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A nation-wide movement in cooperative potato marketing began when Idaho farmers founded United Potato Growers of Idaho (UPGI) in 2004. Potato growers in other states quickly formed similar regional cooperatives and helped develop a national federated cooperative – United Potato Growers of America (UPGA). UPGA’s mission was to manage supplies to bring profitable prices to fresh potato growers. Although prices rose to record-high levels they also became more volatile. The development of UPGA was analyzed through the lenses of two cooperative pioneers: Aaron Sapiro and Edwin Nourse. Growers organized UPGA in the model of Sapiro who advocated nation-wide marketing control for all producers of a commodity. Nourse claimed that agricultural cooperatives should instead focus on efficiency. It is likely that Nourse would not have approved of UPGA, while Sapiro would have encouraged them.


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