Who We Are

My name is John Hoggan. My knowledge of potatoes began more than 60 years ago. As a small boy I began picking potatoes by hand from the fields owed by my grand father and his sons. The tractors were very slow and the machinery was very small and each potato was handled very carefully by hand many times before it reached the consumer. As I got older I had a lot of interest in any thing that was green and growing.

I liked science very much......in one earth science class we learned how to cross pollinate flowers. Armed with this knowledge I went home to my mothers tulip garden. She had only 3 colors, red, yellow and pink, after working on the tulips for about an hour I went into the house and told no one of my work. Soon this was all forgotten until the tulips came up the following spring.....and wallah.....a mix of beautiful colors had replaced the 3 original colors, only after much discussion did the true story come to light.....my mother being quite angry and my father laughing.
My father was a crop inspector for the state of Idaho, and when I was about 10 years old I began following him to fresh potato packing sheds and to naturally grown Potato fields. I learned many things about potato grades, and the diseases that affected the potatoes. I started to learn about cultural practices, including irrigation, seed quality, weed control, potato handling and much more.

When I was about 15 I saw the first variety that was not Russet Burbank, or Red Pontiac. And there
began my love for potatoes. In 1969 together with my father and my brother, I started the first commercial potato rogueing business in Idaho. (rogueing means to properly identify plant diseases and remove them from natural potato fields in order to maintain the integrity of the naturally grown seed potatoes). Our business expanded into farming in 1971 and I have been involved in potato production in one or several areas of potato production since.
During my life I have been involved in growing more than 300 different varieties of potatoes. Currently I do work reselecting better strains of existing varieties and helping to develop new varieties. I work with basic seed production, including some laboratory and green house work. I work doing market research with new varieties that are coming from plant breeders from around the world.
This year I am producing more than 40 varieties of naturally grown seed Potatoes and this number will increase each year as I continue to develop new seed.
I do consulting work for both conventional and organic growers. I have been very lucky in my life as I have been able to travel to many places in the world and to see many great things and meet very interesting people. Each new day is great for me as life has always been a learning experience for me.
One of the things that I like best in life is to help people learn to grow potatoes, some times I get 10 phone calls in one day and I am always ready for the next one.