Published online: Sep 16, 2008 Alan Harman
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Northern Plains Potato Growers Association President Duane Maatz is leaving the Minnesota group to become executive director of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, replacing Mike Carter who resigned in June.

Maatz will begin his new duties in Antigo, Wis., on Sept. 29.

The size and scope of the NPPGA has increased during the 10 years of Maatz's leadership. The association dropped "Red River Valley" from its name in 2001 in favor of "Northern Plains" to better identify their growing territory outside the Red River Valley.

Maatz was instrumental in the start-up of the Minn-Dak Bargaining Co-op for process growers in 1998, establishment of the Red River Valley Fresh Co-op for fresh growers in 2007 and the creation of the Northern Plains Market Development LLC.

"Because of Duane's leadership, guidance and foresight, the NPPGA has experienced numerous positive changes and advancements over the past 10 years," NPPGA Chairman Bob Moe says.

"Duane has worked very hard and very successfully to position the NPPGA to adequately represent its potato producers in a rapidly changing industry on a local, regional and national level. Duane's guidance and expertise will be greatly missed by everyone that is associated with the NPPGA."

Maatz is also chairman of the Potato Bowl USA committee, a position he has held since 1999.