Apr 18, 2024
Longtime seed potato association executive director dies at age 65

Jeff Axford, longtime Michigan Seed Potato Association executive director, died April 13 after an accident at his home. He was 65.

Axford, an Otsego County Farm Bureau member, is the only person to be awarded the Michigan Potato Industry Commission Distinguished Service Award twice, in 2010 and 2022, according to Michigan Farm News. He served on various state and national industry committees, chairing the Potato Association of America Certification Section and the National Potato Council Certification Committee several times.

Jeff Axford

Axford managed the state seed potato association’s seed certification process for 34 years before retiring in 2022.

“He was an integral part of everything that happened in potatoes,” Dennis Iott of Iott Seed Farms in Kalkaska told Michigan Farm News. “Seed is the most important part of growing potatoes, and that’s a complicated, expensive process.

“He was part of all of it. Everybody knew him, and everybody loved him.”

Born May 30, 1958, Axford graduated from Johannesburg-Lewiston Area High School and received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Michigan State University.

He is survived by his wife, Diann, two children and other family members.

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


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