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
IrrigationRiver Pont Farms Sets Standard For Water Application, Conservation Practices
July 28, 2015
Efficient systems help the Oregon farm achieve high yields while minimizing water inputs. Read More
Produce aisle leafy greens super market grocery store
Food SafetyLGMA Members Get High Marks In Food Safety  
July 28, 2015
The California Leafy Green Marketing Agreement’s (LGMA) annual report shows the group received the lowest number of citations in its history. Read More
FruitsFruit Grower Tour Held Next Week In New York
July 28, 2015
Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 5 for the 17th annual Wayne County Fruit Grower Tour presented by agr.assistance. Read More
Bill Stoneman
Crop ProtectionFormer BPIA Head Relishes Challenge Of New Consulting Role
July 28, 2015
JET Harvest Solutions taps Bill Stoneman for his bounty of biocontrol experience. Read More
Late blight shown in a tomato
Disease ControlLate Blight Identified In Indiana, Michigan
July 28, 2015
A potato field in Michigan and a potato and tomato field in Indiana have documented the disease. Read More
CitrusNew Director Named For Florida’s Citrus Research And Education Center
July 28, 2015
Michael Rogers takes a positive charge at finding solutions to greening. Read More
ProductionNatural Product Helps Prevent Cherry Cracking
July 28, 2015
Cherry cracking can be devastating to a grower. One day before harvest, everything looks beautiful. Then, it rains, and an entire Read More
UF/IFAS researcher looks after pigs on weed control duty
More VegetablesGot Weeds? Perhaps Pigs Can Help
July 27, 2015
Old-time crop protection method using hogs now being tested by UF/IFAS researchers. Read More
Washington Capitol building
CitrusHouse Passes Bill To Block State GMO Food Labeling Mandates
July 27, 2015
The legislation would offer a federal standard for voluntary labeling of foods containing GMOs.   Read More
Citrus2 Dozen Florida Nurseries Vying For Coveted Cannabis Growing Licenses
July 27, 2015
With only five spots available to produce the low-THC ‘Charlotte’s Web’ strain, tedious review process is in full swing. Read More
The Latest
IrrigationRiver Pont Farms Sets Standard For Water Application, C…
July 28, 2015
Efficient systems help the Oregon farm achieve high yields while minimizing water inputs. Read More
Produce aisle leafy greens super market grocery store
Food SafetyLGMA Members Get High Marks In Food Safety  
July 28, 2015
The California Leafy Green Marketing Agreement’s (LGMA) annual report shows the group received the lowest number of citations in its history. Read More
FruitsFruit Grower Tour Held Next Week In New York
July 28, 2015
Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 5 for the 17th annual Wayne County Fruit Grower Tour presented by agr.assistance. Read More
Bill Stoneman
Crop ProtectionFormer BPIA Head Relishes Challenge Of New Consulting R…
July 28, 2015
JET Harvest Solutions taps Bill Stoneman for his bounty of biocontrol experience. Read More
Late blight shown in a tomato
Disease ControlLate Blight Identified In Indiana, Michigan
July 28, 2015
A potato field in Michigan and a potato and tomato field in Indiana have documented the disease. Read More
CitrusNew Director Named For Florida’s Citrus Research And Ed…
July 28, 2015
Michael Rogers takes a positive charge at finding solutions to greening. Read More
ProductionNatural Product Helps Prevent Cherry Cracking
July 28, 2015
Cherry cracking can be devastating to a grower. One day before harvest, everything looks beautiful. Then, it rains, and an entire Read More
UF/IFAS researcher looks after pigs on weed control duty
More VegetablesGot Weeds? Perhaps Pigs Can Help
July 27, 2015
Old-time crop protection method using hogs now being tested by UF/IFAS researchers. Read More
Washington Capitol building
CitrusHouse Passes Bill To Block State GMO Food Labeling Mand…
July 27, 2015
The legislation would offer a federal standard for voluntary labeling of foods containing GMOs.   Read More
Citrus2 Dozen Florida Nurseries Vying For Coveted Cannabis Gr…
July 27, 2015
With only five spots available to produce the low-THC ‘Charlotte’s Web’ strain, tedious review process is in full swing. Read More
Insect & Disease UpdateSecond Case In A Month Of Citrus Greening In California
July 24, 2015
More trees testing positive for disease within close proximity of original find. Read More
CitrusUSDA Expands Crop Insurance Options For Fruit And Nut G…
July 24, 2015
The USDA announced the expansion of crop insurance to provide additional options for fruit and nut producers. The Supplemental Coverage Read More
FFVA 2015 Annual Convention logo
CitrusFlorida Fruit & Vegetable Association Annual Conven…
July 23, 2015
Association's 72nd gathering to feature high-profile speakers, up-to-the-minute Issues Forums, and some fun to mix in with the business of the day. Read More
CitrusMarketing Order Amendments Referendum Set For Fresh Flo…
July 22, 2015
Changes include the authorization and regulation of new varieties. Read More
Shannon Shepp
CitrusInterim Executive Director Named For Florida Department…
July 22, 2015
Shannon Shepp will take on leadership duties immediately after unanimous Citrus Commission vote. Read More
downy mildew symptoms on basil
Disease ControlRed Lights Slow Down Growth Of Downy Mildew On Basil
July 22, 2015
University of Florida scientists say the technology may help growers manage the disease and reduce chemical inputs. Read More
Bacterial wilt of curcurbits
CucurbitsWin The War Against Bacterial Wilt Of Cucurbits
July 22, 2015
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods of this vegetable disease. Read More
Crop ProtectionRegional Integrated Pest Management Grants Reduced Pest…
July 22, 2015
The program created tools and training information designed for Western growers. Read More