DENVER (April 5, 2013)—Weston Walker of Tulelake, CA, was seated as a Board Member on the United States Potato Board (USPB) at the organization’s 40th Annual Meeting, March 14-15, in Colorado Springs, CO. He was named to serve on the Board by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on December 6, 2012, for a three-year term ending February 29, 2016. New Board Members serving on the USPB in their first three-year term can be reappointed to serve a second consecutive three-year term.
Walker grew up living and working in the potato industry. At his family’s Gold Dust Potato Processors, Inc., Pikes, Pearls, Nicolets, Verdis, Lady Claires, Lady Lenoras and Frito-Lay Varieties are grown for chip-stock. Alfalfa, wheat and barley are also produced on the farm.
“My father, William Walker, and my uncle, John Walker, grew their first crop of potatoes in 1975 with the help of local farmers,” Walker explains. “The acreage they farmed increased, and in 1984, the brothers decided to incorporate J &W Walker Farms and Gold Dust Potato Processors. I started working on the farm in the 1990s and watched our acreage grow along with the success of our business. In 2002, my Dad and Uncle made the decision to move the companies to Malin, Oregon to a larger potato processing facility.
“After attending Oregon State University, I returned home to work on the farm, both in the field and as our international sales representative. In 2006, I became a full partner with my father and uncle in our farming entity, Walker Brothers.
Walker has participated with the USPB on trade missions to Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. With the Oregon Potato Commission, he traveled to Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala on trade missions. He has also traveled with the Oregon Department of Agriculture to China. He has been a member of a hay and forage promotion group for three years.
Walker is a graduate of Lost River High School, Malin, OR. He holds a California Private Applicator certificate and is a recipient of the Oregon Potato Commission’s Potato Industry Leadership award. He also traveled with the USPB to Mexico on a leadership trade mission, and participated in a Central America convention in Mexico.
Walker is married to his wife, Katie. He enjoys hunting, fishing and developing his skills as a sportsman.
Weston Walker 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 14, 2013, at The Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs, CO.
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.