Phil Gusmano Appointed Chair Of Michigan Potato Industry Commission

Published online: Dec 22, 2022 Articles
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Phil Gusmano of Better Made Snack Foods will serve as chair of the Michigan Potato Industry Commission (MPIC) in 2023.

Gusmano and Ryan Norton of Walther Farms were elected chair and vice-chair, respectively, during the MPIC meeting in East Lansing on Dec. 15, 2022. The 2023 list of commissioners includes:

  • Phil Gusmano, Detroit (chair)
  • Ryan Norton, Vicksburg (vice-chair)
  • Travis Horkey, Dundee (past chair)
  • Dale Johnson, Sagola
  • Ryan Pelletier, Three Rivers
  • Mike Phillips, Portage
  • Matt Skogman, Foster City
  • Jon Yoder, Sturgis

Michigan ranks among the top eight potato-producing states in the U.S. annually. Michigan produces more chipping potatoes than any other state. Approximately 70 percent of Michigan-grown potatoes go to the chipping industry, with 20 percent going to the fresh market, 5 percent to other producing industries and 5 percent are seed potatoes.

Gusmano has served as Better Made Snack Foods’ vice president of purchasing since 1996. Better Made, founded in 1930, is located on Gratiot Avenue in Detroit and produces a variety of potato chips, as well as other snack foods.

“It is an honor and pleasure to be elected to the chairman’s position for the MPIC,” Gusmano said. “I get to serve with great growers and help keep Michigan’s status as the No. 1 chipping potato producer in the country.”

Norton, who will serve as vice-chair of MPIC in 2023, is the operations manager at Walther Farms, which produces chipping, fresh and seed potatoes at several locations in Michigan.

MPIC was formed in 1970 by the Michigan legislature as the state’s potato research, promotion, and education organization. Kelly Turner is the executive director.

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