Training Future Leaders
It wasn’t quite as intense as a
boot camp but participants
in the 2013 Potato Industry
Leadership Institute (PILI) spent
seven days immersed in everything
about the potato industry.
Beginning in Idaho Falls, Idaho,
on February 21, the 2013 class
spent two and a half days working
on leadership training and visiting
two packing sheds, a processing
plant, a dehy plant and a potato
equipment manufacturing plant.
Travis Blacker, Idaho Potato
Commission’s director of industry
relations, and Derek Peterson,
an alumnus from the 2012 PILI
class and the grower leader for the
2013 class were the hosts and tour
leaders during their time in Idaho.
Following their time in Idaho
the class flew to Washington,
D.C., where they spent Sunday
in an Iron Chef style cooking
competition and then joined fellow
members of the potato industry in
the NPC Potato D.C. Fly-In.
On Monday and Tuesday they
participated in two more days of
seminars on the potato industry,
how Congress works, the current
budget crisis and pending federal
legislation facing the industry.
Finally, the class took to
Capitol Hill with their respective
state delegations to visit with their
Senators and Representatives to
lobby for the potato industry.
At the end of the week Eric
Schroeder, of Antigo, Wis., was
elected PILI grower leader from
the class at a dinner following a
day of lobbying on Capitol Hill.
To see a PILI photo gallery from their time in Idaho go here.
By Bill Schaefer