The conference agenda will now be spread out over three tight days to ensure that content is delivered in more digestible segments. Best of all, sessions will be easily accessible on-demand for conference attendees to view at their own convenience through the end of March.

Schedule is continually updated and subject to change.
Times listed are in Pacific Time.

TUESDay, January 5

Brought to you by Potatoes USA
9:30am-10:30am POTATO EXPO KICK-OFF
The Power of Purpose in Business and Life (and potatoes!)

Roy Spence, Cofounder & Chairman, GSD&M/Cofounder & CEO, The Purpose Institute

Sponsored by



12:00pm-12:45pm GENERAL SESSION
Preserving the Future of Agriculture: How supply chain is scaling up efforts to address climate change and sustainability

Climate change and sustainability initiatives around the globe continue to drive discussions to identify and minimize agriculture’s impact. Join the conversation on supply chain efforts in North America, and around the world to identify and implement improvements in minimizing agriculture’s impact throughout the industry. Panelists will also discuss ways for growers to become engaged at the local, national and global levels to drive positive change within agriculture.

Mike Wenkel, COO, National Potato Council

Chuck Conner, CEO, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
Barb Glenn, CEO, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
Rod Snyder, President & CEO, Field to Market
Brandy Wilson, Global Sustainability Director, JR Simplot Company
1:00pm-1:30pm WASHINGTON UPDATE, THE FUTURE OF CREDIT: Politics and policy debates impacting agriculture and rural communities

Todd Van Hoose, President & CEO, Farm Credit Council
1:30pm-2:00pm PAA Poster Session: Meet the Researchers

wednesday, january 6

Brought to you by Potatoes USA

So much has changed in where, what and how people eat and this is changing demand for potatoes. This panel will provide insights into the changes in consumer behavior towards food when eating at home, purchasing at retail and at restaurants and how these are impacting and will impact potato sales and demand. The four members bring expertise in changing food patterns, the retail sector, foodservice and how this all ties to the potato market. Presented in a question-and-answer format, this session will help provide answers to questions everyone in the potato industry has been wondering over this past year and as we look to the future. Make sure to bring your questions for this excellent line up of speakers.

Blair Richardson, CEO, Potatoes USA

Jack Li, Haiku Master, Datassential
Jonna Parker, Principal, Fresh Center of Excellence, IRI
Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, President & CEO, Produce for Better Health Foundation
John Toaspern, CMO, Potatoes USA

Sponsored by

9:30am-10:00am BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Covid-19: Looking at the Impact of the Virus on the Supermarket Industry Today and Tomorrow

The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdowns vastly impacted consumers changing eating, shopping and cooking patterns. This presentation examines some of the changes brought about in 2020 with an eye toward which changes might be lasting and what that means to the food industry.

Michael Sansolo, Retail Food Industry Expert

The Future of High Yield and Quality: Precision Chemistry and Fertility Advancements

This session covers advancements in both crop protection and fertility that will be of specific interest to potato growers who want to maximize yield, quality and efficiency. Attendees will hear new data about comprehensive in-furrow fertilizer programs and fungicides/insecticides that can be mixed and applied in the same tank at the same time. These new practices result in higher yield, crops that can better withstand stress - all while saving time and costs associated with hauling extra water and reducing passes over the field. Return on investment will be a key focus of this session.

Jonathan Adamson, Western Regional Sales Manager, Vive Crop Protection
Luke Radford, Farm Agronomist, Moss Farms
Tommy Roach, VP Product Development & Technical Services, Nachurs Alpine Solutions

Online Variety Selection Resources for the Potato Industry

What emerging varieties can compete with the yield potential of a Russet Burbank? Is the specific gravity of Lady Liberty superior to Snowden? If you are a grower or processor interested in the performance of new and emerging potato varieties versus the reliable industry standards, or you just have an interest in public potato variety development data, then this session is for you!

Join Brad Halladay, founder and CEO of Medius Ag, on a journey through the Medius. Re online data management platform. In this session, you’ll discover the breadth and depth of the public variety development programs geared toward the frozen and chip processing sectors. You’ll also learn how to identify top regional and national trial performers, potential weaknesses in talked-about emerging varieties, and customize data reports so that you can spend less time sifting through spreadsheets and boost your efficiency.

Bradley Halladay, Founder and CEO, Medius Ag, LLC
Chris Long, Potato Outreach Program Lead, Michigan State University
Scott Pensky, Agronomist, CSS Farms (Dalhart, TX)
Chris Voigt, Executive Director, Washington State Potato Commission

10:00am-10:30am BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Image Recognition of Pest & Disease is Redefining Early Detection Field Scouting

Image recognition can be found across different precision ag platforms and it is revolutionizing modern field scouting practices. A scout armed with a platform capable of sampling plants 12x faster than himself can collect a variety of samples throughout the entire field and find pests and infections earlier on, saving farms time and money.AI platforms scan through the plethora of collected images and find menaces like early and late blight and all phases of CPB.I will be presenting advances in detections, hurdles that still need to be tackled and a 5-year industry road map, as hardware prices continue to drop, and AI detection continues to improve. I will also explain how this new technology empowers scouts and is far from replacing them.

