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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, MAY 9, 2008

CONTACT: Tommy Fleetwood, marketing specialist
NCDA&CS Northeast Marketing Center
(252) 331-4773

N.C. Potato Association to meet May 18 and 19 in Elizabeth City

ELIZABETH CITY--Potato growers in Eastern North Carolina will gather here May 18 and 19 for the annual meeting of the N.C. Potato Association. The meeting is expected to draw a large number of N.C. potato growers, plus buyers from U.S and Canadian markets and agribusiness representatives.

Activities kick off with a farm tour in the Gum Neck area at 3 p.m. on May 18. The business meeting will begin at 2 p.m. May 19 at the Fairfield Inn. Other activities include a golf tournament and banquet.

North Carolina potato growers raise about 14,000 acres of potatoes annually, primarily consisting of round white, red and Yukon gold potatoes with a value approaching $25 million. Potatoes grown here are shipped to markets along the East Coast, the Midwest and into Canada for fresh consumption and processing into chips.

"This will be an important gathering of industry officials including Larry Alsum of the U.S. Potato Board, John Kneeling of the National Potato Council and Buzz Shazan of the United Potato Growers Cooperative of America," said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, who will also address the group. "I know growers will want to know about new regulations regarding shipments to Canada, how fuel prices will impact crop prices, and other issues affecting North Carolina agriculture."

For more information, contact Tommy Fleetwood, a horticultural marketing specialist with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, at (252) 331-4773.

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NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 733-4216; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Agriculture

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