At Potato Expo 2020, the largest annual potato industry event held in North America, growers and allied industry partners joined together to launch a new initiative dedicated to growing future leaders. The Potato Leadership, Education, and Advancement Foundation (LEAF), a new 501(c)3 organization, was created to provide tools, training, and support necessary to develop growers and industry members as leaders.
â€œLike most family farms, developing the next generation of leaders is part of our DNA. But as family farms become more complex, the demands upon our leaders become more intense,â€ said Shelley Olsen of LJ Olsen Inc. in Othello, Washington, and Potato LEAF chair. â€œIâ€™m pleased to see the industry come together to launch the Potato LEAF organization dedicated to growing leaders who will thrive in the competitive global marketplace of the future.â€
Potato LEAF also serves to encourage members to commit their time and energy to the betterment of the U.S. potato industry as a whole. Potato LEAF supports the cultivation of future leaders through three key programs:
-Leadership development. Growers and industry members will learn what it takes to become effective communicators, influencers, and decision-makers for the industry.
-Educational training. Future leaders will be taught how to broaden their understanding of the key opportunities, practices, and challenges affecting national potato production.
-Advancement opportunities. Participants will build their industry network through opportunities for collaboration with grower-leaders from around the country.