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Potatoes USA Appoints 2020-2021 Research Committee Co-Chairs

April 14, 2020

Chris Hansen of Bliss, New York and Jared Smith of Alamosa, Colorado were elected to the Potatoes USA Executive Committee as Research Committee Co-Chairs on March 11, 2020 at the organization’s 48th Annual Meeting. Hansen has been involved with the Research Committee from its start five years ago, and he will be serving his third year as Research Committee Co-Chair and sixth year on the board. This will be Smith’s third year on the board, but his first year as a committee co-chair after serving as a member on the Domestic Marketing and Research Committees for one year each.

Hansen is the general manager for CSS Farms, LLC and his location in New York focuses entirely on chip-stock potatoes. He grew up growing potatoes, but has been working professionally in the industry for the last 25 years since graduating from Michigan State. Hansen participated in the 2014 class of the Potato Industry Leadership Institute (PILI), and currently holds the positions of vice president of the Empire State Potato Growers (ESPG) and chair of ESPG’s Variety Development Committee. As an Executive Committee member, Hansen looks forward to continuing to build continuity between the Research Committee and other Potatoes USA programs.

Smith is a third-generation farmer and has worked in the industry for about 15 years. He is a part-owner of Three S Ranch, Inc., which produces russet, red and yellow potatoes. Smith is Blanca Potato LLC’s Chairman of the Board and he serves on the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee. He participated in the PILI class of 2017. Smith is excited about Potatoes USA’s strategy, and he looks forward to continuing the momentum gained through the Performance campaign.

The Research Committee, through its involvement in the Potato Research Advisory Committee (PRAC), participates in the development of national potato research priorities and promotes industry support for selected potato research projects. The committee also oversees the industry’s potato variety development activities for the chip and fry sectors through the National Chip Program (NCP) and National Fry Processors Trial (NFPT), respectively. The committee supports the latest potato nutrition research conducted through the Alliance of Potato Research and Education (APRE).

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