Potato Expo brings crowd, talk of trucks, trade

Drawing 165 exhibitors and 1,700 attendees, the 2018 Potato Expo featured discussions of hot-button issues of trade, trucks, immigration and technology. Blair Richardson, CEO of Potatoes USA, said the Potato Expo gives the industry a sense of communal identity to discuss issues facing the industry in different sectors and different parts of the country. “At the end of the day, we are all focused on one thing, to build opportunities for potatoes and potato farmers,” Richardson said. The lack of trucks has been a big topic among attendees, said John Keeling, CEO and executive vice president of the National Potato Council. Potato Expo attendees also are anxious about trade and the North American Free Trade Agreement, Keeling said. President Trump pulling out of NAFTA would be catastrophic for the potato industry, Keeling said. “We are losing ground not just in Mexico if NAFTA doesn’t come together, we are losing ground in Japan and Indonesia and other places…” More