MacIsaac to Retire from United Potato Growers of Canada

Published online: Sep 16, 2021 Articles
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Source: Fresh Plaza

Kevin MacIsaac, who has been general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada since 2011, recently announced he will be retiring this fall. MacIsaac’s diversified career over 42 years includes dedicated service as an extension agronomist, farmer, industry organizer and a knowledgeable and eloquent advocate.

MacIsaac felt the time was right for a change. “I was fortunate to have the life experience of being a farmer for 27 years; milking cows, growing cereal and protein crops and of course lots of potatoes,” he says. “Just as rewarding was the opportunity to work for potato growers across Canada in the last decade, to bolster the concept of balanced supply and demand, and profitability to the grower members of the United Potato Growers of Canada.”

The general manager’s work over the past decade leaves the United Potato Growers of Canada in good shape – a strong credible organization, with members from the east coast of Prince Edward Island to the west coast of British Columbia. UPGC was founded in 2006 with the mission of providing timely information allowing growers to make informed production and marketing decisions. It works with its sister organization, United Potato Growers of America, which has similar goals.

MacIsaac was hired by the organization ten years ago to increase its capacity to determining the available supply of potatoes for fresh, seed and processing markets. Kevin was also a well-known participant on national and international potato organizations, and spoke at grower meetings across the country. One of the highlights of his job was the development of a strong, mutually respectful working relationship with counterparts in the United Potato Growers of America and their grower membership.

MacIsaac began his career after graduating from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and the University of Guelph, becoming an extension agronomist with the New Brunswick Department of Agriculture. Subsequently, he and his brother Blair operated Lily Pond Farms Ltd., a family farm business in Bear River, Prince Edward Island. He has been involved with many farm organizations including Chair of the PEI Potato Board, Chair of the PEI Soil and Crop Improvement Association, and Director of the PEI Processing Committee.

“We always appreciated the experience Kevin brought to the table, his knowledge of our industry and his ability to communicate with growers across the country were very strong attributes," says Ray Keenan, chair of the United Potato Growers of Canada. “In addition, he was a tireless promoter of our organization among our international partners and comrades, and raised UPGC’s profile with growers and other industry members. We thank him for all his work, and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

With some additional free time, MacIsaac hopes to spend some more time with his six grandchildren and continue his hobby of being a runner. (He has qualified to run the Boston Marathon next spring.)

UPGC hopes to have a replacement for the position of general manager by this fall and is actively seeking applications fat this time. For further information, inquire at