July/August 2016
Moving Forward By Bill Schaefer

In this month’s issue, we’re featuring the grower-leaders of the National Potato Council (NPC) and Potatoes USA.

Jim Tiede of American Falls, Idaho, became president of NPC in January, and Mike Pink of Mesa, Washington, became chairman of Potatoes USA, formerly the U.S. Potato Board, during its annual meeting in March.

While both men share some similarities, growing potatoes for the process industry in the Pacific Northwest being one, they have come to their leadership roles by distinct paths. Tiede is a third-generation potato grower, while Pink, though his extended family in the Columbia Basin was involved in agriculture, is a first-generation grower.

Both men bring trust, respect and a desire to return in kind the benefits they’ve enjoyed through the potato industry by serving as leaders and spokesmen for all growers.

I’d like to take a moment and direct your attention to our website, Spudman.com, and a weekly feature we just instituted called Week in Review.”

The “Week in Review” is delivered every Saturday morning to your email. It’s our way to keep you apprised of the top stories that have run on Spudman’s website in the previous week. If you’re not receiving it, contact me and I’ll make sure you get on the mailing list.

Speaking of the website, later this summer we will be introducing a new look. We’re working on improving the content, design and overall readability of the site, and we want your critical assessment when it goes up.

I encourage you to send me your thoughts, impressions and assessments of not only the redesigned website, but comments on articles or suggestions for future articles.

With this issue, I take an annual editorial hiatus. The September-October issue is the annual Buyer’s Guide, and I will return with the November-December issue.

Between now and November we will begin soliciting nominations for the fifth annual Emerging Leader Award, sponsored by Yara. If you know of someone 35 or younger involved in the potato industry – grower, researcher, agronomist, the award is open to all – please consider nominating them for this award.

In the four years since we inaugurated this award, I am constantly amazed at the quality of the nominees and humbled but proud to be a participant in the process.

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