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World Potato Congress Industry Award Recipients

World Potato Congress Industry Award Recipients

Kevin Clayton Green (center) - one of five Industry Award recipients - is presented with his award by World Potato Congress Inc. President and CEO, David Thompson (left), and Awards Committee Interim Chair, WPC Vice-President John MacQuarrie (right) during the official closing ceremonies of the 9th World Potato Congress in Yanqing, Beijing, China

August 23, 2015
The official Closing ceremonies of the 9th World Potato Congress at Yanqing, Beijing, China, were highlighted by the presentation of the triennial Industry Awards. The awards recognize outstanding personal contribution and leadership, related to development and progress of the global potato industry.

The awards were presented by World Potato Congress Inc. President and CEO, David Thompson, and Awards Committee Interim Chair, WPC Vice-President John MacQuarrie. Five individuals were presented with symbolic plaques to commemorate the occasion.

The 2015 award recipients are Dr. Kevin Clayton-Green, Tasmania, Australia; Dr. Neil C. Gudmestad, USA; Kees van Arendonk, The Netherlands; Albert T. Wada, USA and Dr. Yili Chen, China.

Dr. Kevin Clayton-Green


Dr. Kevin Clayton-Green

Following receipt of his PHD, from Melbourne University in 1982, Kevin played a leading role in the developing blueberry industry and served as a chairman of the Australian Blueberry Council. In 1993 he joined a leading Tasmanian fresh vegetable exporter, “Harvest Moon” where he played a major role introducing and developing new potato varieties for the Australian industry. He was also responsible for introducing the major processing variety for McCain Foods.

Kevin continues to work on improving the Australian potato and horticulture industry, purely for industry’s benefit. He initiated the formation of a Tasmanian seed potato group to ensure Tasmania’s industry and biosecurity matters are addressed and represented.

Most recently he assisted in the formulation of future R&D programs to benefit the industry.

Dr. Neil C. Gudmestad


Dr. Neil C. Gudmestad

Obtained a Ph.D. in plant pathology in 1982 and joined the Department of Plant Pathology at North Dakota State University in 1985. Neil’s 30 year research career at NDSU has focused on pathogen biology and diversity and on potato disease management. The diseases he studies affect the potato plant from seed tuber to storage. All of his efforts are aimed at solving real-world problems facing the potato industry. This "one foot in the furrow" philosophy - making certain that his science finds solutions to practical problems- has guided Neil’s research throughout his career.

In January 2015, he was named the Neil C. Gudmestad Endowed Chair of Potato Pathology. The Neil C. Gudmestad Endowed Chair is the first fully endowed faculty position at NDSU and it is the first time a current faculty member has had a position named in their honor.

Kees van Arendonk


Kees van Arendonk

After the completion of his studies, at the Agricultural University in Dronten, and the University of Nyenrode, he began his career in 1973 with potato cooperative Agrico. In 1986 he became general sales manager for seed potatoes, and in 1989 he was promoted to commercial Director. However, most people know him as CEO of the Cooperative Agrico Group. Under his leadership Agrico became one of the key players in the international potato world, especially in new seed potato varieties.

In 1999 Kees oversaw the merging of the Dutch potato organisations into what is now the trade association NAO. He was subsequently elected president of the (NAO). And since 2009 he has also served as the president of the European Potato Trade Association (Europatat).

Albert T. Wada


Albert T. Wada

Is the Chairman of Wada Farms Inc., an agricultural enterprise in Idaho growing fresh and process potatoes, seed and commercial wheat, corn, alfalfa and malt barley. Wada Farms grows crops on approximately 30,000 irrigated acres and includes a trucking company, a potato packing plant, and a potato, sweet potato and onion marketing company.

Albert helped to educate the industry on supply, demand and price as the founding chairman of United Potato Growers of Idaho, and the United Potato Growers of America. He helped lead the United Potato Growers of Idaho cooperative members into ownership of a dehydrated potato processing company, Idahoan Foods.

He has received wide recognition for his efforts including Potato Man of the Year, and Top 25 Produce Leaders from The Packer, Idaho Potato Grower of the Year, Idaho Governor's Award for Marketing Innovation, and induction into the Idaho Potato Expo Hall of Fame.

Dr. Yili Chen

Dr. Yili Chen

Graduated from the Northeast Agricultural University in 1970. His career contributed to potato genetics and breeding, and related researches and teachings. As a potato breeder, he has released more than 10 new potato varieties which have being widely planted in China. As a supervisor, he guided six Ph. D students and 30 M.Sc. students over the years. Most of these students play important roles in the potato industry of China.

As the Secretary General of the China Potato Association, he has successfully organized 15 China Potato Congresses since 1999. In order to push the potato industry forward, he participated in drafting regulations and standards and served as a consultant for several potato companies. He also ran a number of training courses for potato farmers related to potato production.

He has worked as the Editor-in-Chief the Chinese Potato Journal for over 20 years and published more than 30 books. He has been recognized for his huge contribution to the potato industry in China, receiving more than 10 awards from different levels of the industry.
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World Potato Congress Inc is organizer of the World Potato Congress, held every three year and covering all aspects of the potato chain.
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