April 2022 - 13
" When you have all those cancellations at the last
minute, the hotel came back on us (for fewer attendees), "
Quarles said, " but Hollee had worked so well with them on
other value-added things, we were very close to budget. "
In the end, the difference in expected revenue was only
$17,000 smaller than the difference in expected expenses.
" The need to draw from our reserves shouldn't happen as
a result, " said Mike Wenkel, NPC's chief operating officer.
Ben Sklarczyk of Michigan, the NPC's current VP of
Finance, led the meeting.
GROWER OUTREACH & INDUSTRY
The NPC launched the " Eye on Potatoes " podcast in January
2020. As of press date, 46 episodes have been published. The
guest list has 42 members of the agriculture industry, not just
the potato industry, as well as two members of Congress.
The podcast has served as a means to communicate with
members of the potato industry, as well as those outside of
the industry. It has received more than 8,400 downloads.
" It's great for talking about our issues in a longconversation
form. There is only so much you can get into
a press release or a column, " said Mark Szymanski, the
NPC's director of communications. Syngenta has become
the full-time sponsor of " Eye on Potatoes. "
Szymanski's role includes not only working with the
media, but communicating with government officials.
Quarles cited his efforts in getting potatoes in the
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program after initial USDA
data was inaccurate. Szymanski also monitors the press for
inaccuracies on potatoes.
" Mark is ruthless when a reporter gets something
wrong, " Quarles said.
Earned media for the NPC - non-advertising mentions
of the organization - went up 9% on potential reach in
2021, led by mentions by Forbes, Yahoo and the Washington
Post. Volume of mentions went up 60%, led by Spudman.
The Potato Industry Leadership Institute (PILI), which
is under the Potato LEAF, returned in 2022 after being
canceled in 2021. To date, 360 people from 24 states have
gone through the program, led by 73 from Idaho, 59 from
Washington and 46 from Colorado.
" We think its benefits are going to echo long into the
future, " Quarles said.
The Potato Research Advisory Committee (PRAC)
recently wrapped up its window for research projects for
consideration to submit for federal funding. The American
Potato Research & Education (APRE) is preparing for when
the USDA starts soliciting research for the next round of
Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Dean Gibson, of Magic Valley Produce in Idaho, is the
newest member of the NPC's executive committee as the
VP of the outreach and research committee.
(Note: The Environmental Affairs Committee met as
well, however, the audio from the digital feed was not
clear enough to hear.)
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Spudman * April 2022
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of April 2022
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