Idaho Potato Commission mulls redistricting

EAGLE — A redistricting plan under consideration by the Idaho Potato Commission would provide better representation for Eastern Idaho spud farmers.

The IPC has five growers serving on the commission, along with commissioners representing shippers and processors.

IPC President and CEO Frank Muir explained under the current district boundaries, Western Idaho is overrepresented, while two commissioners in the state’s eastern region represent roughly 70 percent of the state’s spud production.

IPC has recommended consolidating two western districts and splitting its eastern district, which has two at-large commissioners. Under the new format, the IPC would have one commissioner representing a new northeast district, another representing a new southeast district and a third at-large commissioner from either new district.

“This is without question in our mind the best proposal,” Muir said.

Muir said IPC also plans to consider creating language regarding referendums affecting the organization.

Candidates nominated for Idaho Potato Commission

Nick Blanksma, a fourth-generation farmer who lives in Hammett, became the new chairman of the Idaho Potato Commission during a recent meeting of the Idaho Grower Shippers Association in Sun Valley.

Blanksma replaces Oakley farmer Randy Hardy as chairman, though Hardy will remain on the board.

Terms of three board will expire on Sept. 15: Tommy Brown, Ritchey Toevs and Peggy Arnzen.

Nominees to represent growers on the commission include Klaren Koompin, of American Falls, Julie VanOrden, of Pingree, and Kim Wahlen, of Aberdeen.

Nominees to represent shippers include Lance Poole, Kevin Searle and Bryan Wada. Nominees to represent processors include Paul Saito, Brad Russell and Robert Roche.