Idaho Potato Commission Receives Congressional Honors in Recognition of 70th Anniversary

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Eagle, Idaho, May 15, 2007 -- Idaho's Congressional Delegation has introduced two resolutions to the U.S. Congress designating May 2007 as "Idaho Potato Month" and recognizing the 70th Anniversary of the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC). The delegation consists of Senator Larry E. Craig, Senator Mike Crapo, Congressman Bill Sali and Congressman Mike Simpson.

This year the Idaho Potato Commission celebrates its 70th anniversary and is recognized as one of the oldest organized commodity groups in the United States. As written by the Delegation in the Congressional Resolutions, "The Idaho Potato 'brand' is recognized throughout the world for its high quality and is an identifying characteristic of the great state of Idaho. May 2007 marks the 70th consecutive year that Idaho Potatoes have been promoted by the Idaho Potato Commission, an Idaho potato industry group recognized nationally and internationally as a top promotional authority for Idaho's Potatoes and potato products."

The Idaho Potato industry contributes approximately $2.7 billion to Idaho's economy, harvests approximately 13 billion pounds annually, produces roughly one-third of all the potatoes grown in the United States and employs 39,000 state residents. Additionally, many license plates in Idaho feature the phrase "Famous Potatoes."

"Seventy years is a milestone for the Idaho Potato Commission. Even before branding and advertising were popular, the Commission knew the Idaho Potato was a unique and important part of the Idaho economy," said Frank Muir, President and CEO, Idaho Potato Commission. "Over the years, through creative and strategic marketing, we have been able to establish the Idaho Potato as one of the most recognized brand names in this country and a favorite potato around the world."

The IPC was originally founded on May 10, 1937, as the Idaho Fruit & Vegetable Advertising Commission during the latter stages of the Great Depression. One of its greatest achievements using advertising on radio and later television occurred at a time when this type of marketing was in its infancy, but it would help set the stage for much of the IPC's success in making Idaho Potatoes a household name.

Today, the Commission is as active, strong and influential as it has ever been. Most importantly it has upheld its mission and made Idaho Potatoes one of the most recognized brand names in America. This country's top selling potato is also heralded throughout the world as the pinnacle of quality in potatoes. The "Grown in Idaho" seal, which was introduced by the Commission in 1959, helped elevate the visibility of Idaho Potatoes and has become a symbol consumers actively look for when purchasing potato products.

The Idaho Potato Commission is a state agency that is directed by nine commissioners, five of whom are potato growers, two are packers/shippers, and two represent processors. The Commission is funded by a tax levied on all Idaho-grown potatoes. It is currently set at ten cents for every 100 pounds of potatoes. The funds generated from this tax are used to advertise, promote and do research to expand the markets for Idaho-grown potatoes.