EAGLE, ID-The three Pacific Northwest Potato Commissions-the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC), the Oregon Potato Commission (OPC) and the Washington State Potato Commission (WSPC)-have entered into an agreement to hire a Pacific Northwest Potato Regional Research Director.
In a joint announcement made by Frank Muir, President and CEO of the IPC, Bill Brewer, President and CEO of the OPC and Chris Voigt, Executive Director of the WSPC, Dr. Andy Jensen was named to the newly created position.
"On behalf of all three commissions, Dr. Jensen will coordinate the planning and receipt of all research proposals, by communicating directly with researchers and administrators about the Commissions' expectations, formats for submitting proposals, deadlines, research review meetings and presentations, funding decisions and progress reports," the three stated. "Dr. Jensen will also monitor research projects that are funded to ensure that research objectives and timelines are met, work with the researchers and administrators to help transfer research results to the growers, shippers and processor members of the potato industry and gather input on needs for future research needed to help maintain the strength of the Pacific Northwest potato industry."
"For many years, the three states have cooperated in developing new potato varieties," said Frank Muir. "This is a logical extension of that joint effort."
Chris Voigt added, "Funding sources are tightening up, and this has led to all three of the land grant universities we work with, Washington State, Oregon State and the University of Idaho to look at more closely aligning their efforts. We think there will be efficiencies realized so that industry dollars can be spent more effectively."
Bill Brewer said, "Many of the challenges faced by the industry here in the Pacific Northwest are similar such that a more coordinated effort will benefit each of our three states."
Dr. Jensen assumed his new role Feb. 1.