Ryan Norton to serve as 2024 chair of Michigan Potato Industry Commission

News Category: National News
Ryan Norton

Ryan Norton was elected to serve as chairman of the Michigan Potato Industry Commission (MPIC) for 2024 during a Dec. 14, 2023, commission meeting in East Lansing.

Norton is Farm Manager at Walther Farms, based in Three Rivers, Michigan. He served as the vice-chair of MPIC in 2023.

Mike Phillips, the Supply and Quality Manager at Walther Farms, was elected as vice-chair of the commission during the meeting. Immediate-past chair Phil Gusmano of Detroit-based Better Made Snack Foods will continue his term as a commissioner in 2024. The commission includes:

  • Ryan Norton, Vicksburg (chair)
  • Mike Phillips, Portage (vice-chair)
  • Phil Gusmano, Detroit (past chair)
  • Travis Horkey, Dundee
  • Dale Johnson, Sagola
  • Ryan Pelletier, Three Rivers
  • Matt Skogman, Foster City

“I am honored to be chosen by my peers as the elected chairman of the MPIC,” said Norton (pictured right). “Leadership is something I have a strong passion for, and I'm excited for the opportunity to take the potato industry of Michigan in a direction that benefits everyone collectively.

“Working with my fellow commissioners and others in agriculture, I look forward to making our goals becoming a reality.”

There is currently an open position on the MPIC. Commissioner Jon Yoder of Yoder Family Farms in Sturgis died earlier this year due to injuries he sustained in an on-farm accident. MPIC Executive Director Dr. Kelly Turner is currently with the Governor’s office toward filling the open commission seat.

Michigan ranks among the top eight potato-producing states in the U.S. annually. Michigan produces more chipping potatoes than any other state. Approximately 70% of Michigan-grown potatoes go to the chipping industry, with 20% going to the fresh market, 5% to non-chip processing, and 5% seed.

MPIC was formed in 1970 by the Michigan legislature as the state’s potato research, promotion, and education organization. More information can be found at www.mipotatoindustry.com.