Home Features The story of Idaho’s potato industry

The story of Idaho’s potato industry

The story of Idaho’s potato industry
Potato Museum located in Blackfoot, Idaho Photo credit: Chester Chan

Discover Idaho’s “spud-tacular” history and culture at the Blackfoot Potato Museum. As the state’s top crop and a vital part of its economy, the museum celebrates the iconic potato industry and the hardworking farmers behind it.

The humble potato, often considered the backbone of the American diet, has a new home in the small town of Blackfoot, Idaho. This town, once known for its thriving potato industry, opened a Potato Museum, an interactive exhibit that tells the story of the potato from its ancient Andean roots to the modern-day potato industry.

Idaho is widely known as the Potato State, owing to its status as the leading producer of potatoes in the United States. According to the Idaho State Department of Agriculture’s website, 30% of the country’s potatoes are grown in Idaho.

Idaho’s unique climate and soil are key reasons for its success in potato farming. Its hot, dry summers and cool, moist winters are conducive to growing the crop, while the mineral-rich volcanic ash in its soil contributes to the production of healthy and flavorful potatoes.

Potato farming has been a longstanding tradition in Idaho since the 1830s, and today, it is a major industry in the state, with over 300 potato growers. Additionally, the potato industry provides more than 30,000 jobs in Idaho, ranging from field workers and truck drivers to potato processors and marketers.

The Potato Museum is an interactive celebration of the potato’s journey and its cultural significance. The exhibit includes a wide range of interactive displays, including a potato-inspired art gallery, a potato sack race simulator and a potato chip-making demonstration. Visitors can learn about the different varieties of potatoes, the potato’s role in world history, and the potato’s significance in the Blackfoot community.

The museum’s goal is to educate visitors about the importance of the potato in American culture and celebrate the town’s history. Blackfoot Historical Society, a group dedicated to preserving the town’s heritage, created The Potato Museum.

The Potato Museum has received positive reviews from visitors who praise the museum’s engaging exhibits and celebration of the potato.

The museum is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children. The museum is located at 130 NW. Main St. in Blackfoot, Idaho.

For more information about the Idaho Potato Museum check their website.