DENVER (March 22, 2012)—Mike Brooks of Elmer, NJ, was seated as a Board Member on the United States Potato Board (USPB) at the organization’s 40th Annual Meeting, March 15-16, in Colorado Springs, CO. He was named to serve on the Board by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on February 6, 2012, for a three-year term ending February 28, 2015. New Board Members serving on the USPB in their first three-year term can be reappointed to serve a second consecutive three-year term.
Brooks is the Vice President of the New Jersey White Potato Association. His family has always grown potatoes, and he is now the eighth generation to farm in New Jersey. “With my parents, we formed Dusty Lane Farms, LLC in 2006,” he said. “This was the first year I became financially involved with potato growing.”
At Dusty Lane Farms, the Brooks family grows Atlantics, Superiors, Norwis, Marcy and Envol varieties for the chip and table-stock markets. Tomatoes, spinach, green beans, corn and soybeans are also produced.
Brooks is a member of the New Jersey Farm Bureau and the New Jersey Vegetable Growers Association. He is the 2008 First Pioneer Farm Credit Outstanding Young Farmer, and was the 2001-2002 New Jersey State FFA President. He was a 2003 National Finalist in the FFA American Star Farmer Award. Brooks also participated in the 2006 PILI class. He is married to Emily McDonough, and they enjoy traveling.
Mike Brooks was confirmed with fellow New and Re-Nominated USPB Board Members by Patricia Petrella, USDA-AMS Marketing Specialist, Fruit and Vegetable Programs (right side podium)at the 40th USPB Annual Meeting, Thursday, March 15, 2012, at The Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs, CO. Bob Keeney, USDA-AMS Deputy Administrator, Fruit and Vegetable Programs (second from left), also welcomed and approved the confirmation of the new and returning USPB Board Members.
Authorized under the 1971 Potato Research and Promotion Act, the USPB is composed of producers, importers and a public member appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. Producer members are nominated at state and local producer meetings and by mail ballot. Each state is entitled to at least one producer member, and additional members are allotted on the basis of the volume of production. Importer members are nominated by importers, and the number of members is related to the volume of imports, up to a maximum of five importer members.
The USPB administers an industry-funded national research and promotion program to increase US exports and domestic potato consumption. USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service oversees the operations of the USPB. More information about the research and promotion programs is available at www.ams.usda.gov/FVPromotion.
For more information on the USPB as the nation’s potato marketing organization, positioned as the “catalyst for positive change,” and the central organizing force in implementing programs that will increase demand for potatoes, please visit www.uspotatoes.com.