April 22, 2022
In This Issue:
  • Congratulations to Hollee Alexander: 2022 Spudwoman of the Year!
  • USDA Announces Grants to Strengthen the Potato Industry
  • OSHA Launches Workplace Heat Enforcement Program
  • NPC Summer Meeting: Live from Nashville!
  • Continue Your Leadership Training at the PILI Alumni Summit
Congratulations to Hollee Alexander: 2022 Spudwoman of the Year!

We’re thrilled to announce that our very own Hollee Alexander – who recently celebrated her 20-year anniversary with the National Potato Council – was nationally recognized for her leadership, innovative thinking, and impact on the potato industry by being named Spudman Magazine’s 2022 Spudwoman of the Year!

“Among everything she does for NPC, Hollee has led the creation, execution and growth of Potato Expo to make it the premier international event that it’s known for today. Her creativity and tenacity have never been more on display than over the past two years when we had to overcome the disruptions caused by COVID,” said NPC CEO Kam Quarles. “Anyone who has been around Hollee knows that she’s the heart and soul of NPC, and we couldn’t be more thrilled that her two decades of dedication to this industry has been recognized through this award.”

Join us in congratulating Hollee and look for her feature in the Spudwoman May/June issue of Spudman magazine.
USDA Announces Grants to Strengthen the Potato Industry

Last Friday, USDA today announced it has awarded $9.98 million to 14 collaborative, multi-state projects impacting 28 states to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. specialty crops. The funding is made possible through the Specialty Crop Multi-State Program (SCMP), reauthorized by the 2018 Farm Bill.

Two grants – totaling more than one million dollars – were awarded to support research to benefit the future of the potato industry:

  • A joint effort of the University of Iowa and Montana State University was awarded $461,000 to investigate a series of new fertilizer additives to improve the performance of seed potatoes, sweet corn, and radishes to heat and drought stress to ensure their harvest yields.
  • The Washington State Department of Agriculture was awarded almost $560,000 for a project that aims to develop safe, effective, and economical pest and disease management solutions for potato growers. The project involves conducting research in plant breeding, genetics, and genomics to improve crop characteristics with focus on disease resistance, and addressing post-harvest disease issues during storage.

SCMP strengthens food safety; seeks new ways to address plant pests, disease and other crop-specific issues; and increases marketing opportunities for specialty crops—fruits, vegetables, tree nuts and dried fruits to horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. For more information about the grant awards, click here
OSHA Launches Workplace Heat Enforcement Program

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) this week launched the first-ever a National Emphasis Program aimed at protecting workers from heat illness and injuries. Through the program, OSHA will conduct heat-related workplace inspections and immediately begin enforcement and compliance efforts, while continuing work to establish a heat illness prevention rule.

OSHA will initiate inspections in over 70 high-risk industries in indoor and outdoor work settings when the National Weather Service has issued a heat warning or advisory for a local area. When the heat index is 80 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, OSHA will engage in outreach and technical assistance in an effort to keep workers safe.

A fact sheet for the program is available here. The agency announced a public stakeholder meeting on May 3, 2022, for which you can register here.
NPC Summer Meeting: Live from Nashville!

We’re pleased to open registration to this year’s NPC Summer Meeting, June 16-17, co-hosted by 2022 President Jared Balcom (Pasco, Wash.), 2021 President Dominic LaJoie (Van Buren, Maine), and 2020 President Britt Raybould (St. Anthony, Idaho).

NPC Summer Meetings are attended by potato growers and industry leaders from all major production areas in the United States. Attendees establish and implement potato industry public policy priorities on a national level and take part in discussions on top issues facing the potato industry, including trade policy, immigration and transportation. The business of NPC will be conducted at committee meetings and Board of Directors Meeting.

Are you a Leadership Institute alum? Stay through Saturday, June 18, for our first in-person PILI Alumni Summit and a Potato LEAF Pedal Bar Party. Stay for the weekend to make the most if your trip.

Find out more and register for the Summer Meeting and PILI Alumni Summit here.
Continue Your Leadership Training at the PILI Alumni Summit

After the NPC Summer Meeting in Nashville, the Potato Leadership, Education, and Advancement Foundation (PLEAF) is pleased to host the first in-person Leadership Institute Alumni Summit!

The Alumni Summit, June 18, will bring together Leadership Institute graduates of all years to network, refresh skills, and learn new techniques to better position themselves for success in the potato industry. All past graduates of the Leadership Institute are invited to participate in the one-day workshop that will be active, engaging, fast-paced, high energy and packed with tips that can be put to use immediately.

What can I expect from the Alumni Summit?

Participants will engage in intentional conversations that will inspire reflection into their personal and professional communication styles, as well as team dynamics. Throughout the program, participants will develop new strategies and skills that will then be implemented into a strategic plan that they can use to elevate their operations after completing the program. 

Utilizing the Gallup Strengths lens of leadership, session topics include:

  • Communicating Your Skills/Brand
  • Cultivating and Maximizing Team Success
  • Walking the Walk/Putting Your Learning to Work

Learn more about the Alumni Summit and register for the Potato LEAF Pedal Bar Party here!
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