Yesterday, the crew at CCG took a field trip to¬†Caldwell to visit Simplot’s potato processing plant. The team donned hardhats, protective eyewear, and headphones – a few lucky people were even offered jumpsuits! As Justin, our tour guide, took us through the impressive plant, potatoes whizzed by us on winding conveyor belts. Potatoes were sorted by size, then sent through a peeling process. After that, potatoes shot through cannons, where blades sliced them into a variety of sizes – wedges, shoestrings, the classic McDonald size, etc. Some blades rotate, which create curly fries and the new JR Buffalos Sidewinder fry. Next, the tasty Idaho fries wound their way through different flavor stations, depending on what the product calls for.
We climbed ladders, ducked under giant pipes, and peered into bins on our journey through the life of a potato at Simplot. Once the fries and other potato products were¬†frozen,¬†packaged, and boxed up, laser guided vehicles (unmanned fork lifts) were¬†called to pick up the pallets of boxes. Watching these impressive robots dance around each other to take product to and fro was definitely a highlight of the trip!¬†
After all the ooh-ing¬†and ahh-ing, Justin took us into a lab where quality tests take place. We were treated to plates of freshly cooked fries and learned more about the world of potatoes. For example, did you know that there is more than one variety of Russet? There are 16! The Simplot potato plant processes about 2.2 billion pounds of potato a year!
This afternoon trip was all thanks to CCG CEO Tracy Hitchcock and her friends at Simplot. Thank you!