OUR STORY

Ten years ago, a group of potato processors, farmers, distributors and a major restaurant chain collaborated to create the Potato Sustainability Initiative to address potato sustainability challenges. Over time, our program has evolved into the Potato Sustainability Alliance, a roundtable format focused on defining, measuring and advancing potato sustainability using robust metrics to drive improvements in productivity and profitability while protecting the environment. Members of the Alliance, together with over 550 U.S. and Canadian farmers, are committed to advancing a common vision of potato sustainability and delivering economic, environmental and social outcomes at scale.

GOVERANCE

PSA is governed by representatives from the following member categories:

• Grower Organizations
• Processors
• Fresh Packers
• Buyers
• Input Suppliers
• Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations

 

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Canadian Growers

Chad Berry, Under the Hill Farms Ltd.

Vernon Campbell, Mull Na Beinne Farms Ltd.
Vernon is the 7th generation of Campbells to farm in the New London area of Prince Edward Island since the late 1700s. Vernon and his wife Bertha own and operate Mull Na Beinne Farms Ltd. (a Gaelic phrase meaning ‘pretty little farm on the hill’). They crop 2000 acres of land on which they grow processing potatoes as well as cereal and forage for their dairy herd and beef feedlot.
Sustainability has been front and center over the past 40 years of their farming career and they have been recognized for their environmental efforts. The Campbells were named as Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers in 1993 and in 1999 were inducted into Canada’s Soil Conservation Hall of Fame. Vernon has been active in potato industry organizations both provincially and nationally and currently is one of the Canadian growers serving on the Potato Sustainability Initiative.

Mike Wind, Windiana Farms Ltd.

 

 

U.S. Growers

Andy Diercks, Coloma Farms

 

 

Dan Moss, Moss Farms

 

 

Ed Schneider, Schneider Farms  (PSA Secretary)
Ed Schneider farms on his family’s farm near Pasco Washington, where he has been farming for over 40 years, growing potatoes and other rotation crops.  Ed has served on various industry boards including the Washington State Potato Commission, the United States Potato Board (now Potatoes USA), and the National Potato Council (NPC).  Ed has also been engaged in the Potato Sustainability Initiative (now the Potato Sustainability Alliance) since its inception in 2009.

Processors

Richard Burres, Sustainable Agriculture for Lamb Weston

 

 

Spencer Karabelas-Pittman, North American Sustainable Agriculture Lead for McCain Foods

 

 

John MacQuarrie, Director of Environmental Sustainability for Cavendish Farms (PSA Chair)
John MacQuarrie is the current Director of Environmental Sustainability for Cavendish Farms. He has long served in Canadian government, working first in the Prince Edward Island Department of Agriculture before becoming the Deputy Minister of Agriculture from 2001 to 2004. From 2004 to 2011, MacQuarrie was Deputy Minister for the Department of Environment. He currently serves as the chair for the Potato Sustainability Initiative.

Jolyn Rasmussen, Senior Manager-Raw Product Development & Sustainability for JR Simplot (PSA Vice Chair)
Jolyn Rasmussen is the Senior Manager of Raw Development and Sustainability for the Food Group at the J.R. Simplot Company in Boise, Idaho. Jolyn oversees agronomy, variety development, and sustainability. She joined the JR Simplot Company in 2011 as an Agronomist in the Plant Sciences division and later became Technical Services Manager. Prior to joining Simplot, Jolyn worked at the University of Wisconsin – Hancock Ag. Research Station and Del Monte Foods.

John Shields, Contractor for Basic American Foods
John grew up in heart of the Columbia Basin Irrigation project in the State of Washington. He attended Washington State University and graduated with two Bachelor of Science Degrees; Horticulture and Agronomy. John spent 40 years in the food processing business. His potato processing career started as a field representative with the J.R. Simplot Company based in Hermiston, Oregon. He was then a field department manager for McCain Foods, USA., for over nineteen years, in Washington State, and Wisconsin. In addition, John supervised a farming operation in Nebraska, and an agronomy program while in Wisconsin. He finished his potato processing career as the Director of Raw Material Sourcing for Basic American Foods, (potato dehydration) responsible for procuring raw material for multiple processing facilities in Idaho, and Washington State. John retired from Basic American Foods the first of the year, and today is the president of JTS Agricultural Consulting LLC.  He has been involved with Integrated Pest Management for over 15 years, and Potato Sustainability Alliance for the last five years.

Fresh Packers

Sanford Gleddie, Vice President of Agriculture & Business Development for the Little Potato Company (PSA Treasurer)
Sanford Gleddie is an agriculture industry professional with over 30 years of international technology development, marketing and sales, operations, and management experience. Sanford joined The Little Potato Company in 2011 and is currently the Vice President of Agriculture, Sales, Marketing, and Global Business Development.  He is responsible for overall North American potato production including agronomy, field production, potato variety development, the sales and marketing of The Little Potato Company products in North America, new product development, and expansion into new markets outside of North America.

