WASHINGTON — The Potato Industry Leadership Institute Class of 2022 brought together 18 outstanding potato growers and industry representatives for nine days of training and professional development. The annual program, held this year from Feb. 23- Mar. 3, is a program of the Potato Leadership, Education, and Advancement Foundation (Potato LEAF).
This year’s class kicked off in Long Beach, Cali., where the class received an overview of the national organizations of the potato industry. Highlights included tours of the Long Beach Container Terminal, Allied Potato (pictured), Tasteful Selections, and The Garlic Company.
Potato Industry Leadership Institute Class of 2022 (Pictured left; from bottom, left to right): Row 1 – Melissa Boersema (Michigan), Natalia Cervantes (Colorado), Byron Duffin (Idaho) Row 2 – Carissa Olsen (North Dakota), Trina VanAtta (Michigan), Chip Hesse (Washington) Row 3 – Morgan Forbush (Wisconsin), Taylor Grant (Idaho), Andrew Hyer (Washington), Bevan Lenz (Colorado) Row 4 – Derek Schreck (Colorado), Mike Phillips (Michigan), Eric Searle (Idaho), Kevin Schleicher (Wisconsin) Row 5 – Andrew Price (Colorado), Laci Holbrook (Montana), Kyle Noyes (Nevada) Row 6 – Douglas Posthuma (Wisconsin), Rick Miller (Idaho)
Attendees then flew to Washington, D.C, and heard from public policy and communication experts speaking at the 2022 NPC Washington Summit. While in D.C., they were immersed in the legislative and regulatory priorities of the U.S. potato industry and practiced how to effectively deliver key messages to Congress. The program finished with a day of visits to offices on Capitol Hill, where participants joined their state grower delegations to meet and educate members of Congress on the industry’s priorities.
At the conclusion of the training, Mike Phillips (Mich.) from Walther Farms was elected by his peers to serve as the Grower Leader for next year’s class.
— National Potato Council via NPPGA