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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, jim tiede


At the National Potato Council’s (NPC) 2016 Annual Meeting, held January 14-15, in Las Vegas Nevada, Jim Tiede of American Falls, Idaho was elected to serve as the NPC President for 2016 and to lead the council’s Executive Committee. He is in his fifth year of serving on the NPC Executive Committee and has previously held the titles of Vice President of Grower and Public Relations, and Vice President of Government and Legislative Affairs. Tiede also served the U.S. Potato Board (USPB) for six years as Vice Chairman of Research and Domestic Marketing, and USPB Chairman in 2002-2003. In 2012-2013, he was appointed Chairman of the Idaho Potato Commission.

Although Tiede carries many accolades for having served on some prestigious committees, he is no stranger to potato fields. Tiede’s grandfather, John, immigrated to Idaho and homesteaded in 1908. He broke out the land from sage brush to dry land wheat production. Tiede’s father, Otto, served his country bravely in the South Pacific Theater during World War II and returned to the farm in 1949 to drill the wells and convert the farm to irrigation. Tiede later took over the farm from his dad in the 1970s and started to modernize the irrigation systems to pivots. His son Alex is currently in the process of taking over and will be the fourth generation of the Tiede family to farm the same ground.

In 1974, he married his high school sweetheart Debra and Tiede says that she has been at his side for over 41 years. Tiede has four children; Jacklyn, Meredith, Erin and Alex. All of his daughters are married with two children each so he spends a lot of his down time playing with his six grandchildren.

His family lineage is made up of hard working, productive potato growers and that is shown through his genuine interest and passion in leading NPC in a direction that will benefit the industry as a whole. There will be many challenges and hurdles for the new president but there is plenty of confidence amongst Tiede’s peers that he will meet them head-on and prevail. He is connected with elected representatives and has proven effective in relaying the real concerns of potato growers to them. These concerns call for voting in favor of fundamental and scientific sound legislation and not playing politics with issues that are crucial to our industry. By recruiting and encouraging potato growers to advocate for the industry, Tiede will show Capitol Hill and federal agencies that we are serious. Previous NPC presidents have done a tremendous job in furthering the council’s legislative agenda, so their forward momentum will be an added benefit for him.

The upcoming year will be pivotal for the potato industry on Capitol Hill with so many important issues including increasing truck weight limits, federal preemption on food labeling, approving the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and funding potato breeding and research. It is equally important to stay engaged with federal regulators at USDA and EPA on issues that affect how potato growers go about their daily lives such as the regulation of our waterways and preserving the bee population without over regulating important pesticide tools.

With the Potato D.C. Fly-In completed in February, growers will set their sights on the NPC Summer Meeting this July 13 through 15in Park City, Utah to discuss what issues are left on the table and strategize how to close out the year in a positive fashion for the potato industry. The skill and determination that Tiede has shown in the past leaves little doubt that the outcome of 2016 will complement NPC’s track record of advancing and improving the potato grower community.