Simcha Shore, Founder & CEO, AgroScout

Alan Schreiber, President, Agricultural Development Group, Inc.

The Benefits of Diploid Breeding and True Potato Seed

Sponsored by

Professional potato breeding groups worldwide are working to make diploid hybrid potato breeding a reality. Assuming a few biological obstacles are removed, several advantages come from using this breeding system over conventional tetraploid potato breeding. Hybrid vigor is expected to contribute to higher yields. And, achieving the many quality and sustainability traits required for potatoes becomes more attainable. In addition, the genetic resources of both domestic and wild potato germplasm pools are more readily available. We will discuss the benefits of using true potato seed as starting material, and why breeders are trying to develop a diploid breeding system similar to those that work for many crops including corn. Leading experts discuss leveraging this technology and pursuing the necessary steps to bring it to fruition.


Andrew W. LaVigne, President & CEO, American Seed Trade Association (ASTA)


Paul Bethke, PhD, Plant Pathologist, USDA Agricultural Research Service

Amy Charkowski, PhD, Professor and Department Head, Colorado State University

Ian Puddephat, PhD, Senior Director of Agro Sciences, PepsiCo

Jeremy Singer, PhD, Director of Agronomy, Simplot Plant Sciences

The Revolution is Here: The Center Pivot as an Agronomic Management Tool

Sponsored by

For 50 years the center pivot has been the most efficient tool available to growers for irrigating potatoes. Despite its perfection for irrigation, the industry has struggled to make the pivot do more. Recent advance in technology around machine vision, big data, machine learning and control systems are ushering in a new era of productivity for the center pivot. Satellite imagery, advanced analytics and the ability to deploy nearly everything a potato crop needs via the pivot will make this must have tool even more valuable to growers. The pivot is no longer just for irrigation. It’s an autonomous agronomic robot powered by a advanced management platform.

Wade Sikkink, Director, Global Product Management, Lindsay Corporation

Kurtis Charling, Director of Software Development, Lindsay Corporation
Mike Pink, Pink Farms, Mesa, Wash.

12:00pm-12:45pm GENERAL SESSION
Getting Potatoes into the Mouths of Consumers

Not only has this has been an incredibly unusual year, it could bring about long-term changes for consumers and growers alike. Join in on a discussion with industry thought leaders on challenges, opportunities and innovations – from growing potatoes on the farm to getting potatoes into the hands of consumers worldwide – that could shape our industry for decades to come.

Michael Sansolo, Food Industry Expert

Keith McGovern, President, R.D. Offutt Farms
Kevin Stanger, President, Wada Farms Marketing Group
Barry Starnes, Category Manager, Produce, Southeastern Grocers
Steve Williams, Vice President, Produce & Floral, Southeastern Grocers

Join us for an interactive, family-friendly cooking competition hosted by Chef Joel Gamoran. This is your chance to watch growers from across the country compete to be the 2021 Top Spud.

Competing Teams:
Team The Big Sky Bakers: Steve, Jill and Paul Streich, Streich & Associates, Kalispell, Mont.

Team Spudettes: Sadie, Sydney and Kathy Michael Sponheim, Michael Family Farms, Urbano, Ohio
Mike and Ali Carter, Bushmans Inc., Rosholt, Wisc.
Laurie Widdowson, CSS Farms, Kearney, Neb.
Jason Davenport, Allied Potato Inc., Arvin, Calif.
Nathan Bender, Tasteful Selections, Arvin, Calif.
Bob Mattive, Worley Family Farms, Monte Vista, Colo.
Britt Raybould, Raybould Bros. Farm, Saint Anthony, Idaho
Team Superfrog: Dominic and Rachel LaJoie, LaJoie Growers, Van Buren, Maine
Harry, Amber and Katie Strohauer, Strohauer Farms, La Salle, Colo.
Greg Harris, Threemile Canyon Farms, Boardman, Oregon
David Masser, Sterman Masser, Sacramento, Penn.
Team Go Cougs: Kevin Cochrane and family plus the Cochrane's nanny, Corteva Agriscience, Kennewick, Wash.
Ed and Liz Schneider, Joslyn and Kelsey Kirkendall, Schneider Farms, Pasco, Wash.
Jared, Will, McKaila and Kellee Balcom, Balcom and Moe, Pasco, Wash.

