Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

Industry Veteran Ryan Krabill Named First Ever USPB Director of Research & Analysis

DENVER (March 4, 2015)—The United States Potato Board (USPB) is pleased to announce industry veteran Ryan J. Krabill has joined its staff in the newly-created position of Director of Research & Analysis. Krabill begins his new role April 1, 2015.

Krabill brings a lengthy record of potato industry leadership and proven results from his most recent role as Senior Director, Legislative & Regulatory Affairs with the National Potato Council (NPC) in Washington, DC. Krabill built strategic alliances in Congress and with national and state industry groups to advance potato policy initiatives, a skill which will serve him well as he coordinates and develops strategic alliances with potato researchers across the country to help advance potato research, as well as work to secure additional funding for various potato research initiatives.

USPB President & CEO, Blair Richardson, outlines the primary objective of this newly-created position: “In addition to the variety trial programs and ongoing nutritional research activities supported by the Board, the potato industry faces many challenges that need to be addressed through strategic and cooperative research efforts. The Board is uniquely positioned to help facilitate these efforts when and where appropriate. However, this requires focus and attention to detail that can only be achieved by placing the right person in a role to manage these activities and build the programs.” Richardson adds, “We were fortunate the Board’s needs coincided with the personal objectives of someone with such valuable industry knowledge as Ryan. Ryan understands many of the industry’s issues and is familiar with many potato industry leaders. Moreover, he understands the systems within many government agencies such as EPA and USDA that will be helpful as we search for grant funding and support of our research efforts. Accordingly, we expect the learning curve to be short as we build this program.”

During his tenure with NPC since June 2010, Krabill managed policy and logistics for the NPC Trade Affairs, Legislative and Government Affairs, and Environmental Affairs Committees; served as Chair of the Commodity Programs Working Group in the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance during preparation for the 2014 Farm Bill; and regularly wrote issue papers, weekly newsletter articles, and op-eds for audiences ranging from farmers to policymakers, to consumers.

Prior to joining NPC, Krabill’s public policy experience was extensive, including:

Deputy Director of USDA’s Office of External and Intergovernmental Affairs and as Deputy White House Liaison for the agency. Krabill also served as Executive Assistant in the U.S. Senate – Office of the Sergeant at Arms. Early in his career, Krabill was very active in both state and national politics, working as a campaign staffer for several campaigns.

Krabill states, on accepting this position, “I expect to bring additional focus, energy, and leadership to the research efforts already underway within the potato industry. The relationships and knowledge I have built over the past few years will accelerate that process and enable me to hit the ground running to coordinate those valuable efforts. The Board has a strong reputation, and I’m excited to use my previous experience to contribute to such a respected organization.”

As to his first order of business, Krabill “…will evaluate current research programs in an effort to maximize the industry’s current investments. This evaluation will enable me to better identify future opportunities, implement steps to take advantage of those opportunities, and address the threats facing the industry, from pests to perception.” Krabill’s vision going forward: “We have a duty to ensure the industry’s substantial investments in research are maximized to enhance the competitiveness of the U.S. potato industry, both here and abroad. This is a unique opportunity to address the critical research needs facing the industry, and I look forward to helping facilitate those efforts in the most efficacious manner possible.”

A native of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Krabill earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology and Communication Studies, cum laude, from Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA.

For more information on the USPB as the nation’s potato marketing organization, positioned as the “catalyst for positive change,” and the central organizing force in implementing programs that will increase demand for potatoes, please visit www.uspotatoes.com. In an effort to enhance diversity of the Board, USDA encourages women, younger growers, minorities, and people with disabilities to seek positions on the board.

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