The Packer: Neil Gudmestad honored as the 2015 Potato Man for All Seasons
Neil Gudmestad (left), a potato pathologist with North Dakota State University, is The Packer's 2015 Potato Man for All Seasons. The award was announced Jan. 14 by The Packer's National Editor Tom Karst (right) at the National Potato Council meeting in Las Vegas (Courtesy: The Packer)
Gudmestad, potato pathologist with North Dakota State University, was presented the award Jan. 14 by The Packer’s National Editor Tom Karst at the National Potato Council annual awards banquet.
“It’s a tremendous honor and I appreciate it,” Gudmestad said. “I have worked hard for the industry and I want to thank everybody that helped give me this honor.”
Chuck Gunnerson, president of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, Grand Forks, Minn., said Gudmestad is a world-renowned potato researcher who has helped growers in many regions.
“He brings a great deal to the table — his knowledge, his expertise, his way of working with growers and putting into growers’ terminology,” he said. “He is a friend and a professional.”
“There is not a more qualified individual to get this award than Neil Gudmestad,” said Dan Lake, outgoing president of the National Potato Council , and operator of Lake Seed Inc., Ronan, Mont.
Examples of his research contributions include better ring rot testing with the development of PCR primers, detection of fungicide resistance in the early blight fungus and characterization of the zebra chip pathogen, industry leaders said.
Gudmestad has more than 37 years of experience working with potatoes. He has published more than 100 scientific journal articles, nine extension bulletins, 13 book chapters and 67 technical publications.
Gudmestad in 2007 was honored as a North Dakota State University Distinguished Professor, which is the highest honor that the university bestows on professors.
Quoting one of the leaders who nominated Gudmestad for the award, Karst said Gudmestad has “pushed, encouraged, cajoled and led the potato industry to new efforts, goals and targets that have improved the potato world for everyone.”