Susan Comstock Holt, Chef/Owner, CulinAerie
RJ Harvey RDN, CEC, Culinary Director ,Potatoes USA
Brandy Tucker, Director of Marketing & Operations, Washington State Potato Commission

Sponsored by


Brought to you by Potatoes USA

Hundreds of millions in pandemic relief aid. Ag worker reform movement. New export markets opened. Historic federal potato purchases. It's hard to keep track of everything that's happened in 2020. Join the National Potato Council as we look back at a year we'll never forget and look ahead to finding a new path forward with the new Congress and Administration.

Pandemic Support for Fruits and Vegetables - How the Industry Teamed Up to Create the Largest Disaster Response in USDA's History

Kam Quarles, CEO, National Potato Council
Michael A. Joyner, President, Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association
Dave Puglia, President & CEO, Western Growers Association
Tom Stenzel, President & CEO, United Fresh Produce Association

Ag Labor Solutions – Is 2021 the Year Congress Delivers?

Kam Quarles, CEO, National Potato Council

Craig Regelbrugge, Senior Vice President, AmericanHort

Enhancing U.S. Potato Exports - Global Export Opportunities and Challenges in 2021

Kam Quarles, CEO, National Potato Council
Matt Lantz, Vice President, Global Access, Bryant Christie Inc.

Sponsored by

9:30am-10:00am BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Trending Issues in Farm Succession Planning

Our panel will address current issues in succession planning and introduce a number of “best practices” we are seeing in the field.

Rewarding and Retaining Non-Family Talent:

Most successful Ag operations have at least one key manager who is not part of the family, but plays a critical role in the operation. Often, retaining those managers is a critical component in a successful succession plan. But , competition for talent is at an all-time high, and “pirating” of employees is increasing. We will introduce strategies successful operations are using to retain talent in today’s marketplace.

Reimagining the Buy-Sell Agreement:

Multi-owner farming, growing, packing and ranching operations generally have some form of buy-sell agreement between shareholders and LLC members. In many cases, these buy-sells were prepared by the farm’s advisors, using the same documents they would use for non-Ag businesses. But farm operations have significant differences from manufacturing, retail and service sector firms, and the types of arrangements which work well on Main Street may be ill-suited to farm families. This session will explore different ways to best craft these plans and will introduce innovative alternatives to achieving common objectives, potentially with greater flexibility and lower tax cost.

What’s Your Value Gap? Retiring without Breaking the Farm:

Many Americans will live 20 years or longer in retirement, and Farm families are often particularly unprepared. Unlike other business owners, Ag operators usually have relatively little in the way of financial assets. (Profits are often used to buy land, instead of going into a retirement plan). And while many non-farm business owners will sell their business to fund their retirement, farm families more often wish to pass the operation down to the next generation. Finally, due to the way farmers and growers compensate themselves, they rarely amass a comfortable 401K or pension, or even a big Social Security benefit. We will discuss strategies to ease retirement and succession challenges, by helping the senior generation close their “Value Gap.”


Bob Mattive, Worley Family Farms

Dominic LaJoie, LaJoie Growers, LLC

Jason Davenport, Allied Potato, Inc.

Jeffrey DeWald, CLU®, ChFC®, CBEC®, Lincoln Financial Network

Mark L. Sherin, CFP ®, CLU®, CBEC®, Lincoln Financial Network

Michael A. Cohen, CRPC®, CBEC®, Lincoln Financial Network

Predicting Chaos: Weather Risk in Potato Cultivation

Sponsored by

The science and technological advances in weather prediction are changing rapidly. Our ability to accurately predict the future behavior of the atmosphere allows us to better anticipate and mitigate weather’s influence on our crops. In this presentation we will discuss latest advances in weather prediction and how to use the tools to observe and forecast weather. We will talk about the limits of prediction and discuss how to interpret forecasts. We will then examine winter 2020-2021 and look at the major factors (i.e., La Niña) that will likely influence the weather patterns over the next 6 months. We will also talk about high-impact events like hail, flash flood and flash drought, and learn how monitor these events and understand their impacts. Finally, we will discuss long-term trends in temperature and precipitation across global potato growing regions.

Eric Snodgrass, Principal Atmospheric Scientist, Nutrien Ag Solutions

Fungicide Resistance Management Techniques and the Value of Premixes

Sponsored by

Foliar fungicides and fungicide seed treatments are effective management tools for a range of debilitating, yield-robbing potato diseases. Yearly, fungicide applications offer growers the best method to control these diseases, even when environmental conditions do not favor severe disease development. However, repeated use of just one FRAC fungicide group increases the risk of fungicide resistance within that class of chemistry. To combat this threat, it is important to develop a strong disease management program that incorporates different fungicides and seed treatments with multiple modes of action. By not overly relying on a single fungicide and mode of action, growers can maintain the efficacy of these fungicides for years to come and continue to protect your fields against disease, maximizing yields at season’s end. Join Dan Maxfield, Glenn Letendre and Kiran Shetty, Ph.D., from Syngenta to take a deeper dive into the issue of fungicide resistance, provide tips and strategies for managing resistance in potato fields in addition to discussing innovative premix products that help combat disease resistance.

