San Luis Valley Potatoes

CPAC Focuses on New Look, Social Media and Reaching Kids

Continued increasing focus on social media, enhanced by its new logo and revamped website, top the list of marketing endeavors of the Monte Vista, CO-based Colorado Potato Administrative Committee (CPAC).

The upgraded website,, includes increased content management, updated pictures and a new logo. The logo’s redesign features a sun behind mountain peaks with fields in the foreground and emphasizes Colorado’s San Luis Valley. Shippers are being encouraged to add the logo to their bags. “We will continue our program with Kwik Lok, replacing the old logo with the new one,” says Linda Weyers, CPAC assistant director. A new monthly recipe and a grower spotlight will be rotating features.

Managing the digital presence and additional promotions is new marketing administrative assistant Savannah Schlaufman. A recent graduate of Alamosa, CO-based Adams State University, Schlaufman is currently enrolled in the master of business program there. She will manage the ongoing work on the committee’s social media, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Schlaufman is also working with Fexy Media, Mercer Island, WA, in the production of a video demonstrating how to prepare Colorado waffle iron potatoes. Because of Fexy’s widespread reach through blogs and other social media outlets, this clip should enjoy wide distribution to targeted audiences, says Schlaufman.

Reaching the Kids

Instead of holding the written essay contest CPAC has coordinated in the past few years, a new competition utilizing video format is being offered throughout Colorado. Middle and high school students are invited to produce a video that demonstrates in two minutes or less why they love Colorado potatoes and why the potatoes are part of their healthy lifestyle. Winners receive a $300 adventure pack, which includes gift cards to recreational outlets and sporting goods stores. Applications will be sent out prior to the schools’ winter holiday breaks.

Another activity involving the educational system is CPAC’s participation in the Potatoes USA Salad Bar Challenge. The committee has funded 15 salad bars in state schools and is aiming to increase that number up to 100. The idea “is to get kids to eat healthy, and with ‘potato-friendly’ salad bars, we can encourage them to eat more potatoes as well,” says Weyers.

As part of a pilot program, CPAC sponsored two salad bars in the Mapleton School District in Denver. One salad bar featured seasoned potato cubes. Working with the schools, CPAC is able to track potato consumption, which is another advantage. Overall, Potatoes USA is challenging the potato industry to sponsor 3,000 salad bars in the next five years.

Annual Potato Festival

The spotlight on Colorado potatoes was especially bright when CPAC held its annual Potato Festival in September 2017 in Monte Vista, CO. The event kicked off with live entertainment and food served from the Spud Nation truck at Chapman Park.

As in years past, a free Potato Field Bus Tour gave the public an opportunity to learn how potatoes are grown and harvested. CPAC sold bags of SLV potatoes, T-shirts and the association’s cookbooks at its booth. The arts and crafts fair, food vendors, and the popular antique tractor display were all part of the festivities.

Saturday’s events included one of the more popular activities — free baked potatoes grown in the San Luis Valley were served all day. The annual chefs’ competition and judging brought several professional and student chefs to the Valley from the American Culinary Federation-Colorado Chapter in a contest to create their tastiest potato dishes.

Kids were the focus throughout the festival with activities including a potato sack race, a potato decorating contest and the “shooting for accuracy” contest, which featured homemade potato cannons.

This month, Colorado potatoes are represented at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in Orlando, FL. This past August, the CPAC had a booth at the Colorado State Fair.