USDA appoints new board members for Potatoes USA

On January 13, the United States Department of Agriculture appointed 31 new or returning members to serve three-year terms on the National Potato Promotion Board, Dba Potatoes USA. The new members will be sworn in at the organization’s Annual Meeting in March.

Each year, growers from every producing state select other growers to represent them on the board. These selections then need to be confirmed by the Secretary of Agriculture. Potatoes USA has a 98-member board consisting of 92 growers, five importers and one public member. Each Board Member serves a three-year term with the ability to serve a second consecutive three-year term. Roughly one-third of the board members are appointed each year.

Members appointed or reappointed are:

  • Jason Davenport, California
  • Jared B. Smith, Colorado
  • Kasey Poulson, Idaho
  • Mitch Bitter, Idaho
  • Mike Larsen, Idaho
  • Steve Elfering, Idaho
  • Jeff Blanksma, Idaho
  • Wesley Jacob Pahl, Idaho
  • Eric Searle, Idaho
  • Ryan Christensen, Idaho
  • Jace Jensen, Idaho
  • Tyson Ruff, Idaho
  • Ryan Lee Tucker, Michigan
  • John Coombs Jr., New Jersey
  • Brian Mahany, New York
  • Jeff Jennings, North Carolina
  • Camburn Shephard, North Dakota
  • Kyle Michael, Ohio
  • Michael B. Kirsch, Oregon
  • Bill Walker, Oregon
  • Wayne Montgomery, Rhode Island
  • H. Bruce Richardson Jr., Virginia
  • Adam W. Weber, Washington
  • Shelley Olsen, Washington
  • Austin Ochoa, Washington
  • James Baker, Washington
  • Mike Pink, Washington
  • Wendy Dykstra, Wisconsin
  • Kevin Hachey, Canada
  • Clifton Smith, Canada
  • Kim M. Cupelli, Idaho, Importer

Read USDA’s official announcement of new appointees.

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, we are proud to be recognized as an innovator in the produce industry. Learn more online at

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian 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.