Hello tater nation, #tatertwin Kaylee here! The #taterteam and #bigidahopotato are on our way home to Boise right now! It has been an amazing farm tour these past few weeks! We decided to do something special after our national tour this year by visiting the hardworking folks in the Idaho® Potato industry. A lot of them haven’t seen the truck before since we are normally out of state! It was a special opportunity to meet our fellow Idahoans and learn more about harvest!
We had the privilege of visiting a few farms including Russ Frisby Farms, Legacy Farms, Brett Jensen Farms, and Wilcox Farms. We got the full hands-on farm experience and were able to dig up potatoes straight from the ground (the old fashioned way with a shovel), ride on a harvester, and go inside a potato cellar! It was so interesting to see the whole process first-hand! We also loved meeting all of the farmers and their hard-working employees. A lot of farms in Idaho are family-owned and operated and they are some of the most down to earth and kind people you will ever meet.
We also took our spud to fresh packing facilities where they wash, sort, and package the potatoes to be shipped to the consumer! We visited Pleasant Valley Potato, NonPareil Potatoes, Rigby Produce, GPOD, Sun Valley Potatoes, High Country Potatoes, and Wada Farms. We got to tour most of the facilities to see the whole automated process and I felt like I was in an episode of the TV show How It’s Made! It is amazing all of the automation and the high-tech machinery that is used. It really cuts down on all of the manual labor and time that would be required. All of the employees at the facilities loved seeing our giant tuber as well! It brought a smile to their faces and we gave them TONS of potato swag!
Farm tour wouldn’t have been complete without stopping at some potato processing plants including Simplot, Lamb Weston, Mccain Foods, and Basic American Foods! We were able to tour the inside of Simplot and Lamb Weston who both produce french fries. The best part of the tours were taste testing the fries at the very end! We also made a fun stop at Spudnik Equipment LLC. where they make farming equipment. It was a 5,000+ square foot facility where they make their own parts and assemble them! We got to see the process from start to finish and were amazed!
We also made some other fun stops including a visit to BYU-Idaho, Oakley Jr. & Sr. High School, Rockford Elementary, Oktuberfest, and Bear World! We even surprised Ellie Blacker, daughter of IPC’s Industry Relations Travis Blacker, and picked her up from her school at Madison Jr. High. Her reaction was priceless to say the least! Watch the video by clicking here.
Farm Tour 2019 was non-stop fun! We learned so much and it is mind blowing how much work goes into getting an Idaho® Potato from the field to your plate! The #taterteam loved meeting all of the farmers and employees that are the back bone to this industry. It is such an honor to represent Idaho® Potatoes all over the U.S. and the people behind them!
We are officially done touring for the season now! It is bittersweet for sure, because we’ve made so many memories these past 7 months. Stay tuned for upcoming Boise events like the Boise holiday parade, the Famous Idaho® Potato Bowl, the Idaho® Potato Drop, and more!
Thanks for reading!
-Tater Twin Kaylee