Innovation Hub

Breakout sessions at the Innovation Hub are designed to address the top issues in the potato industry. Innovation Hub sessions are included with an All-Access Pass.


Tuesday, January 14

The Future of Food: Envisioning the Next Decade of Potatoes

In this session, Mike Lee, founder of The Future Market and Alpha Food Labs will explore the trends and consumer behaviors that are shaping the future of food, with a specific focus on the potato industry.

He will take you on a journey that begins with insights and data about the current state of potato and food consumption in general, then explore potential future scenarios that illustrate what the potato—and food—industry may look like over the next 5-10 years.

This journey will be viewed through the lens of the 21st century eater—an eater who demands foods that fulfill needs at the intersection of health, sustainability, and flavor experience. Join this session to understand how these consumers will impact the marketplace for decades to come and what food producers, processors, distributors, brands, and retailers can do to meet their needs and thrive well into the future.

Mike Lee, founder of The Future Market and Alpha Food Labs

Agribusiness Disruption Trends and the Future of Agribusiness

Volatility and disruption are the new “normal” no matter where you play in the agriculture supply chain. With this being the case, long-term planning windows have shortened and organizations need to have a mindset and a business strategy that allows them to be responsive to trends and agile enough to shift how their business operates and rethink where their profit margins may come from. For this reason, leaders in agriculture need the capabilities to determine the WHAT, SO WHAT, NOW WHAT impact of any market disruption so they can create a business strategy that allows them to stay ahead of the game when much of the time the rules of the game aren’t very clear. In this presentation, we will look at current trends and disruptors - and their implications on our future.

David Parker, Executive VP, FLM Harvest

Wednesday, January 15

Breakout 1: Montego ABC

Potatoes Pave the Way for Plant Forward Menus

Amy Myrdal Miller, MS, RDN, FAND, founder of Farmer's Daughter Consulting, Inc. has spent years working with top brands in the foodservice industry to influence produce and sustainable agriculture on menus. Recently through the Healthy Menu's R&D Collaborative Amy alongside industry thought leaders from some of the largest chains in the foodservice industry have pushed through into the plant forward space by introducing potatoes as the base of some incredible plant forward bowl concepts at multiple non-commercial operations such as Compass Group, Sodexo, Aramark, Harvard, and Yale Dining. With potatoes as the vegetable base of these bowls consumers are more apt to consume more vegetables, showcasing that potatoes are truly the gateway vegetable.

Amy Myrdal-Miller, Founder/President of Farmer's Daughter Consulting, Inc., Farmer's Daughter Consulting, Inc., MS, RDN, FAND
RJ Harvey, Culinary Director, Potatoes USA, RDN, CEC

Managing Weather Risk in Production Agriculture

Global warming, climate change, weather variability; whatever you want to call it; we have seen warmer summers the last few years. Get some weather insights on what’s ahead in the coming years.

Andrew Pritchard, Meteorologist, Nutrien Ag Solutions

Where is Society Headed with Plastics? What Are Our Alternatives in Packaging?

In recent months, plastic straws have become a point of conversation for consumers and business owners. Imagine if the focus changed to potato bags, what would your alternatives be? Learn what alternatives are being considered within the industry.

Moderator: Kathleen Triou, President & CEO, Fresh Solutions Network, LLC
Panelists: Aaron Fox, Vice President, Fox Packaging and Fox Solutions
Steve Greenfield, Director of Sales and Marketing, NNZ, Inc.

Breakout 2: Montego DEF

Ag Labor Trends: Creative Ways to Make H2A Work on Your Farm

Agricultural labor continues to be a struggle across all of American agriculture. Learn how growers in other sectors are using programs like H2A to successfully fill their labor needs.

Mike Carlton, Director of Labor Relations, Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association

Food Safety and Labeling Requirements on the Potato Industry

There continue to be changes in food safety and labeling requirement that could impact U.S. potato growers. This session will focus on providing insight into future requirements including the Food Safety Modernization Act and National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Law.

Ed Ruckert, Partner, McDermott, Will & Emery

Family Business Management

Managing a family business, no matter the size or structure, bring unique family dynamics that can cripple the business. Become familiar with some techniques to strengthen your business model and ensure success for future generations.

Wednesday, January 15

Breakout 1: Montego ABC

CIPC and the Potential Impact on U.S. Exports of the EU Not Re-registering

Chlorprpphan (CIPC) is an important product in controlling sprouts in commercial potato storages. The renewal for the use of CIPC within the European Union was not granted in 2019, resulting in a ban effective January 1, 2020. While still available for use in the U.S., learn what this may mean to you from a marketing standpoint. 

What the Heck is Going on in D.C.? A Discussion on National Issues

Good things happen in Washington, D.C.; despite what you hear. Get a pulse for the key agricultural issues affecting potato production in the United States and efforts to find solutions to them.

Trade wars and fluctuating tariffs can certainly create uncertainty in the marketplace. Gain some insight into efforts to address many of the trade issues affecting movement of U.S. potatoes around the globe.

Kam Quarles, CEO, National Potato Council
Matt Lantz, Vice President, Global Access, Bryant Christie Inc.
Tyson Redpath, The Russell Group

Breakout 2: Montego DEF

Get to Know your Seed Grower: Best Management Practices When Purchasing Seed

Quality seed is one of the most critical inputs for any potato grower with a significant impact on your crop’s quality and yield. Join the discussion on ways to strengthen your relationship with your seed grower and here some best management practices being used in the industry.

Cold Chain Management in Potatoes: From Packing Shed to Store Floor, Keeping Your Potatoes Conditioned

Gain an understanding of the critical points and challenges in cold chain management of potatoes and the steps you can take in your operation to minimize quality issues.

Mike Thornton, PhD, Professor, University of Idaho
Todd Forbush, Engineer, Techmark, Inc.