A P R I L 2 0 1 6 POTATO GROWER 25 Forks North Dakota every February. They also visited Hoverson Farms in Larimore North Dakota. US Potato Board Chairman Carl Hoverson talked about his potato operation and served fresh cooked potato chips and french fries to everyone. The group went on tours of the University of North Dakotas renowned Aerospace Center and also the Ralph Englestad Arena where the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks play. They also toured Simplot a processing plant in Grand Forks and the UDSA-ARS facility in East Grand Forks Minnesota. Darrin Haagenson USDA-ARS Worksite Director gave everyone a tour of the facilities. On Friday evening they watched the UND Fighting Hawks defeat the Univeristy of Minnesota Duluth in overtime. The next morning everyone headed off to Washington DC. Attendees joined in the discussions on public policy taking place at NPCs Potato D.C. Fly-In where they learned about the legislative and regulatory pri- orities of the U.S. potato industry. On Sunday Gary Matteson with the Farm Crdit Council talked about advanced communications for ag lead- ers and cash flow planning for potato growers. The day concluded with the Iron Potato Chef Competition. On Monday Brad Fitch of the Congres- sional Management Foundation talked about how Congress works and after that the group role played on how to lobby and also received training on eti- quette and media training. The evening ended with a welcome reception and dinner where Howard Fineman NBCMSNBC Political Analyst spoke about the political climate in Washington DC. Tuesday and Wednesday were filled with more classes and visits to Capitol Hill where they attended the Standing Up For Potatoes reception. The program finished with more visits to offices on Capitol Hill where partici- pants joined their state grower delega- tions for the Fly-In to meet with mem- bers of Congress and advocate for indus- try priorities. Bridgett Lake-Cheff of Lake Seed Inc. in Ronan Montana served as the groups Grower-Leader after being elected to the position in 2015. The PILI program has helped me grow within the industry preparing me to become the best person and leader I can possibly be said Cheff. At the conclusion of the event the 2016 class elected Ryan Crane of Crane Brothers Farms in Exeter Maine to serve as the 2017 Grower-Leader. The Institute is made possible each year through a major sponsorship from Syngenta. USDA-ARS Worksite Director Darren Haagenson talks to the group about the research that is conducted at the East Grand Forks Minnesota worksite. Everyone in the group enjoyed the tour of the University of North Dakotas Aerospace Center.