Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

Wisconsin Representatives Elected for Potatoes USA Board Seats

Elections are complete in Wisconsin for those who will represent the state on the Potatoes USA Board.

The elected individuals will begin their term in March 2020. Each term lasts three years with an opportunity to be re-elected for a second three-year term. No representative can serve for more than two consecutive three-year terms.

During their term, elected individuals are required to attend the Potatoes USA meeting held annually in March, and other meetings/events as indicated/requested.

As a Wisconsin representative elected to the Potatoes USA Board, individuals are responsible for representing Wisconsin’s interests and keeping the state’s growers informed of how Potatoes USA is fulfilling the state’s interest and maximizing growers’ return on investment. All are grower-leaders who actively participate in local government, cultural or business affairs.

In recent years, Wisconsin has been allotted five seats on the board. Beginning in 2020, the number of seats will increase to six, which is a direct result of production numbers the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) sends to Potatoes USA. These production numbers are based on a three-year average.

For the 2020 election, Wisconsin accepted nominations for three of the six seats as two representatives are completing the third year of their second term and therefore, going off the board. Two other representatives are currently up for re-election.

The following individuals will begin their upcoming terms on the Potatoes USA Board beginning in March 2020:

  • Erin Baginski, Baginski Farms (Antigo) – Incumbent; re-elected for second three-year term
  • Keith Wolter, Hyland Lakes Spuds (Antigo) – Incumbent; re-elected for second three-year term
  • Mike Carter, Bushmans’ Inc. (Rosholt) – Elected to first three-year term
  • Kevin Schleicher, RPE (Bancroft) – Elected to first three-year term
  • Josh Knights, Heartland Farms (Hancock) – Elected to first three-year term

Heidi Randall of Alsum Farms in Friesland, WI, is the sixth board member representing Wisconsin. She will complete the third year of her second three-year term in 2021.

A special thank you to Eric Schroeder of Schroeder Bros. Farms in Antigo and Mark Finnessy of Okray Family Farms in Plover. Both are completing the third year of their second three-year term and will be coming off the board in March 2020. Over the last six years, they have devoted their time, energy and expertise to the success of not only the Wisconsin potato industry, but also to the success of the potato industry across the nation.

“I’ll just say that I appreciated [being] able to serve as a Wisconsin representative on the Potatoes USA Board for the past 6 years. It’s been eye-opening to see how much time and dedication go into making our grower assessments produce the results that they do both domestically and internationally. I know we have a great group of incoming Board members who will continue to represent Wisconsin very well,” says Schroeder.

“I would also say it was an honor to be on the Potatoes USA Board for the last 6 years. It was a very educational experience for me personally and professionally. If I were given the chance to join the Potatoes USA board again I would do it in a heartbeat,” says Finnessy.

Thank you Eric and Mark for your dedication and commitment!

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