Garn W. Theobald
For his efforts to bring Idaho grown potato chips into the spotlight and picnic baskets everywhere, Garn W. Theobald has been named to the 2017 Eastern Idaho Agriculture Hall of Fame.
When the Clover Club Farms in American Falls ceased to operate in the early 1970’s, Garn found himself without a job and the opportunity to make a difference in Idaho’s potato industry. Along with his partner, Ray D. Roache, Theobald made the decision to procure potatoes for the chip plant. In 1977 they produced 80,000 cwt of chipping potatoes with six growers. Some 13 years later the business had grown to where they built a badly needed rail side packing shed in Power County. The new facility made it possible to ship chipping potatoes by way of bulk rail cars, a new concept in Idaho at that time.
Today R & G Potato’s production has grown to 3.5 M cwt of chipping potatoes going to Frito Lay, Inventure Foods, UTZ and other chip buyers along with many tons of oversized potatoes for fresh cut fries to the popular chain In-N-Out Burger.
Theobald has been active in promoting Idaho chip potatoes in markets outside of the United States and has been on trade missions to Russia, Japan, China and Mexico. A member of his local Lions Club, Theobald has also been a member of the US Potato Board and has been recognized multiple times as the western and national supplier of the year by Frito Lay.
He and his wife Debbie make their home in Pocatello and are the parents of three children.