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United Potato Growers of Canada General Manager, Kevin MacIsaac, is Retiring After 10 Years of Service

United Potato Growers of Canada General Manager, Kevin MacIsaac, is Retiring After 10 Years of Service

Kevin MacIsaac, who has been General Manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada since October 1, 2011, announced he will be retiring this fall.

MacIsaac’s diversified career over a 42-year time span includes dedicated service as an extension agronomist, farmer, industry organizer, and knowledgeable and eloquent advocate. MacIsaac felt the time was right for a change.

Kevin MacIsaac:
 
"I was fortunate to have the life experience of being a farmer for 27 years; milking cows, growing cereal and protein crops and of course lots of potatoes. Just as rewarding was the opportunity to work for potato growers across Canada in the last decade, to bolster the concept of balanced supply and demand, and profitability to the grower members of the United Potato Growers of Canada."
The General Manager’s work over the past decade leaves the United Potato Growers of Canada, in good shape - a strong credible organization, with members from the east coast of Prince Edward Island to the west coast of British Columbia.

UPGC was founded in 2006 with the mission of providing timely information allowing growers to make informed production and marketing decisions. It works with its sister organization, United Potato Growers of America, which has similar goals.

MacIsaac was hired by the organization ten years ago to increase its capacity to determine the available supply of potatoes for fresh, seed, and processing markets. Kevin was also a well-known participant in national and international potato organizations and spoke at grower meetings across the country.

One of the highlights of his job was the development of a strong, mutually respectful working relationship with counterparts in the United Potato Growers of America and their grower membership.

Kevin began his profession after graduating from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and the University of Guelph, becoming an extension agronomist with the New Brunswick Department of Agriculture. Subsequently, he and his brother Blair operated Lily Pond Farms Ltd., a family farm business in Bear River, Prince Edward Island.

He has been involved with many farm organizations including Chair of the PEI Potato Board, Chair of the PEI Soil and Crop Improvement Association, and Director of the PEI Processing Committee.

Ray Keenan, Chair of the United Potato Growers of Canada:
 
"We always appreciated the experience Kevin brought to the table, his knowledge of our industry and his ability to communicate with growers across the country were very strong attributes."

"In addition, he was a tireless promoter of our organization among our international partners and comrades and raised UPGC’s profile with growers and other industry members. We thank him for all his work, and wish him well in his future endeavors."

With some additional free time, Kevin hopes to spend some more time with his 6 grandchildren and continue his hobby of being a runner, having qualified for the Boston Marathon next spring.

UPGC hopes to have a replacement for the position by this fall and is actively seeking applications for the GM position at this time.
 

The General Manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada is responsible for:
  • Overseeing all day-to-day UPGC activities and operations
  • Promoting the UPGC mission at all functions
  • Reporting to, and carrying out, the direction of the Chairperson and a 13- member Board of Directors
  • Assembling, analyzing, and effectively communicating available potato data, including grower correspondence and website updates
  • Representing the organization at producer and industry meetings across Canada
  • Attending and presenting data at the United Potato Growers of America monthly meetings and conference calls
  • Conducting and chairing monthly Canadian table stock and market conference calls
  • Acting as a liaison for national and international potato committees and events
  • Gathering and communicating crop production and market intelligence data affecting supply & demand for Canadian potato growers
  • Advocating for grower support in government programs when deemed necessary
  • Coordinating and communicating events with our valued potato partners from the agribusiness industry
  • Scheduling and organizing information meetings for growers in all member provinces
  • Providing information for agricultural and mainstream media and acting as a spokesperson for interview requests and crop/market update requests
  • Providing leadership and direction to the industry including the execution of our Strategic Plan for Fresh, Processing, and Seed potatoes
  • Developing strategies to grow and strengthen the organization by providing valuable information and returning profitability back to the growers
  • Exploring and implementing new approaches to achieve the goals of United
  • Potato Growers of Canada for a healthy, successful potato industry in Canada

Qualifications
  • The successful candidate should be an individual with excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Strong leadership skills are essential
  • Preference would be given to a bilingual person
  • Agricultural education, agricultural-related work experience, and knowledge of the Canadian potato industry would be considered additional assets
  • Preference is given to applicants with strong analytical and computer skills
  • The successful candidate will work from their home office, wherever they reside in Canada

Candidates are invited to provide a resume and cover letter by: October 15, 2021 to

 info@unitedpotatocanada.com
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