WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2018 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the appointment of 30 members to serve three-year terms on the National Potato Promotion Board beginning March 1, 2018.

Newly appointed producer members are:

  • Jared B. Smith, Alamosa, Colo.
  • Wes Pahl, Aberdeen, Idaho
  • Tyson Ruff, Aberdeen, Idaho
  • Kasey Poulson, American Falls, Idaho
  • Eric Searle, Burley, Idaho
  • Mike Larsen, Declo, Idaho
  • Ryan Christensen, Grace, Idaho
  • Jeff Blanksma, Hammett, Idaho
  • Steve Elfering, Idaho Falls, Idaho
  • P.J. Stevens, Idaho Falls, Idaho
  • Blake Matthews, Oakley, Idaho
  • Blake Thorlund, Greenville, Mich.
  • Jeffrey B. Jennings, Camden, N.C.
  • John Coombs Jr., Elmer, N.J.
  • Kyle Michael, Urbana, Ohio
  • Adam W. Weber, Moses Lake, Wash.

Reappointed producer members are:

  • Dan Moss, Declo, Idaho
  • Jeff Harper, Mountain Home, Idaho
  • Kent Bitter, Shelley, Idaho
  • Kyle Lennard, Sturgis, Mich.
  • Jeff J. Edling, Becker, Minn.
  • Gary H. Gray, Clear Lake, Minn.
  • Chris Hansen, Bliss, N.Y.
  • Jeff Van Ray, Pingree, N.D.
  • Tyler P. Young, Little Compton, R.I.
  • E. Phillip Hickman, Horntown, Va.
  • Randi Renee Hammer, Pasco, Wash.
  • Molly Connors, Richland, Wash.
  • Heidi Alsum-Randall, Cambria, Wis.

Marilyn Freeman Dolan, Atwater, Calif., is reappointed as the public member.

“The United States is recognized as the world leader in potato production with products that offer high-quality, consistency and variety,” said Perdue. “Representing nearly 2,500 American commercial potato growers and 450 importing companies, the work of the members of the National Potato Board provides an invaluable service for the U.S. farm sector and the American economy as a whole.”

The National Potato Promotion Board consists of producers, importers, and one public member. The board is authorized by the Potato Research and Promotion Act and the Potato Research and Promotion Plan. Since 1966, Congress has authorized 22 industry-funded research and promotion boards to provide a framework for agricultural industries to pool their resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets and conduct important research and promotion activities. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provides oversight, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.

More information about the board is available on the National Potato Promotion Board page on the AMS website and at, the National Potato Promotion Board’s website.

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