LEADER: In both volume and sales, potatoes are Michigan's leading produce commodity.

2 Michigan potato growers join national board

Board represents nearly 2,500 U.S. commercial potato growers and 450 importing companies.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently announced appointments, including two representatives from Michigan, to the USDA National Potato Promotion Board.

Blake Thorlund of Greenville was newly appointed, and Kyle Lennard of Sturgis was reappointed. They began serving three-year terms effective March 1.

“The United States is recognized as the world leader in potato production with products that offer high-quality, consistency and variety,” Perdue says. “Representing nearly 2,500 American commercial potato growers and 450 importing companies, the work of the members of the National Potato Board provides an invaluable service for the U.S. farm sector and the American economy as a whole.”

The National Potato Promotion Board consists of producers, importers and one public member, who is Marilyn Freeman Dolan of Atwater, Calif.

Michigan leads the nation in raising potatoes for processing into potato chips.

Other newly appointed producer members include Jared B. Smith, Alamosa, Colo.; Wes Pahl and Tyson Ruff, both of Aberdeen, Idaho; Kasey Poulson, American Falls, Idaho; Eric Searle, Burley, Idaho; Mike Larsen, Declo, Idaho; Ryan Christensen, Grace, Idaho; Jeff Blanksma, Hammett, Idaho; Steve Elfering,  and P.J. Stevens, both of Idaho Falls, Idaho; Blake Matthews, Oakley, Idaho; Jeffrey B. Jennings, Camden, N.C.; John Coombs Jr., Elmer, N.J.; Kyle Michael, Urbana, Ohio; and Adam W. Weber, Moses Lake, Wash.

Reappointed producer members include Dan Moss, Declo, Idaho; Jeff Harper, Mountain Home, Idaho; Kent Bitter, Shelley, Idaho; Jeff J. Edling, Becker, Minn.; Gary H. Gray, Clear Lake, Minn.; Chris Hansen, Bliss, N.Y.; Jeff Van Ray, Pingree, N.D.; Tyler P. Young, Little Compton, R.I.; E. Phillip Hickman, Horntown, Va.; Randi Renee Hammer, Pasco, Wash.; Molly Connors, Richland, Wash.; and Heidi Alsum-Randall, Cambria, Wis.

More information about the board is available on the National Potato Promotion Board page on the AMS website and at PotatoesUSA.com, the National Potato Promotion Board’s website.

Source: USDA

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