National Potato Council Accepting 2014 Scholarship Applications For Graduate Students Advancing The Industry

The National Potato Council (NPC) is now accepting applications for a $10,000 graduate-level scholarship to be applied toward the 2014-2015 academic year. Each year, NPC awards one scholarship to a graduate student pursuing advanced studies (Master’s degree or higher) that will improve the future of the U.S. potato industry. Final scholarship selection is based on academic achievement, leadership abilities, and the potential commercial value of the applicant’s academic work.


Previous scholarship recipients, including 2013 scholarship winner Rhett Spear, a horticulture Ph.D. graduate student at Washington State University, have done important work to benefit the industry. Spear is currently researching potential fresh-pack potato varieties and how they compare to the standard varieties like Russet Norkotah and Russet Burbank. The current phase of his project is focused on identifying methods and instruments by which physical properties associated with consumer preferences like texture and moisture can be measured, thereby eliminating the need for expensive conventional taste panels.

“This scholarship gives students like me the opportunity to focus on research that may impact potato research and production around the world. My research, coupled with agronomic data of new varieties, will hopefully give us the ability to predict how well a new variety will perform in the field as well as with the consumers,” said Spear.

The application deadline for NPC’s 2014 academic scholarship is June 30, and the scholarship winner will be announced in August. The winner will be invited to display his or her work at the Potato Research Poster Sessions during Potato Expo 2015, Jan. 7-9, 2015, in Orlando, FL. Application forms are available at

For more information about the award and past scholarship winners, visit

Source: NPC news release.