Patricia Petrella, from the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, swears in members of the National Potato Promotion Board on March 14. ( Tom Karst )

DENVER — New members of the National Potato Promotion Board were sworn in during the org’s annual meeting on March 14.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently appointed 31 members to the board to serve three-year terms.

The National Potato Promotion Board, which operates as Potatoes USA, has about 100 members consisting of growers, importers and one public member, according to a USDA news release. Board members are nominated by the industry and are appointed by the secretary of agriculture.

New members representing growers are:

  • Nathan Bender, Bakersfield, Calif.;
  • Ed Staunton, Tulelake, Calif.;
  • Les Alderete, Del Norte, Colo.;
  • Bevan Lenz, Wray, Colo.;
  • Jason Tillman, Mosca, Colo.;
  • Tyson Funk, American Falls, Idaho;
  • Taylor Grant, Rupert, Idaho;
  • Braden Lake, Rupert, Idaho;
  • Rick Miller, St. Anthony, Idaho;
  • Adam Nielsen, Jackson, Idaho;
  • Jeff VanOrden, Blackfoot, Idaho;
  • Tanner Wahlen, Aberdeen, Idaho;
  • Colin Szawlowski, Hadley, Mass.;
  • Ryan Crane, Hermon, Maine;
  • Ben Zechmann, Kearney, Neb.;
  • Leah Halverson, Grand Forks, N.D.;
  • Luke Robison, Merrill, Ore.;
  • Dan Gundersen, Burlington, Wash.;
  • Rod Schutte, Othello, Wash.;
  • Samueal Stahl, Ritzville, Wash.;
  • Marvin Wollman, Warden, Wash.; and 
  • Jon Gay, French Creek, W.Va.

The following growers are reappointed to the board:

  • Jason Davenport, Bakersfield, Calif.;
  • Trever Belnap, Hamer, Idaho;
  • Jaren Raybould, St. Anthony, Idaho;
  • Steve Streich, Kalispell, Mont.;
  • Dan Walchli, Hermiston, Ore.;
  • Bryan Bender, Chambersburg, Pa.;
  • Jordan Reed, Pasco, Wash.; and
  • Kevin Thaemert, Quincy, Wash.

Patricia Petrella, deputy director of the Promotion and Economics Division of the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service’s Specialty Crops Program, attended the Potatoes USA Annual Meeting for the ceremony.