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USDA Swears In 42 Members To Potatoes USA Board

Potatoes USA board members

Potatoes USA’s Annual Meeting concluded with formal board business, including the swearing in of new members and the electing of a new board chairman as well as new administrative committee members and executive committee members. Potatoes USA logo

This year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture appointed 27 new members to the board to serve three-year terms. They were sworn in on March 11 by Kelly M. Robertson, marketing specialist of the promotion and economics division of the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service’s Specialty Crops Program.

Each year, board members are nominated by the industry and are then appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. Potatoes USA’s board has about 100 members, which consists of growers, importers and one public member.


New board members

  • California: Greg Hebdon of Blythe;
  • Idaho: Rob Giesbrecht of Aberdeen, Kamren Koompin and Andrew Porath, both of American Falls, Morgan Andrus of Idaho Falls, Ryan Moss of Rupert, and Kent Peterson and Justin Searle, both of Shelley;
  • Illinois: Matt Floming of Thomson;
  • Maine: Dan Blackstone of Caribou, Jennifer Gogan of Littleton and Kathy DeVries-Ruehs of Melrose;
  • Michigan: Scott Hanson of Cornell; from Minnesota, Casey Folson of East Grand Forks;
  • Nebraska: Troy Sorensen of Alliance and Tyler Backemeyer of Kearney;
  • North Dakota: David Fedje and Brad Nilson, both of Hoople;
  • Oregon: Jess Blatchford of Baker City;
  • Texas: Steve Barrett of Lubbock;
  • Washington: Dennis Wright of Kennewick, Juan Martinez of Warden, Colt Underwood of West Richland, Chris Olsen of Othello; and
  • Wisconsin: Kevin Schleicher of Custer, Josh Knights of Plover and Mike Carter of Schofield.


Reappointed board members

Jaclyn Green of Edison, California; Bryan Jones of Elkton, Florida; Kevin Searle of Shelley, Idaho; Jennifer Borowicz of Crookston, Minnesota; Thomas Enander of Grenora, North Dakota; Marty Myers of Boardman, Oregon; Tim Gonzalez of Littlefield, Texas; Tyler Tschirky of Eltopia, Kyle Barclay of Kennewick, Melissa Bedlington-Kleindel of Lynden, Travis Meacham of Moses Lake and Chad Sullivan, all of Washington; and Erin Baginski and Keith Wolter, both of Antigo, Wisconsin.


Reappointed importer

Vernon Thomas of Centreville, New Brunswick, Canada.

Potatoes USA, based in Denver, Colorado, is the marketing organization for the 2,500 commercial potato growers operating in the United States. Potatoes USA was established in 1971 by a group of potato growers to promote the benefits of eating potatoes. Today, it is the largest vegetable commodity board.

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