US: International Crop Expo returns for 16th year

The International Crop Expo returns for its 16th year, with its traditional triple-headed focus on potatoes, small grains and soybeans/dry beans. It will take place in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The 2017 version comes with a slight twist: one of its its keynote speakers is Chris Koch, a Canadian farmer born without arms and legs. “That’s a little different for us,” said Lionel Olson, an agronomist who has helped to manage the show for many years. “Normally our keynote speaker has a business or economic aspect. But this is more on the personal side.” Koch, from Nanton, Alberta, speaks at 1 p.m. Feb. 22. “He’s someone who had some bad breaks, but hasn’t let that stop him,” Olson said. “I think it will be a very interesting presentation.” The Ag Expo is expected to draw about 4,000 people and 180 exhibitors. One of the show’s annual highlights comes from top potato industry officials, who this year will speak on the morning of Feb. 22. Mark Klompien, CEO of United Potato Growers of America, will talk from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Blair Richardson, president and CEO of Potatoes USA, speaks from 9:30 to 9:50 a.m. T.K. Kuwahara, global marketing manager of Potatoes USA, speaks from 9:50 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. John Keeling, executive vice president and CEO of the National Potato Council, will talk from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. More