Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association Elects New Board President and Doles Out Recognitions

Thu. February 13th, 2020
- by Lilian Diep     

ANTIGO, WI - We may only be halfway through February, but some of us are taking the new year with much gusto. Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) launched an avalanche of exciting news to start the year off including new leadership roles, the Annual Industry Awards, and Hall of Fame accolades.

To start the year off with a bang, WPVGA announced in its press release that three new leaders are stepping up to spearhead separate divisions. First, it elected Rod Gumz (District 3) of Gumz Muck Farms, Endeavor, as its President for 2020. Gumz (District 3) will succeed Wes Meddaugh of Heartland Farms, Hancock, who served as Board President in 2019.

Left to Right: Rod Gumz, Kenton Mehlberg, and Jeff Fassbender

Next up on the presidential list is Kenton Mehlberg. According to the press release, the WPVGA Associate Division Board of Directors re-elected Mehlberg of T.I.P./Ag Grow Solutions, Custer, to be its President for 2020.

The Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association (WSPIA) Board of Directors elected Jeff Fassbender of Seidl Farms, Deerbrook, President for 2020. Fassbender succeeds Dan Kakes of Kakes Farms, Bryant, who served as Board President in 2019. For the full list of the new Board of Directors, click here.

Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association looks to strengthen its team by bringing on new leadership

Fassbender also had the honor of being named WPVGA Young Grower of the Year at the annual Hall of Fame Inductions.Other winners from the Annual Industry Awards included:

  • Cliff and Carole Gagas, Gagas Farms Inc., Stevens Point—WPVGA Volunteers of the Year
  • Dr. Paul Bethke—WPVGA Researcher of the Year
  • Dale Bowe—Associate Division Business Person of the Year

More information can be found here in the press release.

WPVGA kicked off 2020 with exciting news for the company, including new leadership, the Annual Industry Awards, and Hall of Fame accolades

During the annual awards banquet, Lawrence Alsum and Richard Okray were inducted to the WPVGA Hall of Fame.

Lawrence “Larry” Alsum serves as President and CEO of Alsum Farms & Produce. In 1981, Larry became the general manager of Alsum Produce. This year, Larry will be completing his 39th year as President and CEO of the company.

Richard W. “Dick” Okray, President and Sales, has been with Okray Family Farms since 1982. He has served two terms, including one as Chairman of the International Committee, for the U.S. Potato Board. Okray has also served on the Wisconsin Potato Industry Board since 2015, and currently holds the position of Vice President of the WPIB. Last year, he became a board member of the Farming for the Future Foundation.

When asked about his awards and honors, Dick said, “I am honored to know so many great people in the best industry in the world.”

To find out more on these Hall of Famers, click here. For more news in the fresh produce world, keep reading ANUK.

Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association