graduated from Texas A&M University in 1989 and moved to California where he spent 24 years involved in California agriculture including cotton, almond and fresh fruit industries. Blair has served on numerous industry boards including the United Fresh Foundation Board, the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), the Produce Marketing Association’s Foundation for Industry Talent, the California Minor Crops Council board, the Coordinating Council for the Stewardship Index, the Alliance for Food and Farming, the Alliance for Potato Research and Education and others.
John Keeling has been the Executive Vice President and CEO of the National Potato Council since 2002. He directs the development and implementation of policy for the only national association of potato growers in the U.S. NPC has been highly successful in representing the diverse interests of U.S. potato producers and influencing policy that directly affects growers’ ability to compete domestically and globally. Recently the NPC was instrumental in reversing the ban on fresh white potatoes in the WIC feeding program. Keeling previously worked for the National Food Processors Association and the American Farm Bureau. Keeling received his MS in Agricultural Economics from Virginia Tech.
Dr. Michael Thornton
Dr. Mike Thornton is a professor of plant science working on potatoes for the University of Idaho at the Parma Research and Extension Center. His research program focuses on sustainable production of new varieties, management of in-season pest problems, and reduction of losses during storage. Mike will speak on ways to reduce bruising during harvest and handling into storage.
Dr. Nora Olsen
Dr. Nora Olsen is a professor of plant science and potato specialist with the University of Idaho at the Kimberly Research and Extension Center. Her research and extension program have focused on potato field and storage management, sprout and disease control, seed physiology and performance, harvest and handling management, and cultivar evaluations. Her presentation will cover practices to minimize quality reductions in storage, packing and delivery to customers.
Silver Medalist Rio Paralympics
Kory Puderbaugh, an Eagle High School graduate, was the youngest member of the U.S. wheelchair rugby team at the recent Paralympic Games in Rio. He scored 10 goals during the final match against Team Australia, in which the U.S. lost, 59-58, in double overtime. Puderbaugh spent his early life in a Polish orphanage before coming to the U.S. He trains with the San Diego Sharp Wheelchair Rugby Team in California, as he trains to compete for gold at the Tokyo Paralympics.
Retail Promotion Director
Idaho Potato Commission
Kent Beesley is the Retail Promotion Director covering the West. He has been with the Idaho Potato Commission for 10 years. He has 47 years in the Produce Industry including City Markets a Kroger Division, Washington Apple Commission and Melissa’s World Variety Produce.
Foodservice Regional Director
Idaho Potato Commission
Armand Lobato is the foodservice promotions director, covering the western U.S. Armand joined the Idaho Potato Commission in 2008. Prior to that, he held various produce management roles during his 40-plus year career in foodservice and retail. Armand also writes for the industry, penning hundreds of agribusiness articles and columns for The Packer and Produce Retailer Magazine. He is a graduate of the University of Denver and lives in the Denver area.
There is no cost to register. Your registration will be used to ensure we properly accommodate all attendees.
Shoshone-Bannock Hotel and Events Center
777 Bannock Trail
Fort Hall, ID 83203 (I-15 Exit 80)
Booking ID # 4590 or mention Idaho Potato Commission for a rate of $89. Rate expires 11-6-17.