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The Washington State Potato Commission and Oregon Potato Commission will hold the first Washington-Oregon Potato Conference Jan. 26-28 at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick, WA.

"The conference board is excited about the merged conferences," said board Secretary-Treasurer Karen Bonaudi. "It is really a win for everyone. The exhibitors can travel to one show, our sponsorships are up $12,000 over last year, and the Oregon crew is working as part of a larger event, which takes a load off them. All we want to order up now is some sunny winter weather."

Bill Brewer, executive director of the Oregon Potato Commission, told The Produce News, "[Our] growers have been receptive to the concept. We will evaluate the success of the meeting."

A full slate of activities has been planned for attendees. They include a trade show, general sessions, Spanish language session, cultivar performance workshop and potato industry leadership banquet.

Entrepreneur, author, educator and former White House economic policy adviser Todd Buchholz will present the keynote address Jan. 27. Known for his wit and insight, Mr. Buchholtz will speak on the topic "New Ideas From Dead CEOs."