Jul 1, 2019
National Potato Council, Potatoes USA leaders tour facilities in Oregon, Washington

The week of June 24-28, outgoing National Potato Council executive vice president and CEO John Keeling and new CEO Kam Quarles joined Blair Richardson of Potatoes USA in touring potato operations in Washington and Oregon.

“We sincerely appreciate the collaboration with Potatoes USA in making these trips possible. They are extremely valuable for our ongoing work in representing the industry,” Quarles said in a statement.

During the tour, they made stops at Lamb Weston in Kennewick, Washington, AgriNorthwest in Plymouth, Washington, and Oregon State University’s field day in Hermiston, Oregon.

June 30 was Keeling’s last official day as the NPC’s leader. He is planning to attend the NPC’s summer meetings in Wisconsin, July 10-12.

House passes agriculture appropriates bill

Last week, the House of Representatives passed the FY2020 Agriculture Appropriations Bill on the House floor. This bill provides discretionary funding for the Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration and related agencies for the coming fiscal year.

For the potato industry, this bill contains enhanced funding for NIFA Potato Breeding Special Research grants and also prohibits USDA from limiting potato access to the school breakfast program.

“Its extremely positive that the House was able to pass a strong bill. We’re hopeful the Senate will follow rapidly and send a spending bill to the President’s desk before the end of the fiscal year,” Quarles said.

Top photo: John Keeling, left, and Kam Quarles, right, of the National Potato Council speak with Phil Hamm of Oregon State University’s Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center. 

RELATED: Retiring Phil Hamm reflects on 45-year career

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