At the National Potato Council’s (NPC) 2012 Annual Meeting, held January 6-7, 2012, in Orlando, Fla., Dan Lake of Ronan, Mont., was elected to serve as NPC’s vice president of the Environmental Affairs Committee. Montana’s Sid Schutter (Schutter Seed Farm, Inc., Manhattan) was also elected to serve on NPC’s Board of Directors. NPC’s leadership is comprised of U.S. potato growers, nominated by their state organizations, and elected by their peers.
Lake is a partner in Lake Seed, Inc., a third generation family-owned certified seed potato and grain operation based in Ronan, Mont. Lake farms with his three brothers, David, Pat and Tim, on 2,700 irrigated acres in the Mission Valley, just south of Flathead Lake in the northwestern part of the state.
Russet Burbank and Ranger Russet certified seed potatoes are produced annually on 420 of the farm’s acres, while the rest of the land is rotated with certified and commercial small grains, including wheat, barley, oats, and peas. The business includes a seed grain cleaning operation for wholesale and retail distribution of certified seed grain to local and regional producers. In addition, the business is a distributer of Wilbur-Ellis crop protection products, Pioneer corn and alfalfa seed, Agri-Pro small grain seed, grass seed, and other public and private varieties that have proven performance in the region. The business also includes an on-farm tissue culture and greenhouse facility run by Lake’s wife, Jan, for potato seed stock production and production of certified mint rootstocks for the peppermint and spearmint oil industries.
Lake has been involved with the NPC for the past five years as a delegate from Montana. “I have always been active in the potato industry and feel it is very important that producers become involved in supporting and guiding the industry at all levels as it interacts with our neighbors, our producers, the consumers and our legislators,” Lake said. “The NPC is a strong voice for potato producers as we strive to maintain, protect and strengthen our industry.”
In addition to his work on the national level, Lake serves on the Montana Potato Advisory Committee, the Montana Ag Experiment Station Advisory Council, and the First Interstate Bank Advisory Board, and is a member of the Mission Valley FFA Alumni.