Jensen leads potato research organization

Matthew Weaver

Capital Press

Northwest potato research leader Andy Jensen recently took on the title of president of the Potato Association of America. Jensen says a strong association will strengthen the potato industry with research advances.

The Potato Association of America’s new president says the organization aims to provide the industry with the best research and information available.

Andy Jensen took over as president of the research organization in July. The nonprofit is dedicated to improving potato health and use worldwide.

Jensen believes the association should aim to promote the best possible potato science at its annual conference and report it in the American Journal of Potato Research, making it “the best possible scientific journal,” he said.

“Quality builds on itself,” Jensen said. “A stronger PAA can only benefit the potato industry, which has achieved its strength in large part due to advances in research and their subsequent adaptation and adoption in the field.”

Jensen moved through the three-year cycle of progression, from vice president and president-elect to president. His term will end with the July 2015 PAA meeting in Portland, Maine.

Jensen thanked farmers for their support, which “reflects their understanding that research is important to their continued success in the world market and the sustainability of their farms.

“Our aim as a scientific association is to ensure that the best cutting-edge plant science is brought to bear on their issues and needs,” he added.

Challenges facing potato production include Potato Virus Y and other vector-borne pathogens that affect yield, profitability and soil quality. Jensen also pointed to a continued need for high-quality cultivars and innovative products.

In 2012, Jensen moved from director of research at the Washington State Potato Commission to manager of the Northwest Potato Research Consortium in Eagle, Idaho, where he represents Idaho, Oregon and Washington.



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