The Washington State Potato Commission (WSPC) is pleased to announce the recent addition of
Raina Spence to their organization as the Director of Industry Outreach.
Raina joins the WSPC as a decorated professional with dozens of publications in the field of plant
sciences. Her role at the commission will be focused on providing technical advice and
assistance to the industry in regards to food safety, sustainability programs, and pest and plant
She will oversee various research projects funded by the WSPC and coordinate efforts with other research institutions to develop key educational information.
Findings from these initiatives will be distributed to growers, shippers, processors and other industry members of the Washington State potato industry.
“I’m excited to have Raina on board with the Potato Commission,” says Commission Executive
Director, Chris Voigt. “This is a new position that will be working directly with growers on helping
them deal with the many new challenges our industry is facing. Raina has a great background
that includes potatoes, plant diagnostics, and direct outreach to growers”.
Most recently Raina worked as a Foreign Service Officer for the United States Agency for
International Development. Her responsibilities included providing management, technical
support and implementation of several agricultural programs for the federal government in foreign
countries. Previously Raina worked in various capacities as a research scientist with a focus on
plant pathology for the University of Wyoming.
“Joining the WSPC has been a much celebrated homecoming after more than a decade away
from Washington State,” said Spence. “While the challenges to potato production have evolved,
my commitment to the service of our farming community has not wavered. Drawing upon
experience and knowledge gained in my career, I look forward to making substantive
contributions to the Washington State potato industry for years to come.”
After graduating with honors from Central Washington University with her Bachelor’s degree in
Biology and a minor in Botany, Raina earned her Masters of Science in Plant Pathology from
Washington State University.
Source: Washington State Potato Commission