U.S. Potato Board names Western potato growers to leadership roster
by Lora Abcarian | April 12, 2010
Six individuals representing a cross section of the potato industry in the
western United States were elected to serve with the U.S. Potato Board and
were named to positions of leadership last month during its 38th annual
meeting in Denver.
Molly Connors, who represents the third generation at Skone & Connors
Produce Inc., was named co-chairman of the board's Domestic Marketing
Committee. Ms. Connors has been a member of the sales team at Basin Gold
Cooperative in Pasco, WA, for the past nine years. The company handles
potato sales and marketing for a number of producers in Washington and
Oregon. Ms. Connors' work for the cooperative focuses on retail and
foodservice accounts. She has served on the board for three years, serving for
two years as a member of the International Marketing Committee.
Lon Baley, a fourth-generation grower and third-generation potato farmer
who has served on the board for five years, has begun his second year as co-
chairman of the International Marketing Committee. He is a co-owner of
Baley Trotman Potato Co. in Malin, OR. Mr. Baley serves as chairman of the
Oregon Potato Commission, and is a board member of both the Klamath
Potato Growers Association and the Tulelake Growers Association. Mr. Baley
has participated in a number of high-visibility reverse trade missions for the
USPB involving foreign chip-stock buyers.
Monty Smith, who grew up on his family's Three S Ranch Inc. in Blanca, CO, is
serving his fourth year on the board and was named co-chairman of the
International Marketing Committee. He previously served as co-chairman of
the Industry Communications & Policy Committee. After earning a bachelor's
degree in agronomy from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO, Mr.
Smith returned to the family business in 1988 to join its management team.
Board member appointments were also made during the annual meeting.
Kurt Holland, sales and transportation manager for Mountain Valley Produce
in Center, CO, is serving a three-year term. Mr. Holland has worked in the
potato industry in the San Luis Valley for the past six years. He is a member
of the Colorado Potato Administrative Marketing Committee, headquartered
in Monte Vista, CO, and is also a graduate of the 2007 Potato Industry
Martin Myers, Northwest business manager for RD Offutt Co. in Boardman,
OR, was named to serve a three-year term. He has been involved with the
potato industry for 16 years and manages operations at Threemile Canyon
Farms in Oregon and Winnemucca Farms in Nevada. He is a commissioner at
the Oregon Potato Commission; he is also a member of the Potato Growers of
Washington and the Fresh Demand Working Group.
Steve Cottom, a fifth-generation seed potato grower from Dillon, MT, was
also named to a three-year term. He has been involved with seed potato
production for the past 40 years and is the owner of Cottom Seed Inc., a
company established by his great-great grandparents in the late 1800s. He is
vice chairman of United Potato Growers of Montana and serves on the
Research Committee of the Montana Potato Improvement Association.