Buyers

Shane Sampels, Senior Director of Quality Assurance for Sysco
Shane Sampels has thirty years of food industry leadership and technical knowledge. Industry recognized leader in food safety, quality assurance, sustainable agriculture development, and processing. Product knowledge base includes agricultural products of canned, frozen, produce, beverage, and manufactured grocery. Successfully implemented several innovative programs within the food industry; including sustainable agriculture initiatives, produce food safety databases, and plant design and construction including new business start up.
He is currently acting as the Senior Director of Quality Assurance at Sysco and the subsidiary FreshPoint.  FreshPoint is a leading distributor of fresh products specializing in produce.  Shane previously was also Director of Quality Assurance for produce, frozen, canned and beverage products for the Sysco Brand Product Programs.  Shane holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Food Science from Oregon State University.

Jeffrey Fitzpatrick-Stilwell, Senior Manager, Sustainability and Agriculture Lead for McDonald’s
Jeffrey is the Senior Manager, Sustainability and Agriculture Lead for McDonald’s Canada. He is responsible for developing strategies to deliver against McDonald’s global sustainability commitments and goals; for leading engagement with suppliers, NGOs and other key stakeholders across the Canadian agriculture value chain; and for identifying emerging issues and areas of future focus relative to sustainability. He is the market lead for Canada, responsible for advancing the sustainable sourcing of all food and packaging for the Canadian market, as well as advancing the efforts to run the restaurants in a sustainable manner. He is also McDonald’s North American lead for potato sustainability. He works closely with key suppliers, producers, NGOs, and other industry stakeholders to develop and support industry-wide sustainability solutions in the Canadian agriculture value chain. He sits on many industry boards, committees, councils and working groups. Prior to joining McDonald’s in 2005 Jeffrey served as political staff to several federal and provincial cabinet ministers.

Allied Industry

Tommy Jackson, Sustainable Solutions Account Lead for Syngenta

 

 

(Environmental NGO and other open board seats will be filled soon.)

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

The Board of Directors elects a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer to serve for two-year terms on the Executive Committee. In between meetings of the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee provides guidance to staff and oversight on the organizational strategy, budget and annual work plan.

The officers elected to the Alliance’s current Executive Committee are:

Chair John MacQuarrie, Cavendish Farm
As the Director of Environmental Sustainability with Cavendish Farms, John is responsible for corporate sustainability planning.  Before joining Cavendish Farms, John served as the Deputy Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy for Prince Edwards Island.  In that position, he was responsible for public works, provincial highway infrastructure grants and energy policy.

Vice Chair – Jolyn Rasmussen, JR Simplot
Jolyn Rasmussen is the Senior Manager of Raw Development and Sustainability for the Food Group at the J.R. Simplot Company in Boise, Idaho. Jolyn oversees agronomy, variety development, and sustainability. She joined the JR Simplot Company in 2011 as an Agronomist in the Plant Sciences division and later became Technical Services Manager. Prior to joining Simplot, Jolyn worked at the University of Wisconsin – Hancock Ag. Research Station and Del Monte Foods.

Secretary – Ed Schneider, Schneider Farms
Ed Schneider farms on his family’s farm near Pasco Washington, where he has been farming for over 40 years, growing potatoes and other rotation crops.  Ed has served on various industry boards including the Washington State Potato Commission, the United States Potato Board (now Potatoes USA), and the National Potato Council (NPC).  Ed has also been engaged in the Potato Sustainability Initiative (now the Potato Sustainability Alliance) since its inception in 2009.

Treasurer – Sanford Gleddie, The Little Potato Company
Sanford Gleddie is an agriculture industry professional with over 30 years of international technology development, marketing and sales, operations, and management experience.

Sanford joined The Little Potato Company in 2011 and is currently the Vice President of Agriculture, Sales, Marketing, and Global Business Development.  He is responsible for overall North American potato production including agronomy, field production, potato variety development, the sales and marketing of The Little Potato Company products in North America, new product development, and expansion into new markets outside of North America.

SCIENCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE

The Science Advisory Council provides expert guidance to PSA’s membership that will ensure best available science is used throughout our program when establishing metrics, as well as measuring, monitoring and reporting on sustainability outcomes.

Nick Goeser – CEO, Alliance of Crop, Soil and Environmental Science Societies
Nick Goeser is the Chief Executive Officer of the Alliance of Crop, Soil and Environmental Science Societies. He is an agriculture leader with demonstrated success in building diverse and innovative partnerships to enhance farm business management, agricultural and environmental science, multi-functional knowledge transfer, and agricultural systems sustainability assessment.