Dan Maxfield, Agronomic Service Representative, Syngenta Crop Protection

Kiran Shetty, Ph.D., Technical Development Lead for Potatoes, Syngenta Crop Protection

10:00am-10:30am BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Foresight is 20/20: The Future of Irrigation is Predictive

Sponsored by

Even as agriculture evolves and technology improves, some things still require us to wait and see. But what if it didn’t have to be that way? Innovations that give you the power to see the future are already happening. Technology like Valley Insights™, powered by Prospera, is changing the way potato growers are able to detect signs of crop stress in fields. We are shifting from reactive to predictive, from applying water after we see a problem and potential yield loss has occurred, to predicting those events almost before they happen, with sensors, artificial intelligence and machine learning – then taking action. Attend this session to see what is happening and where the irrigation industry will go next.

Trevor Mecham, Vice President of Global Technology Strategy & Industry Relations, Valmont Industries
Darren Siekman, Vice President of Global Water Delivery & Business Management, Valmont Industries

Fumigation and the Path to Soil Health and Soil Nutrition
Sponsored by

Join us as leading university and industry experts discuss best practices in fumigation, soil health and soil nutrition. We’ll uncover the myths and benefits of soil fumigation as well as offer soil management tips after fumigation for a better potato crop.

Grant Morris, Schneider Farms-Pasco LLC, Pasco, Wash.

Mike Thornton, Ph.D., Parma Chair and Professor of Plant Sciences, University of Idaho
Carl Rosen, Ph.D., Head and Professor of the Department of Soil, Water and Climate , University of Minnesota
Ralph Frederick, Territory Sales Representative, AMVAC

The Future of Sustainability: What do Consumers Want to Know?

Sustainability was originally synonymous with protecting the environment, but today’s consumers often equate sustainability with health and wellness, treatment of workers, food waste, packaging, the impact on local communities, and a range of other issues. As consumers demand more information about how their food is produced, a growing challenge for companies and food system stakeholders is how to evaluate the growing list of sustainability issues. Join us for a panel discussion on consumer attitudes toward sustainability and learn how the Potato Sustainability Alliance is helping the industry meet evolving consumer demand.

John MacQuarrie, Director of Environmental Sustainability, Cavendish Farms

Charlie Arnot, CEO, The Center for Food Integrity

Sanford Gleddie, Vice President of Agriculture & Business Development, The Little Potato Company

Potato Policy Predictions – A Closer Look at Biden’s Food Policy Priorities Against a Growing Body of Potato Nutrition Research

With the presidential administration transition in full swing, it is inevitable that there will be changes to food policies and regulations impacting potatoes. Further, with the pandemic serving as a backdrop, there is no doubt policy discussions to improve diet and health will be re-energized. Most pundits predict that many of the Obama-era food policy priorities—from more restrictive school meal nutrition standards, to sustainability, to interpretive nutrition labeling (like healthy)—will be in play. This session will provide insights on hot button policy issues that are predicted to be a focus of the Biden administration and that have the greatest implications across the entire potato industry. Against this reality, an overview of how the Alliance for Potato Research and Education’s nutrition research program can be leveraged to promote the health and wellness benefits of potatoes, and counter negative misperceptions around potato consumption, will be provided.

Elizabeth Johnson, MS, RD, Principal and CEO, Food Directions

Howard Goldstein, MS, RD, Vice President, FoodMinds
12:00pm-12:45pm GENERAL SESSION
Trends in Farming Technology

Join us for a discussion with industry leaders with companies that are identified as bringing innovation to the table in helping advance the potato industry. Discussions will focus on trends in technology, sustainability, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and what advancements they see on the horizon that will advance potato production around the globe.

RJ Andrus, NPC’s VP of Legislative Affairs and Senior Manager, Raw Material Procurement, Idahoan


Rainer Borgmann, CEO, Spudnik Equipment Company LLC

Gustavo Oberto, President, Global Agricultural Irrigation, Lindsay Corporation

Julian Sanchez, Director of Emerging Technology, Intelligent Solutions Group, John Deere

Simcha Shore, CEO, AgroScout

Join together with the potato community for a fast paced, family friendly virtual trivia game that promises to be funny and rewarding (prizes!)

Prizes will be awarded for winners of each round

  • Round 1 - $250 Amazon Gift Card
  • Round 2 – $250 Best Buy Gift Card
  • Round 3 – Nintendo Switch
  • Round 4 - iPad

Sponsored by