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npc history


Agricultural production of Irish potatoes and other agricultural commodities ramped up to meet the demands of World War II. Following the war, decreased demand led to depressed market conditions; no organized plan existed to facilitate the movement of surplus potatoes.

U.S. production areas were also expanding across the country, but conflict erupted among the regions as there was no framework for unifying the growing regions on a national level.

As early as 1947, it became apparent that it was necessary to give the potato industry a unified voice on a national level and improve the collection of data essential to production and marketing.

Therefore, the National Potato Council was formed in 1948 for the 45,000 U.S. potato growers. Currently located in Washington, D.C., NPC was organized to promote the greater consumption of Irish potatoes and to nationally represent potato farmers on legislative and regulatory matters.

Representatives from every large potato producing area were named to serve on the NPC Board of Directors, which would meet periodically to consider the potato problems and make recommendations for their improvement. Finances were provided by state potato organizations that collected dues, or quotas, from individual growers.

To this day, NPC remains committed to providing a unified voice for the U.S. potato industry on national legislative, regulatory, environmental, and trade issues to promote the increased profitability for growers and greater consumption of potatoes. NPC has been highly successful in representing the diverse interests of U.S. potato producers and plays a significant role influencing policy that directly affects the U.S. grower's ability to compete both domestically and globally.


NPC PRESIDENT, randy hardy


At the National Potato Council’s (NPC) 2014 Annual Meeting, held January 10-11, 2014, in San Antonio, Texas, Randy Hardy of Oakley, Idaho, was elected to serve as NPC’s president for 2014 and to lead the council’s Executive Committee.

Hardy, owner of Hardy Farms located in south-central Idaho, works the family farm with his son Ben and his wife Karlene, who serves as the farm’s secretary/treasurer. Hardy took over the operation at the age of 19 after his father’s sudden passing. For the past 20 years, he has been involved in the activities of the United States Potato Board (USPB), serving as its chairman in 2006-07, and NPC, where he was first appointed to the Board of Directors in 2008 and, most recently, served on the Executive Committee as the Vice President of Trade Affairs.

In accepting the position, Hardy noted that the activities of potato industry make a difference. “My involvement with the National Potato Council has shown me that we, as an industry, are better positioned to have an impact on national agricultural policy than ever before, but we need to do better. We need to share with our friends and neighbors who are involved in agriculture that we need their voice. We need them to help us tell our story,” said Hardy.

Hardy took the lead of an organization his uncle and mentor, Idaho potato farmer W.B. Whiteley, presided over in 1955-56. He and his wife have five children, Rachelle, Charlotte, Ben, Jaclyn, and Kristen, and 27 grandchildren, Katy, Brittany, Nicolas, Liz, Jakob, Zoe, Alex, Jeffrey, Melissa, Andy, Jonathan, Allison, Joseph, Emily, Ashley, Zach, Gavin, Sophie, Dallin, Nicole, Ethan, Natalie, Greg, Heidi, Jason, Josh, and Riley.