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United Potato Growers of Idaho in Idaho Falls announced Nov. 5 the resignation of Jerry Wright, president and chief executive officer, effective immediately, to pursue other opportunities.

Rick Shawver, the organization's chief operating officer, will handle interim operations. No additional staffing changes will be made at this time. "United Potato Growers of Idaho appreciates Mr. Wright's efforts on behalf of the organization," Carl Taylor, UPGI board chairman, said in a Nov. 5 press release. "We wish him all the best in his future endeavors."

Mr. Wright was named CEO and president of UPGI in 2005. Prior to joining the group, Mr. Wright most recently worked at the Idaho National Laboratory and NorSun Foods.

United Potato Growers of Idaho is a member of the United Potato Growers of America, which was formed in March 2005 by growers to balance supply with demand. The organization's mission is to reverse years of declining and unprofitable prices for growers, which had caused many independent growers to go out of business.

UPGA is a federated cooperative currently with eight member co-op chapters. It was created under the protection of the Capper-Volstead Act, which was enacted in 1922 by Congress to allow growers to work collectively to market their products.