National Potato Council Elects New President

At the National Potato Council’s (NPC) 2011 Annual Meeting Justin Dagen of Karlstad, MN, was elected to lead the NPC as president in 2011. The meeting was held January 7 to 8 in Las Vegas, NV.

Dagen is a seed grower from Karlstad, MN, where his family has been farming for more than 100 years. He has been involved in the NPC since 1995, when he participated in a leadership program held in Princeton, NJ. He said the leadership program provided him with a national perspective of the potato industry and this is where he recognized the value of having a unified voice on federal public policy issues. He left the leadership program energized.

Since then, Dagen has been involved in his local state organization and went on to serve on the NPC Board of Directors. For the past five years he has served on the Executive Committee where his roles included vice president of Grower and Public Relations, vice president of Finance and Office Procedures, and, most recently, vice president of Legislative and Government Affairs.

As a potato grower in the Red River Valley, Dagen has been actively involved with the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association (NPPGA). NPPGA represents the Red River Valley, the result of a mammoth glacial lake. The Red River Valley is also the only region that produces in volume for four of the major potato markets; chip, fresh, seed, and process.

Dagen’s top priorities for the upcoming year include opening up the Mexican market to U.S. potatoes, developing more balanced environmental regulations, and securing additional funding for specialty crop research in the 2012 Farm Bill.

The 2008 Farm Bill offered specialty crops, and potatoes specifically, advancements and new opportunities. Dagen wants to expand on these advancements by securing additional funding for research in the 2012 Farm Bill. “Improving the quality of potatoes and developing efficient new varieties that use less water, less fertilizer, and less crop protectants are essential components of modern farming,” stated Dagen. “Our future as farmers is dependent upon research and innovation in the industry.”

President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) that has a goal of doubling exports in five years also creates a substantial opportunity for potatoes. A pending Free Trade Agreement with South Korea would immediately eliminate an existing 18% tariff on frozen French fries, further opening up the fourth-largest and fastest-growing market for potatoes outside of the U.S. “Not only does South Korea represent a huge opportunity for U.S. potato exports, but the potential resolution for the ongoing Mexican trucking issue, as well,” said Dagen. “With expanded foreign markets, U.S. potato growers will be well-positioned to contribute to the President’s NEI.”

The NPC continues to be active on environmental issues, as well. From the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System that EPA is presently developing to the constantly shifting environment facing existing crop protection tools, NPC must remain engaged on all emerging regulations that have the potential to directly affect potato growers. “U.S. potato growers embrace the most environmentally responsible approaches to agriculture,” said Dagen. “Without an eye for conservation, the future of the potato industry in the United States would not be very bright.”

