Breakout Sessions @ the 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.

innovation hub schedule:

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, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Alpha Food Labs and Founder, The Future Market

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 Vice President, FLM Harvest

Wednesday, January 15

Potatoes Pave the Way for Plant Forward Menus
Montego C

Amy Myrdal Miller, MS, RDN, FAND, founder and president of Farmer's Daughter Consulting, Inc. in Carmichael, CA, has spent the past 15 years working with top brands in the foodservice industry to influence produce and sustainable agriculture on menus. Recently, through The Culinary Institute of America’s Healthy Menus R&D Collaborative Amy and 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 to greater produce consumption.

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

Ag Labor Trends: H-2A or Bust?
Montego E

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

Managing Weather Risk in Production Agriculture
Montego C

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

Andrew Pritchard, Meteorologist, Nutrien Ag Solutions

Food Safety and Labeling Requirements on the Potato Industry
Montego E

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

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

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
Aaron Fox, Executive Vice President, Fox Packaging and Fox Solutions
Steve Greenfield, Director of Sales and Marketing, NNZ, Inc.
Tom Karst, Editor-in-Chief, The Packer
Russell Wysocki, CEO, Wysocki Family of Farm

Family Business Management
Montego E

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

Mike Salisbury, Senior Consultant, Cooper Norman

Wednesday, January 15

Maintaining Access to Vital Crop Protection Tools - What Do the CIPC and Glyphosate Cases Tell Us About Future Regulations
Montego C

Chloropropham (CIPC) is an important product in controlling sprouts in commercial potato storages. Due to the European Union’s use of the “precautionary principle,” their renewal for the use of CIPC was not granted in 2019, leading to the exclusion of the use of CIPC as of October 8, 2020.  Glyphosate is also under fire in California and has been banned by a number of countries. What do these non-renewals and restrictions tell us about the use of sound science in regulating crop protection tools in the future and how do they impact potatoes and international marketing?

Moderator: Kam Quarles, CEO, National Potato Council
Nasser Dean, Stakeholder Relations Manager, Bayer Crop Science
Terry Kippley, President, Aceto Life Sciences
Rachel Lattimore, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, CropLife America

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

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 hear some best management practices being used in the industry.

Moderator: Chris Voigt, Executive Director, Washington State Potato Commission
Lydia Raath, Group Manager of Seed Operations, CSS Farms
Eric Schroeder, Manager, Schroeder Bros. Farms, Inc.
Thane Siddoway, Owner, Siddoway, Inc.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

Moderator: Kelly Turner, Executive Director, Michigan Potatoes
Todd Forbush, Vice President, Storage Systems Engineer, Techmark, Inc.

Mike Thornton, Ph.D., Professor, University of Idaho
Keith Tinsey, Director of Operations (Midwest), Black Gold Farms