Coronavirus: Idaho farmer gives away potatoes so they won’t be wasted

OAKLEY, Idaho — Rather than watch his crop rot, an Idaho potato farmer decided to give away the farm -- offering thousands of pounds of potatoes for free.

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The 113-year-old family farm has never been a place where people come to pick their own produce, but Ryan Cranney, of Cranney Farms, posted Tuesday that because of the downturn in the restaurant industry, he had no market for thousands of potatoes.

So he invited residents to bag their own.

“There’s been times where there were 20 or 30 cars there at a time it looks like,” Cranney told KTVB. “I think in the next several hours, most of that will be all gone. A lot of the people they were not necessarily gathering for themselves, but they were gathering for someone else and going and delivering those to friends, neighbors, someone they know is struggling.”

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Most of the potatoes grown on the farm are sold commercially and used in restaurants and diners, but with most restaurants closed or sales significantly down, Cranney was stuck with thousands of pounds of potatoes

“Unfortunately, there may just not be enough demand and eventually some of them are going to end up going for either cattle feed or be dumped,” Cranney told KTVB.

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There are 1,507 confirmed cases and 41 deaths from the coronavirus in Idaho, according to The New York Times.