Dynamic duo aiding Washington growers

Raina Spence and Ryan Holterhoff will each celebrate their first year as Washington State Potato Commission (WSPC) staff members this summer.

Holterhoff, director of marketing and industry affairs, joined the WSPC June 8, 2012. He previously had been communication manager for Canfield and Associates.

One of the projects he is currently working on, in association with the Washington Wheat Association, is a website, complemented with video segments, devoted to communicating the story of Washington agriculture. Calling the project Washington Grown,” the website was launched this past March. A link to the website address,, is available here.

“Essentially what it is, is an outreach program to the general public of Washington state, helping them get a better sense of what’s happening in Washington’s agricultural communities,” Holterhoff said.

See a video of Holterhoff discussing the plans for Washington Grown here.

Spence began her job as director of industry outreach Aug. 1, 2012. She previously had worked for the University of Wyoming as a plant diagnostician and the state master gardener coordinator.

One component of Spence’s job is helping growers maintain compliance with the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) audits.

Spence said that Washington growers are doing an excellent job implementing current GAP standards, with less than a one percent failure rate in audits.

“Record keeping is essential,” Spence said. Lack of wildlife logs and incomplete food safety documentation records are common mistakes found during GAP audits she said.

Spence said that she’ll be including GAP tips during the summer in the online newsletter, “Spud Topics.” To view a video of Spence discussing GAP compliance go here.

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