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Potato Industry Leadership Institute (PILI)

PILI LogoThe Potato Industry Leadership Institute (PILI) was created to educate and motivate growers to commit their volunteer time to the betterment of the potato industry through leadership positions in state and national organizations. The Leadership Institute is a ten-day program that provides an overview of the potato industry, the challenges and issues beyond the production sector, and the roles of the industry's state and national organizations in maintaining a positive business climate for potato growers.
This Leadership Institute takes participants to a growing region to conduct in-depth discussions with upper management on key industry issues, then concludes in Washington DC for an overview of public policy issues and lobbying training. Institute graduates are one of the industry's greatest assets. Participants develop a broad understanding of the industry and a common bond that is envisioned to be a wellspring of leadership for the industry. Many important and complex decisions lie ahead for the industry. By creating this leadership base today, the industry is investing wisely in its future.
At the conclusion of each year’s class, participants elect one of their classmates to serve as the Grower-Leader for the next year’s class. This Grower-Leader then attends the following year’s session, serving as a mentor to the new class, while also assisting United States Potato Board (USPB) and National Potato Council (NPC) staff throughout the ten-day cross country tour. In the table below are those who have served as Grower-Leaders of the PILI.
The Potato Industry Leadership Institute is co-hosted by the USPB and NPC and generously sponsored by Syngenta.

2004 – George Cariveau, Minnesota
2005 – John Meyer, New York
2006 – Ralph Child, New York
2007 – Matt Porter, Maine
2008 – Ernie Ford, Colorado
2009 – Eric Halverson, North Dakota
2010 – Nick Johnson, Washington
2011 – Rex Calloway, Washington
2012 – Grant Morris, Washington
2013 – Derek Peterson, Idaho
2014 -- Eric Schroeder, Wisconsin
2015 -- Reid Mattive, Colorado
2016 -- Bridgett Cheff, Montana


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