March 2013

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Halverson was nominated by the board of directors of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association (NPPGA). Chuck Gunnerson, NPPGA president, said that he and Ted Kreis, NPPGA marketing and communications director, put together Halverson's nomination two days before the deadline. "He's a true leader, there's no question about it," Gunnerson said of Halverson. Gunnerson attributes Eric Halverson's leadership qualities to Eric's parents. "Part of it is the Halverson family," Gunnerson said. "They're always willing to give back to the industry, to the community and the universities, whether it's North Dakota State University or a university at one of the other states where they have operations." There were a number of letters of endorsement with Halverson's nomination form. One wrote of Eric as "always ready for a new challenge and I do not believe that 'no' is in his vocabulary when it comes to helping and innovating." Another wrote that, "the leadership, ethics and values shown by Eric make me very proud of the quality of young leaders in our industry." "Eric's passion for the potato industry is contagious. His energy and work ethic will help carry Black Gold Farms on to further success," wrote the author of another endorsement letter. There were a number of ably qualified nominees in the first year of the Emerging Leader Award but Eric's candidacy truly stood out. The panel of judges was unanimous in its selection. The award has been created to recognize leaders of the potato industry under the age of 35 in all sectors of the industry, from growing to shipping to process to engineering and research. Look for 2014 Emerging Leader Award nomination forms this fall. S Eric Halverson Age: 35 Family: Wife Yvette, daughters Lucy, 7, Stella, 5, and Ruby, 2. Home: Grand Forks, N.D. Parents: Gregg and Linda Halverson Education: Graduate – 1999 - North Dakota State University; B.S. agricultural and bio-systems engineering Executive vice president of Black Gold Farms. 2008 Potato Industry Leadership Institute graduate Served as grower leader to PILI 2009 class North Dakota representative to USPB since 2008 Elected to Administrative Committee in 2009 Serves on International Marketing Committee Represented USPB on trade mission to Vietnam in 2011 www.spudman.com • March 2013 27

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