March 2016
Tiede Takes the Helm for 2016

At the National Potato Council’s (NPC) annual meeting, held January 14-15 in Las Vegas Nevada, Jim Tiede of American Falls, Idaho, was elected to serve as the NPC president for 2016 and to lead the council’s executive committee.

Tiede is serving his fifth year on the NPC Executive Committee. He previously held the positions of vice president of grower and public relations and vice president of government and legislative affairs.

Tiede also served as the U.S. Potato Board (USPB) vice chairman of research and domestic marketing for six years and USPB chairman in 2002-2003. In 2012-2013, he was appointed chairman of the Idaho Potato Commission.

Tiede’s grandfather, John, immigrated to Idaho and homesteaded in 1908. He broke out the land from sagebrush to dryland wheat production. Tiede’s father Otto served his country bravely in the South Pacific during World War II and returned to the farm in 1949 to drill the wells and convert the farm to irrigation. Tiede later took over the farm from his dad in the 1970s. His son Alex is currently in the process of taking over and will be the fourth generation of the Tiede family to farm the family homestead.

In 1974, he married his high school sweetheart Debra and Tiede said that she has been at his side for over 41 years. They have four children, Jacklyn, Meredith, Erin and Alex. All of his daughters are married with two children each so he spends a lot of his down time playing with his six grandchildren.

His family lineage is made up of hard working, productive potato growers and that is shown through his genuine interest and passion in leading NPC in a direction that will benefit the industry as a whole. There will be many challenges and hurdles for the new president but there is plenty of confidence among his peers that he will meet them head-on and prevail.

He is connected with elected representatives and has proven effective in relaying the real concerns of potato growers to them. These concerns call for voting in favor of fundamental and scientific sound legislation and not playing politics with issues that are crucial to our industry. By recruiting and encouraging potato growers to advocate for the industry, Tiede will show Capitol Hill and federal agencies that we are serious.

This year will be pivotal for the potato industry on Capitol Hill with many important issues facing the industry: increasing truck weight limits, federal preemption on food labeling, approving the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and funding potato breeding and research, to name but a few.

It is equally important to stay engaged with federal regulators at USDA and EPA on issues including, the regulation of our waterways and preserving the bee population without over-regulating important pesticide tools.

Following the completion of the Potato D.C. Fly-In, growers should mark their calendars for the NPC summer meeting in Park City, Utah, July 13 to July 15, to discuss what issues are left on the table and strategize how to close out the year in a positive fashion for the potato industry.

— John Keeling, executive vice president and CEO, National Potato Council

75 Applewood Dr. Ste. A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345


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