Dave Gustafson – Project Director, Agriculture & Food Systems Institute
Dave serves as Project Director for the Agriculture & Food Systems Institute, co-leading a USDA-NIFA funded project: “Fruit & Vegetable Supply Chains: Climate Adaptation & Mitigation Opportunities.” Dave’s academic training was in chemical engineering (Stanford, B.S., 1980; University of Washington, Ph.D., 1983). He worked 30 years in industry (Shell, Rhône-Poulenc, Monsanto, before retiring from Monsanto in 2014. He has continued as an independent scientist, helping food systems meet human nutrition needs in more sustainable ways.

Paul Jepson – Former Director, Oregon State University Extension

 

 

Andrew Jensen – Manager, Northwest Potato Research Consortium
Andy Jensen is Manager of the Northwest Potato Research Consortium, a cooperation of the Idaho, Oregon, and Washington State Potato Commissions, fully funded by the Northwest potato growers. Andy’s graduate education was in insect systematics and IPM at Oregon State University in the early 1990s. Since 1999 he has worked in research program management and grower outreach for the potato commissions, first with the Washington State Potato Commission from 1999 to 2012, and then as Manager of the Consortium.  Andy’s education and work experience have helped him accumulate broad knowledge of science, research, agriculture, food safety, and more specifically, potato production and pest management.

Yefang Jiang – Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Yefang Jiang is a Research Scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. He is recognized as an expert in subsurface flow, mass/ heat transport, and soil nitrogen dynamics modeling. He has extensive experience in applying advanced numerical models to evaluating the effects of agricultural practices on water quality, groundwater investigation, assessment, and management. Dr. Jiang’s key scientific contributions include development of innovative models for predicting nitrate leaching losses from potato production systems and advancement of the knowledge of controls on nitrate leaching from potato production systems, elucidation of hydraulics and fate/transport of nitrate from diffusive sources in fractured bedrock aquifers, significant scientific support for water resources management in PEI including the revision of the PEI water management policy, and extending Bayesian inversion to practical groundwater flow and heat applications. He was as a lecturer, consultant and researcher in China during 1989-1997. He worked as a Hydrogeologist with the PEI Department of Environment during 2002-2011 with a brief employment as a research scientist with Environment Canada and AAFC. Dr. Jiang’s current research aims to advance the knowledge for reducing agricultural environmental footprint, especially nutrient contamination of water quality, and improving the economic resilience of crop production in Atlantic Canada.

Alex Maas – Assistant Professor, University of Idaho
Alex Maas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology at the University of Idaho. His research areas include the allocation and valuation of scarce resources, with a focus on water related issues. He is an interdisciplinary, applied economist with a particular focus on the economic implications of resource management and local policies.

Nora Olsen – Professor, University of Idaho
Nora Olsen is a Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Idaho. She conducts research on potato sprout and disease control in storage, variety specific storage management and optimizing field and storage conditions to maintain high quality potatoes. She also evaluates seed potato quality and performance and provides statewide support for efficient and effective potato production and storage management. Nora also directs an extension management program in cooperation with extension and research faculty related to economical, effective and sustainable production and storage technology of potatoes.

Amanda Raster  – Project Manager, The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance
Amanda joined U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance in 2019 as Science Sense Program Manager, bringing nearly 15 years of experience in sustainability metrics, multi-stakeholder collaboration, and engaging the food and agriculture sectors in making commitments to sustainability. Amanda grew up on a dairy farm and is passionate about helping farmers navigate sustainability while improving their livelihoods.

Carl Rosen – Department Head and Professor, University of Minnesota
Carl’s current position is Head of the Department of Soil, Water, & Climate at the University of Minnesota. As Department Head, he continues to supervise an active research laboratory related to nutrient management for crop production. The responsibilities of his research and extension programs include identifying needs and establishing priorities in areas of plant nutrition and improving fertilizer use efficiency for crop production in Minnesota. Primary emphasis is on irrigated crops as well as fruit and vegetable crops commercially grown in Minnesota. Efforts in recent years have also focused on water quality issues related to fertilizer use and agricultural/horticultural use of municipal and industrial by-products as soil amendments.

STAFF

Laura Scandurra, Executive Director
Laura Scandurra is the Executive Director of the Potato Sustainability Alliance.  She leads the strategic direction, management, funding and stakeholder relations for the organization, and supports the Board of Directors.

 

Leah Reuter, Program Coordinator
Leah Reuter, a Program Coordinator with the Integrated Pest Management Institute of North America, supports PSA on a part-time basis.