Plans are moving forward for the Potato Growers of Idaho despite the recent resignation of Mike Duff, executive director.
On April 6, John Thompson, communications director, who was named acting president of the group's cooperative system, said plans were ongoing for the group's annual mid-year conference set for the Elkhorn Resort at Sun Valley, ID, June 6-7.
Bert Moulton, long-time fieldman and fresh/dehy manager, was named acting executive director by Keith Esplin, president, and the rest of the Board.
Moulton, who announced his retirement over 15 months ago, has been kept on the group's payroll as a fieldman/inspector for growers almost from the day he was supposed to retire. He has 40 years of work in the food industry with the last 23 with PGI.
Thompson, hired by the group about one year ago, says he will try to keep the group's focus on cooperative marketing and try to move the group forward.
In the realignment announcement made by Esplin, he said other experts would be utilized as needed to facilitate cooperative efforts.
At a joint PGI Executive Committee and Co-op Board meeting, both groups unanimously voted to continue their commitment to the cooperative model that has been promoted.
"We have encountered more roadblocks than we had anticipated but we continue to wind our way through the detours. Ultimately, we will reach our goal," Esplin said.
"More and more people understand the need to make our packing and marketing more efficient. We have to change the system. The survival of our family farms is at stake," he continued.