The awards were presented by congress president and chief executive Allan Parker to Gregg Halverson of the United States; Ron Gall of New Zealand; Hardev Singh Sangha of India; and Joop N. Stet of The Netherlands.
Gregg Halverson is President and CEO of Black Gold, headquartered in Grand Forks, N.D., a company that he founded and built. The multi-state potato growing company has grown to over 15,000 acres of potatoes, with ten individual farms in ten states.
Black Gold is known internationally for its adoption of advanced technology in the area of chip potato production and handling. Under Halverson's leadership, Black Gold has received global and national supplier innovation awards from Frito-Lay and Cavendish Farms in recognition for supplier innovation and leadership.
In 2002, Black Gold instituted a systematic approach to potato production in the Peoples Republic of China, where they introduced the country's first successful bulk handling and transport system of chip potatoes.
Halverson has been involved in leadership positions on the research committee of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association as well as the environmental affairs committee of the National Potato Council. He is secretary/treasurer of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association.Under Halverson's leadership, Black Gold is a recipient of the 2009 National Potato Growers "Environmental Stewardship" Award.