b'Matt VanRay Is New NPPGA ChairmanMattVanRayofPingree,NorthDakota is the new Chairman of theBoardfortheNorthernPlainsPotato Growers Association.Matt grew up the oldest of four chil-drenonafamilyfarmnearEdmunds, North Dakota. He gradu-atedfromPingree-BuchananHighSchoolandwentontocollegeatNorthDakotaStateUniversity,receivingabachelorsdegreeinAgricultural Economics.Mattsdad,BillandhisunclesJeffandKentstartedfarmingtogetherwhentheywerekidsandlearnedtheir hard work ethic from their dadmuch like Matt has, and now they New NPPGA Chairman Matt VanRay and his family.arefarming together along with the Matt and his wife, Jane, have been another process grower, fresh grow-next generation of VanRays. Matts married for 16 years. They have four er, potato associate, extension agentfarmingoperationincludeshis children, 14 year old Alex, 12 year oranenduser,eachpersonhasabrotherTroy,andcousinsMarc, oldKaydence,8yearoldGarrett, differentstoryastohowtheyareCorey and Brad. and 6 year old Kenzie. tiedtothisindustryanddifferentMattsays,Mygrandparentsand challengesassociatedwithit.Asuncles all live very close to the farm Matts hobbies include hunting and NPPGAChairman,Ijustwanttonear Edmunds, North Dakota.I feel fishing when he gets a chance. He makesurethatresearchcontinuesblessed to be able to work alongside also enjoys golfing. He loves helping to be a priority of the organizationfamily my whole life.I loved run- the kids with sports such as basket- andthatgrowerscontinuetofeelning machines and was hooked on ball, baseball, softball, or anything confidentthattheyaregettingfarmingataveryyoungage. else that will keep them active. results and continue to show theirGrowingupwehadmainlysmall support for the organization.grainsandsunflowersandafew I am honored to be able to contin-acres of corn and edible beans.We uetoworkwiththeBoardof NPPGA President,DonavonJohn-started dabbling in potatoes in the Directors,DonavonJohnsonand sonsays,Weareexcitedtohavemid-ninetiesandittookofffrom NPPGAstaff.Theroadherehas Matttakeoverthereinsasthere.NowweraiseRusset- been a great learning experience.I Chairman of the NPPGA. There areBurbanks along with irrigated corn, enjoy getting to meet different peo- challenges every year for our organ-soybeansandspringwheatnear pleandheartheirstoryhowthey izationandMattwillbeagreatPettibone, North Dakota. are involved in the potato industry, leader to move us forward.saysMatt.WhethertheyareMARCH 2020 POTATO GROWER 11'