Published online: Apr 15, 2008 Alan Harman
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Canadian potato industry leader Ron Piper died April 7 at the age of 56.

The second-generation New Brunswick potato grower spent six years with Potatoes New Brunswick, including five years as treasurer, vice-chairman and recently chairman.

"He was a great board member and chairman," Potatoes New Brunswick executive director Robert Gareau is quoted as saying. "He is going to missed so much by our industry. We considered him a real, true leader."

Gareau says Piper was active on the marketing committee, helped develop and set the group's new strategic plan and, as chairman, was instrumental in setting the next three- to five-year goals.

After his tenure as chairman, Piper headed Potatoes New Brunswick's research committee and was co-chairman of the newly-formed seed growers committee.

"He helped revive our marketing and promotion campaign," Gareau says.

Piper also represented the region at the national level, serving on the Canadian Horticulture Council. He was also a member of the New Brunswick Agriculture Council's research funds committee.

"He was a big promoter of increasing research funds and accepting funds for research projects for the potato industry," Gareau says.