Spudman November/December 2022 - 41

New hire and promotions at the Idaho Potato Commission
Jamey Higham
President and CEO
Sam Eaton
Recently the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC)
announced several exciting staffing changes.
Sam Eaton was hired as the new vice
president of legal and government affairs.
The former director of policy and counsel for
Governor Brad Little of Idaho will primarily
manage the IPC's government affairs at the
federal, state and local levels, direct the IPC's
trademark licensing, and provide legal and
regulatory advice to the Commission.
Eaton's experience in working with
legislative and executive officials, as well
as Idaho's biggest organizations, including
commodity groups, has already proven to
be extremely beneficial in the few months
he's been on board. Eaton's expertise and
enthusiasm will greatly contribute to the IPC's
ongoing commitment to strengthening the
Idaho potato brand and building a strong and
unified industry.
Travis Blacker
As director of policy and counsel for
Governor Brad Little of Idaho, Eaton managed
and coordinated agency policies and priorities
for the governor. He also provided policy and
legal advice to the governor on agriculture,
energy, and natural resource issues. Prior
to that, Eaton served as legal counsel in the
office of Governor C.L. " Butch " Otter.
Eaton received his undergraduate degree
from Gonzaga University and his law degree
from University of Idaho. Eaton lives in Boise,
Idaho, with his wife and two young daughters.
Industry veteran, Travis Blacker, was
promoted to vice president of industry
relations and research. Blacker has been with
the IPC since 2012, building and developing
relationships between the IPC and all industry
members: growers, shippers and processors.
He has worked very closely with University
of Idaho and other industry leaders on many
NPC, Continued from Page 40
the Earthjustice petition, calling it " a blatant
attempt to short-circuit the administrative
regulatory review process that Congress
and the Agency have established to assess
pesticide chemicals. " The petition notes
that the U.S. potato industry relies on
organophosphates such as dimethoate,
ethoprop, malathion, phorate, and phosmet
as a part of an integrated pest management
system for the control of a host of damaging
pests and preventing insect borne pathogens.
Every 15 years, EPA's congressional
mandate requires a review of all 726 registered
pesticides, of which 461 are conventional
agricultural pesticides. To date, EPA has
completed draft risk assessments on 99% of
the agricultural products, while 90% have been
through the proposed interim decisions, and
80% have a final or interim decision.
This summer, NPC and a coalition of
agriculture and other associations sent a
letter to the House and Senate Appropriations
Committees supporting funding for various
agencies in the federal government with
responsibility for pesticide registration,
review and regulations. Without this funding,
the timely processes that are required to
ensure that vital pesticides remain available
would stall or end completely. Additionally,
the ability for new products to be approved
would be threatened, along with necessary
consultations between EPA and " the Services "
Ross Johnson
research programs, including ways to improve
and increase crop production. Prior to joining
the IPC, Blacker was president of the Idaho
Grower Shippers Association.
Ross Johnson was promoted to vice
president of retail and international. Previously
the director of these two departments, Johnson
now directly manages all the IPC's retail
advertising and promotions including Potato
Lover's Month, the largest and longest running
retail display promotion in the country. On the
international front, Johnson will oversee all
global projects, including generating demand
and sales for Idaho potatoes in 23 countries
and mining new opportunities around the world.
There's a solid team of very talented folks
in the Eagle office who are all committed to
building the Idaho potato brand. Guided by the
leadership of these three gentlemen, IPC is
poised for a very successful year.
(National Marine Fisheries Service and the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) on Endangered
Species Act regulation.
As of Oct. 15, included language in
appropriations bill included increases for EPA
pesticide programs ($158.7 million in the
House, $140.8 million in the Senate) both
increased from $129.4 million in FY22.
Eliminating certain classes of chemicals
would be cheered by environmentalists,
but come at a cost of sound science. In
order to prevent regulators from acting on
emotion rather than science, NPC and our
industry partners will continue to educate
regulators about how policy decisions impact
growers' operations and their responsibility
to put food on our dinner tables. To learn
more about NPC's regulatory efforts, visit
Spudman * November/December 2022

Spudman November/December 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Spudman November/December 2022

Spudman November/December 2022 - 1
Spudman November/December 2022 - 1A
Spudman November/December 2022 - 3
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