NC SweetPotato Commission: 60 Sweet Years…and Counting

Benson, N.C. – The North Carolina SweetPotato Commission (NCSPC) began celebrating a big milestone as they turned 60 on June 30th. The commission kicked off a year of celebration with the unveiling of an anniversary logo and special shoutouts from well-known sweetpotato fans on social media through their FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube throughout the day on June 30th. Find the full-length video montage here. NCSPC staff got the festivities officially started on June 28 with a 60th birthday party for their mascot, Spencer Sweetpotato, where many North Carolina commodity mascot friends joined in the celebration.

Familiar faces who sent their good wishes are listed below:


Dean Sandy Maddox, University of Mt. Olive

Dr. Antoine Alston, NC A&T

Dr. Craig Yencho, NC State

Dr. Mike Boyette, NC State

Drs. Rich Linton & Rich Bonanno, NC State


Jackie Joyner Kersee

Kristi Yamaguchi


Andrew Zimmern

Carla Hall


House Rep. David Rouzer

House Rep. Mark Butterfield

NC Ag. Commissioner Steve Troxler

NC Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson

NC State Rep. Jeff McNeely

NC State Rep. Jimmy Dixon

NC State Senator Brent Jackson

NC State Senator Lisa Barnes

NC State Senator Sanderson

Shawn Harding, President NC Farm Bureau

US Senator Tom Tillis


Dionne Warwick

Eli Young Band

Josh Turner

Lance Bass


Rodney Atkins

Ted Nugent

Vanilla Ice

TV & Movie Personalities

Anthony Michael Hall

Bill Engvall

Bo Derek

Danny Bonaduce

Dr. Oz

Gilbert Gottfried

David Hasselhoff

John Ratzenberger

John Schneider

Jonathan Goldsmith

Judge Jeanine Pirro

Loretta Swit

Ric Flair

And more!

Anna Freeman, Artist

Eva Shockey, Author & influencer

James Brown, FirstFruits Farms

James Lamb, 2020 Farmer of the Year

Kelly McIver, Former exec. director NCSPC

Marlowe Ivey, Feed the Dialogue

Meredith Bernard, This Farm Wife

Michelle Grainger, Exec. director NCSPC

Michelle Miller, The Farm Babe

MK2 Public Relations

Morgan & Eryn Godwin, Godwin Produce

Ron Simmons, Former Farmer of the Year

Sarah Schlichter, Bucket List Tummy

Spencer Sweepotato & Friends

Sue Langdon, Retired exec. director NCSPC

Terry Virts, Astronaut

Will Kornegay, Ripe Revival

As the NCSPC blows out its 60 candles, their birthday wish is that the produce industry and consumers alike will join them in using the scientific one-word spelling of their state vegetable. The North Carolina SweetPotato Commission deliberately spells sweetpotato as one word unless directly quoting a source where it is spelled as two words i.e., sweet potato).  The one-word spelling was officially adopted by the National Sweetpotato Collaborators in 1989 and is recognized as one word by the International Potato Center located in Peru. 

“There are many exciting things planned to mark our 60 years,” said Michelle Grainger, executive director of the NCSPC.  “In the coming weeks we will be sharing more of our story with our commodity friends, that North Carolina is the nation’s largest producer and exporter of sweetpotatoes and of course educating them that Sweetpotato is one word!  There’s plenty more to come throughout this year and we encourage the community to follow us on our social media channels to stay in the sweet loop to learn more about North Carolina sweetpotatoes, their health benefits, delicious and versatile recipes and new and exciting ways to prepare them.”

Additionally, through this year of celebration the NCSPC will reveal a plethora of fun experiences for consumers and social media fans, schools and trade which are bound to garner excitement near and far.

About the North Carolina Sweetpotato Commission
Founded in 1961 the North Carolina SweetPotato Commission is a nonprofit corporation made up of over 400 sweetpotato producers, along with the packers and business associates that support them.  NCSPC is committed to supporting its growers and increasing sweetpotato consumption through education, promotional activities, research, and honorable horticultural practices among its producers. 

Did you know… Sweetpotato is one word? Details can be found here.

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