Monte Vista, CO — Utilizing the considerable people skills of Olympic figure skater Rachael Flatt to tout potatoes grown in Colorado's San Luis Valley, the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee is reaching out to consumers both in the Rocky Mountain region and across the entire country.
According to CPAC Administrator Linda Weyers, Ms. Flatt will continue to represent the committee at a number of venues through the 2012-13 shipping season. The young athlete, now in her sophomore year with a chemical engineering major at Stanford University in California, was the 2010 U.S. national figure skating champion. She was also the 2008, 2009 and 2011 national silver medalist and 2008 World JuniorChampion, and she competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, where she placed seventh.
Partnering with CPAC since 2010, Ms. Flatt has taken part in numerous live and multi-media events on behalf of the committee. This summer she appeared at Radio Disney-sponsored events and represented CPAC at the Pigs N Peaches BBQ Festival in Atlanta in August. On Sept. 15 the popular and self-described "Colorado girl" will join Radio Disney and CPAC at the Summerset Festival in Littleton, CO, south of Denver proper.
The 28-year-old festival attracts upwards of 40,000 attendees each year and with its diverse draw of arts and crafts, music, games, food and more. It has been voted the Reader's Choice for Best Annual Event by Community Media of Colorado readers, and Radio Disney will be broadcasting live from the park.
Ms. Weyers said the presence of Rachael Flatt is a positive draw for all involved.
"We at CPAC are so impressed with the fact she carries a full schedule at Stanford, continues to train for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and works with us on promoting Colorado potatoes. That speaks volumes about her work ethic and commitment," Ms. Weyers said.
Leading up to the Summerset event, Ms. Flatt recorded a television commercial with Denver NBC affiliate KUSA Channel 9 and the Colorado Proud promotional program. The spot, which features footage from Colorado's 2012 harvest, will have the athlete in a kitchen setting and giving tips on nutrition and recipes.
"The spot will air during the day when moms are able to watch," Ms. Weyers said, noting the commercial will run into October.
In addition to taking part in the televised spots, CPAC also staged its annual Fall Potato Festival in Monte Vista, CO, hometown of the committee's offices. The one-day festival was held on Sept. 8 and again included the Colorado chefs' competition. Coordinated by Jason Morse, owner and executive chef of 5820 Culinary and director of the Culinary Apprenticeship program of the American Culinary Federation Colorado Chefs Association as well as board member of the organization, the competition featured out-of-the-bookends recipes for Colorado potatoes.
Games, crafts and other vendors were also part of the event.
In October, CPAC will be an exhibitor in the Colorado Department of Agriculture Pavilion at PMA Fresh Summit in Anaheim, CA,and Ms. Weyers said Rachael Flatt is tentatively scheduled to attend.
On other fronts, the committee has ramped up its digital presence on Facebook and Twitter, and Ms. Weyers said Administrative Assistant Malisa Rytting continues to expand CPAC Pinterest pages.
Coloradopotato.org is updated regularly as well, Ms. Weyers said.