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Potatoes USA Elects 2022-23 Leadership

Back row (left to right) Blair Richardson, Steve Elfering, Mike Carter, Travis Meacham and Jaren Raybould. Front row (left to right) Jared Smith, Leah Halverson, Jason Davenport, Shelley Olsen, Mike Larsen and Jennifer Gogan. Not pictured: Jeff Jennings.

Denver, Colorado-based Potatoes USA, the marketing and promotion board for the potato industry, elected new leadership during its annual meeting in March. The newly elected chairman and executive committee will lead the board through 2022-23.

Jason Davenport was elected as chairman of the board. This marks Davenport’s sixth year on the board and as a member of the executive committee. He has served as the co-chair of the international marketing, the industry outreach and the domestic marketing committees, as well as the chair of the finance and policy committee for two years.

Davenport, a fifth-generation farmer, started Allied Potato Inc. 15 years ago in California, and has since expanded his farming operations to Washington, Oregon, Colorado and internationally. Allied Potatoes’ major potato products are grown for the chip-stock, organic, seed, frozen and fresh-cut fry markets.

In addition to leading the Potatoes USA Board, Davenport is involved in the California Research-Advisory Board, the Northwest Seaport Alliance Port Taskforce, the Farm Bureau, Western Growers and Life Pioneer’s CEO group.

Davenport brings his own knowledge and perspective to the table to help develop new markets, overcome challenges with trade and build the necessary relationships alongside other prominent organizations such as the National Potato Council, state potato organizations, USDA FAS and APHIS.

“I am committed to driving forward the common goal and interest we all have for this industry – to grow the best potato for the world to enjoy and make sure people know potatoes are one of the most important staple foods,” Davenport said.

In addition to Davenport, Potatoes USA’s 2022-23 executive committee members include:

  • Jeff Jennings of Camden, North Carolina, chair of the finance and policy committee;
  • Leah Halverson of Grand Forks, North Dakota, co-chair of the industry outreach committee;
  • Shelley Olsen of Othello, Washington, co-chair of the industry outreach committee;
  • Jared Smith of Alamosa, Colorado, co-chair of the international marketing committee;
  • Mike Carter of Rosholt, Wisconsin, co-chair of the international marketing committee;
  • Steve Elfering of Idaho Falls, Idaho, co-chair of the domestic marketing committee;
  • Travis Meacham of Moses Lake, Washington, co-chair of the domestic marketing committee;
  • Mike Larsen of Declo, Idaho, co-chair of the research committee;
  • Jennifer Gogan of Houlton, Maine, co-chair of the research committee; and
  • Jaren Raybould of Saint Anthony, Idaho, past chair.

“Everyone has always backed me and supported me and my ideas, which has helped us grow as a community of industry leaders,” Davenport said. “We all learn from each other as shifts are made to our growing practices, consumer trends evolve and new technology is implemented. 

“I am looking forward to the next 10 to 20 years and seeing where we go as an industry, from on-farm and shed automation to greener practices, it will be incredible to see what we adopt in the near and long term, and I’m sure it will be an interesting decade ahead of us.”

Potatoes USA, the largest vegetable commodity board, was established in 1971 by potato farmers to promote the benefits of eating potatoes.

For more information, visit PotatoesUSA.com.

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