(Jan. 18) A Washington state potato grower, who a colleague praised for his “openness and ability to have a vision,” received the 2007 Potato Man for All Seasons award at the National Potato Council’s annual meeting in Marco Island, Fla.

Roger Knutzen, who farms about 2,200 acres of mixed crops near Burlington, Wash., was recognized for more than two decades of service helping promote potatoes domestically and abroad.

The Packer and its sister publication, The Grower, present the award each year in conjunction with the National Potato Council.

Knutzen has been active in the Denver-based U.S. Potato Board since 1985. He served as chair of its advertising committee in 1990, export chairman in 1991 and chairman of the board in 1992.

Knutzen also is a member of the USDA’s Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in fruits and vegetables.

Most recently, Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire appointed Knutzen to the state’s Economic Development Commission for a three-year term, which began Oct. 1, 2007.

“Mr. Knutzen has served the U.S. potato industry with respect and dedication by sharing his knowledge and experiences with growing and exporting potatoes overseas,” one nominator wrote.

Washington grower garners potato honor
Karlstad, Minn., potato grower Justin Dagen (left) congratulates Burlington, Wash., grower Roger Knutzen, who received the Potato Man for All Seasons award at the National Potato Council's annual meeting.