2023 Potato Summit

The 2023 Maine Potato Summit took place on January 10-11 at Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle. Many Maine potato growers, industry partners, family members, and farm leaders attended the two-day event, with including several guest speakers and vendors promoting services and industry supplies. The event provided a great opportunity for attendees to meet and mingle with industry friends from around the area.


Download PDFs of each speaker’s presentation.

Steve Chapman – H2A Program Information

Steve is an Employment and Training Specialist, Foreign Labor Certification Coordinator. He will be presenting on the H-2A Agricultural Program. This program allows agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring nonimmigrant foreign workers to the US to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature.

Jeff Dewald – Succession Planning

Jeff is a financial advisor in Boston, and has earned his CHFC.  He has been in practice for 24 years, the last two years at Lincoln Financial Advisors Corporation.  His presentation to get/help farmers to start thinking about the succession planning.

Jim Dill – Integrated Pest Management

Jim is the University of Maine’s Director of the Diagnostic and Research Laboratory and Pest Management Specialist. Jim will be presenting on integrated pest management.

Chase Gagne – USDA Aphis Update

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service updates.

Amanda Gevens – Liquid Seed Treatment Research

Amanda is Chair, Professor, Extension Plant Pathologist, and Interim Administrative Director of the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program.

Elizabeth Grout – Ag Worker Safety

Elizabeth is the Regional Administrator for PathStone Corporation. She will be present Ag Worker Safety.

Jay Hao – Soft Rot/Blackleg Research

Jay is the Associated Professor of Plant Pathology at University of Maine.  He focuses on the epidemiology and management of potato diseases.  He will be sharing his research on soft rot and blackleg.

Mark Hudson – Ag Container Recycling

Mark is the Executive Director of the Ag Container Recycling Council. Mark will be presenting on Ag Container Recycyling.

Pam Hutchinson – Weed Control Management

Pam is an Associated Professor and Extension Specialist – Potato Cropping Systems Weed Scientist from the University of Idaho.

Bonnie Johnston – Potatoes USA Update

Potatoes USA is the nation’s foremost marketing and research organization for America’s favorite vegetable. Bonnie is the Director of Nutrition and Industry Relations. Bonnie will be giving updates from Potatoes USA.

Jason Johnston – UMPI Ag Program Update

Jason is the Dean, College of Arts and Sciences; Associated Professor of Wildlife Ecology.  He will be giving updates on the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Ag programs.

Nora Olsen – Storage and Disease Management

Nora Olsen is a professor in the Department of Plant Science at the University of Idaho. Nora will be presenting on managing field related stress in storage.

Greg Porter – Breeding Program Update

Greg is a professor of Crop Ecology and Management at the University of Maine.  He will be giving updates on the UMaine Breeding Program.

Kam Quarles – National Potato Council Update

Kam is the Chief Executive Officer at the National Potato Council (NPC). NPC is the voice of U.S. potato growers and industry members in our nation’s capital. NPC protects growers’ interest in Washington, D.C. by addressing issues that affect the potato industry, from policy issues debated in Congress to regulatory issues proposed by federal agencies.

Bill Sheehan, DEP/George McLaughlin, MPB – Irrigation Water Management

Bill Sheehan is an Environmental Specialist at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.  George McLaughlin is the Ag Engineer at the Maine Potato Board.  Bill and George will be giving a presentation on Irrigation Water Management.

Matt Walker – Natural Resources Conservation District

Matt has served with NRCS for over 15 years, and is now State Conservationist of NRCS-Maine. He’ll be giving updates on Natural Resource Conservation Service Programs to assist growers.