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories
2017 Florida Strawberry Picking Challenge winners
Berries
February 22, 2017
Florida Strawberry Picking Contest a Big Winner for Charity
Fourth-annual fundraising event brings in more than $100,000 to benefit children of local farmworkers. Read More
Florida potato field in bloom.
Citrus
February 22, 2017
New Insecticide Available to Combat Sucking, Chewing Pests
Minecto Pro from Syngenta has received EPA approval for use in specialty and vegetable crops to control lepidopteran and other pests. Read More
Farm Management
February 22, 2017
Farms Get Bigger Even as the Number of Farms Decline
A new report from USDA shows long-term trends continuing: fewer farms and fewer acres used in farming even as individual operations get bigger on average. Read More
Farm Management
February 22, 2017
Wild Bee Populations Are out of Sync With Crop Needs
Some crops most dependent on pollinators, including pumpkins, watermelons, pears, peaches, plums, apples and blueberries, appeared to have the strongest pollination mismatch. Read More
Basic tractor on the horizon
Citrus
February 22, 2017
Skilled Labor Needed to Keep Agriculture Growing [Opinion]
Even with the challenge of feeding a growing global population at hand, has focus been lost on recruiting where jobs on the farm are need most? Read More
Cartoon sketch of a citrus seed machine
Varieties & Rootstocks
February 22, 2017
Citrus Nurseries Analyze the Need for Seed
It seems many growers are more certain about their scion choices than they are about available rootstocks. Read More
Food Safety Modernization Act moving at snail's pace
Food Safety
February 21, 2017
Food Safety Modernization Act Creeping Forward
Massive regulatory overhaul unfolds as the specialty crop industry hopes to ensure common-sense food safety rules and inspection. Read More
Apples & Pears
February 21, 2017
Snow Doesn’t Stop Day 1 of IFTA Conference
While the Wenatchee, WA, area has experienced higher-than expected snowfall, tour-goers trudge on to learn the latest about advanced production systems and high-value apple varieties. Read More
Grapes
February 18, 2017
Sustainability Is a Growing Factor in Wine Purchasing
California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance updates certification program, shows sustainability is important part of wine trade. Read More
citrus psyllid closeup
Insect & Disease Update
February 18, 2017
The War on Citrus Psyllids Still Raging
Despite control challenges, keeping the pest in check remains the best approach to managing HLB. Read More
The Latest
Berries
February 22, 2017
Florida Strawberry Picking Contest a Big…
Fourth-annual fundraising event brings in more than $100,000 to benefit children of local farmworkers. Read More
Citrus
February 22, 2017
New Insecticide Available to Combat Suck…
Minecto Pro from Syngenta has received EPA approval for use in specialty and vegetable crops to control lepidopteran and other pests. Read More
Farm Management
February 22, 2017
Farms Get Bigger Even as the Number of F…
A new report from USDA shows long-term trends continuing: fewer farms and fewer acres used in farming even as individual operations get bigger on average. Read More
Farm Management
February 22, 2017
Wild Bee Populations Are out of Sync Wit…
Some crops most dependent on pollinators, including pumpkins, watermelons, pears, peaches, plums, apples and blueberries, appeared to have the strongest pollination mismatch. Read More
Citrus
February 22, 2017
Skilled Labor Needed to Keep Agriculture…
Even with the challenge of feeding a growing global population at hand, has focus been lost on recruiting where jobs on the farm are need most? Read More
Varieties & Rootstocks
February 22, 2017
Citrus Nurseries Analyze the Need for Se…
It seems many growers are more certain about their scion choices than they are about available rootstocks. Read More
Food Safety
February 21, 2017
Food Safety Modernization Act Creeping F…
Massive regulatory overhaul unfolds as the specialty crop industry hopes to ensure common-sense food safety rules and inspection. Read More
Apples & Pears
February 21, 2017
Snow Doesn’t Stop Day 1 of IFTA Conferen…
While the Wenatchee, WA, area has experienced higher-than expected snowfall, tour-goers trudge on to learn the latest about advanced production systems and high-value apple varieties. Read More
Grapes
February 18, 2017
Sustainability Is a Growing Factor in Wi…
California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance updates certification program, shows sustainability is important part of wine trade. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
February 18, 2017
The War on Citrus Psyllids Still Raging
Despite control challenges, keeping the pest in check remains the best approach to managing HLB. Read More
Citrus
February 17, 2017
How Precision Agriculture Is Helping Far…
New Florida-based organization is seeking to break down barriers between farmers and shoppers by providing a platform to not only show what is grown, but how it's grown. Read More
Grapes
February 17, 2017
Washington Organization Rebrands Itself
Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers unveils new identity at convention, now known as Washington Winegrowers Association. Read More
Berries
February 17, 2017
Florida Blueberry Growers Counting on a …
With last season's disaster in the rear view, all eyes are searching for bluer skies. Read More
Equipment
February 17, 2017
Wanted: Tech Innovators for Drone Challe…
Land O'Lakes Prize offers up $150,000 to help make drones more useable for farmers Read More
Fruits
February 17, 2017
Are Drones the Future of Pollination?
Researchers in Japan have turned drones into robot bees as artificial pollinators. Read More
GenNext Growers
February 16, 2017
Young Start-Up Hort Tech Companies Honor…
Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology Scholarships promote sustainability. Read More
GenNext Growers
February 16, 2017
Young Farmer Success Act Reintroduced to…
Bill to add young growers to Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Read More
Fruits
February 16, 2017
New App Helps Fruit Growers Calculate Ch…
App helps growers calculate chill hours based on locations and models and assess physiological needs of fruit crops. Read More