DENVER-On Dec. 6, United States Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack appointed/reappointed 30 grower members to serve on the United States Potato Board (USPB) for three-year terms beginning March 1, 2013, and ending Feb. 29, 2016.
Late in 2011, USDA challenged the USPB to develop a plan to communicate all USPB programs and opportunities to all growers in the United States, and, specifically, to solicit interest in USPB membership and representation from minor producing states, or states previously represented by assigned proxy states on the USPB. The USPB responded to the challenge to increase representation from each state and implemented a "Minor Producing States" Communications Outreach Plan in order to reach all U.S. growers.
The first year of this outreach plan yielded five new USPB board member nominees representing the minor producing states of Arkansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico and South Dakota. Outreach will continue to these states, and will include efforts to increase USPB representation from women and minorities.
The complete list of newly appointed USPB members are:
David Bloxham, Salisbury, Md.
Brant Darrington, Burley, Idaho
Steven Gangwish, Columbus, S.D.
Charles Grose, Terra Alta, W.V.
Kristi Gundersen, Bow, Wash.
John Halverson, Paragould, Ark.
Merrill Hanny, Idaho Falls, Idaho
Arnold Mack, Lake Wales, Fla.
Phillip Mehlenbacher, Burbank, Wash.
Brian Meisner, Wray, Colo.
Bernie Smiarowski, Hatfield, Mass.
John Stahl, Ritzville, Wash.
Eric Sutton, Rexburg, Idaho
Brian Theobald, Farmington, N.M.
Jordan Thomas, Hamer, Idaho
David Tonso, Monte Vista, Colo.
Dillon VanOrden, Pingree, Idaho
Weston Walker, Merrill, Ore.
Members reappointed to the USPB are:
Steve Cottom, Dillon, Mont.
Keith Doyen, Mapleton, Maine
Diane Hanson, Cornell, Mich.
Kurt Holland, Monte Vista, Colo.
Brian Kirschenmann, Bakersfield, Calif.
Nolan Masser, Pitman, Penn.
Marty Myers, Boardman, Ore.
Jared Wattenbarger, Idaho Falls, Idaho
Marvin Wollman, Warden, Wash.
Importers Ed Barnhill, Clermont, Fla., and Vernon Thomas, Centerville, New Brunswick, Canada, were also reappointed, along with public member Mary DeMers of Sophia, N.C.