Skip to main content
Idaho Harvester home, Baby Joe Vandal logo
Special Collections and Archives, University of Idaho Library home
Featured Image

Potato King

Series: potatopotuesday
Joe Marshall with Ross W. Ward
Joe Marshall with Ross W. Ward

From caption: ‘Joe Marshall, Idaho’s potato king, [left], and Ross W. Ward, Twin Falls potato grower, talk over potato harvesting. The harvester is a brand new one Ward had built to utilize the rubber roller principle developed through research at Aberdeen branch station.’

Joe Marshall received the honorary title of Potato King through tireless efforts to improve Idaho potato quality and maintain the highest quality of production standards and customer satisfaction. He would frequently go out into the fields to dig up and inspect the potatoes himself to ensure they were growing satisfactorily. Marshall’s influence in potato growing and shipping led him to help develop what is now the Idaho Potato Commission. His interest in marketing guaranteed Idaho brand potatoes at produce trade conventions, after which he would ensure the displayed potatoes would be donated to orphanages and children’s homes. A potato research center was established and named for him at the University of Idaho Experiment Station branch at Aberdeen shortly after his death in 1964.


PG 3-1115a, photo by UI Publications Department, 1951; Aristocrat in Burlap, a History of the Potato in Idaho

Have Feedback on this post or the site?

Send us your thoughts!