Just saying North American potato production has benefited from the efforts of Nora Olsen would be an understatement.
Over the past two-plus decades, the University of Idaho (UI) professor and Extension specialist has led or contributed to a plethora of research projects that have improved growing and storage practices, not just in North America, but around the world. Olsen is one of the industry’s leaders in outreach of new research knowledge, but her drive to engage the industry goes well beyond just sharing her own research. It also lends itself to the numerous organizations of which she’s a part of, including the Potato Association of America and World Potato Congress, among others.
For her continued dedication to the potato industry, Nora Olsen was named the 2021 winner of the Spudwoman of the Year award by Spudman magazine. The award is sponsored by Lockwood Potato Equipment.
“She is the queen of potatoes, especially related to storage,” said Silvia Rondon, Oregon State University professor and Extension entomologist specialist. “I have had the chance to travel abroad and am amazed by the impact of her work in other countries. “She is a role model.”
Fellow University of Idaho professor and Extension specialist Mike Thornton, who has worked with Olsen on many projects, said her mental database of people in the research community and ability to lead are unmatched.