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Potato Growers of Idaho to Continue Active Role

Restructuring will reduce staff.

The Potato Growers of Idaho announces that it will continue to operate as a "viable" association within the potato industry.

A transition committee, organized by PGI's executive committee to determine the future of the organization, is recommending that the unit be restructured to operate with very limited staff and minimal overhead costs.

PGI's primary functions will be to maintain a political action committee and continue membership in Grower's National Cooperative, a farmer-owned co-op providing benefits to members, which with local affiliated agents can help with crop insurance needs.

"The consolidation of PGI's primary activities into the Idaho Potato Commission was an important step forward for growers in our industry," says PGI President Ray Hess. "However, the IPC cannot be involved with PAC activities or hire lobbyists, and that is why PGI will continue to exist in a limited form to ensure that those activities can continue."

A portion of the money raised by PGI will also go to fund the National Potato Council's PAC. Since PGI's PAC is limited to Idaho state elections, the NPC's PAC will be used to support federal candidates who support the potato industry, including Idaho's delegation.

"The costs to effectively run a winning campaign even on the state level are very high," says Hess. "If we want candidates who are friendly toward agriculture elected, it will take more and more money to help hem get voted into office.

"We are confident we can significantly increase the amount of money we raise for our PAC under this new structure."

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