Careful who you call a "lowly spud?"

HOT OFF THE REUTERS PRESS> > > Idaho's image becomes hot potato SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - A state lawmaker wants to peel Idaho's standard license plate of the legend "Famous Potatoes" in a battle over whether the lowly spud should symbolize a state whose major export is high technology. Republican Sen. Hal Bunderson said the slogan no longer has resonance for a state whose population and commerce have undergone a seismic shift in the 46 years since the motto was first stamped on Idaho's license plates.

"Other than as a consumer, the majority of people in Idaho have no connection to 'Famous Potatoes,'" said Bunderson, whose potato proposal will be heard by a state transportation panel on Thursday.

Besides, he said, the potato has fallen from agricultural grace, dropping from the state's top-earning agricultural commodity to No. 3 behind milk and livestock.

Frank Muir, president of the Idaho Potato Commission, is irked over the proposal, which he says undercuts the spud's considerable contributions to the state. After beating back the onslaught of low-carb diets in recent years, the last thing the Idaho potato industry expected was to be mashed at home, he said.

"We don't have to be embarrassed by our agricultural roots. Why not be proud of your potato?" he said.