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Rick Estess, retail marketing manager at Six L's Packing Co. Inc. in Immokalee, FL, has left that company to take a sales position with Russet Potato Exchange in Plainfield, WI.

Mr. Estess was with Six L's as it branched out into potato production in Florida last year, growing a debut crop of red, white and gold potatoes on almost 1,000 acres at the northwestern edge of the Everglades.

Six L's announced plans to double its Florida potato acreage this year.

That growth in part spurred Mr. Estess to move to RPE, he told The Produce News Feb. 23, saying that he found himself focusing more on office work and less on the interpersonal relationships he preferred.

"I missed more of the person-to-person contact, being out in the field," Mr. Estess said. "This is a great opportunity for me to get back to doing what I do best."

"Rick was a valuable member of our marketing team, and we wish him well in his new pursuits," said Darren Micelle, chief marketing officer of Six L's Packing. "At this time, all marketing programs will continue, and his responsibilities will be handled by other members of our team."

Founded in 1955, RPE is solely owned and operated by farmers. It markets potatoes from more than two-dozen growers farming 13,000 acres.