Dr. Ernest Nixon Helped to Charter PA Co-Operative Potato Growers

Under the direction of Dr. Ernest Nixon, uncle of President Richard Nixon, the PA Co-Operative Potato Growers was chartered in 1922 by a group of leading potato producers.

Potato Farming Has Rich History in Pennsylvania

In the early 1950s about 100,000 acres of Pennsylvania's land were planted with potatoes. Today we grow less than 12,000 acres.

Potato Popularity Becomes Nationally Recognized

Due to the popularity of potatoes in the American diet, what was once Pennsylvania Potato Week has grown to become National Potato Month, which is celebrated in September.

Largest Potato Weighed 18 Pounds 4 Ounces

A much bigger scale would be needed to weigh the largest potato ever grown, which according to the Guinness Book of World Records weighed 18 pounds and 4 ounces.


The group that evolved into what we recognize today as the Pennsylvania Co-Operative Potato Growers, Inc. was established following the first annual meeting of Pennsylvania potato growers in 1917. Held at the State Farm Products Show in Harrisburg, the initial meeting included discussion regarding merchandising, machinery and labor. By 1922, the group had strengthened and organized the Pennsylvania Co-Operative Potato Growers.

With the help of the Co-Op, two historical landmarks were built to promote and advance Pennsylvania’s potato industry. Camp Potato was established in 1936 as a headquarters for research and development. Dr. Ernest L. Nixon, uncle of President Richard Nixon, directed much of the work done at Camp Potato.

In 1949, the Potato City Hotel was built in Coudersport, PA as a monument to the potato. The hotel was the site of meetings, banquets, field days and other potato industry events. It is privately owned today.

Since its inception, the Pennsylvania Co-Operative Potato Growers has continued to serve as the vital link between potato growers and buyers. Building upon the initial objectives set forth nearly eight decades ago, the Co-Operative is governed by a board of directors, each one an active potato producer. The same mission that was established from the start prevails today: to increase growers’ ability to market their potatoes and ensure potato quality and full service to the buyer.

For more information, call us today at (717) 232-5300.