The Washington, Oregon and Idaho potato commissions have joined to share funding for research projects.

Chris Voigt, executive director, Washington State Potato Commission, Moses Lake, said the collaboration came about because federal and state funding for agriculture research is becoming scarcer.

“This effort is leading to less duplication and stronger collaborative research results. With what started out as a way to possibly stretch our research dollars, we are actually seeing better research results. We are excited about this partnership and the leadership our growers in Washington have provided to the effort,” Voigt said.

This is the first year these states are partnering on research efforts.

The joint committee is currently in the process of reviewing proposed projects to determine which efforts they will move forward with funding during this year.

National Potato Chip Day giveaway

The Washington State Potato Commission is also set to give away 10,000 bags of potato chips to one of its Facebook fans on March 14, National Potato Chip Day.

The contest is easy to enter, requiring only a “like” on the commission’s Facebook page and sharing the contest announcement with their friends. A winner will be chosen randomly.

The contest is aimed at getting people to involve their friends and spread awareness for Washington potatoes.

“Everyone loves potato chips and in anticipation of National Potato Chip Day we were trying to help draw some additional interest to the day in a unique way,” said Ryan Holterhoff, director of marketing and industry affairs.

The commission has done giveaways with potato chips before but this should be the largest quantity of bags ever given out at one time, Holterhoff said.