WASHINGTON – The Potato Leadership, Education, and Advancement Foundation (Potato LEAF) is pleased to announce the 2024 class of the potato industry’s Leadership Institute. Over the 10-day program, Feb. 21-March 1, participants will receive an overview of the local and national potato industry, including some of the challenges and issues beyond the production sector, along with tours of local agricultural businesses in Idaho before continuing to Washington, D.C.
Additionally, participants will hear from public policy and communication experts and practice how to effectively deliver key messages. Finally, the class will join other growers from their state to educate members of Congress on U.S. potato industry policy priorities during the National Potato Council’s 2024 Washington Summit.
The 2024 Potato Industry Leadership Class includes:
- Brent Harrison, Center, Colo.
- Ryan Holland, Hooper, Colo.
- Aurora Hollenbeck, Denver, Colo.
- Tyler Lloyd, Burley, Idaho
- Tyler Maughan, Oakley, Idaho
- Adam Nielson, Jackson, Idaho
- Cody Richins, Idaho Falls, Idaho
- Justin Searle, Firth, Idaho
- Colin Szawlowski, Hadley, Mass.
- Christopher Flewelling, Easton, Maine
- Garrett Hemphill, Presque Isle, Maine
- Ryan Norton, Vicksburg, Mich.
- Drew Thorlund, Greenville, Mich.
- Kurt Dykema, Manhattan, Mont.
- Katie Vculek, Crete, N.D.
- Jeremy Clark, Bliss, N.Y.
- Zack Troyer, Waterford, Pa.
- Jonathon Springstead, Boardman, Ore.
- Kyrel Andrus, Kennewick, Wash.
- Austin Lenssen, Ferndale, Wash.
- Damon Christensen, Mattawa, Wash.
- Michael Hughes, Mount Vernon, Wash.
- Kalie Christensen, Westfield, Wisc.
- Becky Eddy, Rhinelander, Wisc.
Bryan Bender of Bender Potatoes in Chambersburg, Pa. – a 2023 graduate of the program will join the group serving as the Grower Leader elected from the 2023 class. Bender will further develop his leadership skills as he serves in this role and leads the class in their development.