New members of Potatoes USA’s Board being sworn in on March 14 by Patricia Petrella from the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

USDA Swears in 30 New Members to Potatoes USA’s Board

DENVER (March 20, 2019) — The Potatoes USA Annual Meeting was held March 11-14 in Denver, Colorado. During this meeting formal board business was conducted, including the swearing in of new members and the electing of new Administrative Committee members and new Executive Committee members.

This year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture appointed 30 new members to the board to serve three-year terms. They were sworn in on March 14 by Patricia Petrella, deputy director of the Promotion and Economics Division of the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service’s Specialty Crops Program.

Each year, board members are nominated by the industry and are then appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. Potatoes USA’s board has about 100 members, which consists of growers, importers and one public member.

New board members are:
Nathan Bender, Bakersfield, Calif.;
Ed Staunton, Tulelake, Calif.;
Les Alderete, Del Norte, Colo.;
Bevan Lenz, Wray, Colo.;
Jason Tillman, Mosca, Colo.;
Tyson Funk, American Falls, Idaho;
Taylor Grant, Rupert, Idaho;
Braden Lake, Rupert, Idaho;
Rick Miller, St. Anthony, Idaho;
Adam Nielsen, Jackson, Idaho;
Jeff VanOrden, Blackfoot, Idaho;
Tanner Wahlen, Aberdeen, Idaho;
Colin Szawlowski, Hadley, Mass.;
Ryan Crane, Hermon, Maine;
Ben Zechmann, Kearney, Neb.;
Leah Halverson, Grand Forks, N.D.;
Luke Robison, Merrill, Ore.;
Dan Gundersen, Burlington, Wash.;
Rod Schutte, Othello, Wash.;
Samueal Stahl, Ritzville, Wash.;
Marvin Wollman, Warden, Wash.; and Jon Gay, French Creek, W.Va.

The following growers were reappointed to the board:
Jason Davenport, Bakersfield, Calif.;
Trever Belnap, Hamer, Idaho;
Jaren Raybould, St. Anthony, Idaho;
Steve Streich, Kalispell, Mont.;
Dan Walchli, Hermiston, Ore.;
Bryan Bender, Chambersburg, Pa.;
Jordan Reed, Pasco, Wash.; and
Kevin Thaemert, Quincy, Wash.

Potatoes USA is the marketing organization for the 2,500 commercial potato growers operating in the United States. Potatoes USA, was established in 1971 by a group of potato growers to promote the benefits of eating potatoes. Today, as the largest vegetable commodity board, Potatoes USA is proud to be recognized as an innovator in the produce industry. For more information on Potatoes USA’s mission to “Strengthen Demand for U.S. Potatoes” by creating positive change in the industry through innovative and inspiring approaches, please visit


By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.

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