At the National Potato Council's (NPC) 2013 Annual Meeting, held January 11-12, 2013, in Las Vegas, Randy Mullen of Pasco, Wash., was elected to serve as NPC's president for 2013 and to lead the council's executive committee. Mullen is the owner of Mullen Farms, Inc., a fresh potato growing operation located next to the Columbia River that also grows sweet corn and onions.
In accepting the position, Mullen noted that the potato industry has seen a lot of success over the last few years in promoting its federal policy priorities and in encouraging the involvement of more growers and industry members. "It is my hope to use the next 12 months to build upon our successes and help move some of our high-priority policy issues--like expanding fresh potato access to Mexico--over the finish line," said Mullen.
Mullen's involvement with NPC began in 1997 as a Washington representative to the council. Since then, he has held positions on the board of directors, as vice president of the grower and public relations and legislative and government affairs committees, and most recently as first vice president of the executive committee.
In addition to his role with the NPC, Mullen will continue to serve as a commissioner for the Washington State Potato Commission (WSPC). Mullen has been a WSPC commissioner since 1998, during which time he has worked on various committees and been appointed to numerous roles, including chairman from 2005 to 2006.
Mullen and his wife Tracy have four children together, Dounelson, Gus, Julia and Sophia. Mullen's daughter Randi Hammer, son Ryan Mullen and son-in-law Mark Hammer are all involved in the family farm. Tracy's son Gates is studying agricultural economics at Washington State University.
Washington's Jared Balcom (Balcom & Moe, Inc., Pasco), Ellie Charvet (Mercer Canyons, Pasco), Nelson Cox (Nelson Cox Farms, Inc., Warden), Cully Easterday (Easterday Farms, Pasco), Bob Halvorson (R&R Halvorson, Inc., Yakima), Darrin Morrison (Morrison Farms, Mount Vernon), and Ted Tschirky (Sand Ridge Farms, Inc., Connell) were elected to serve on NPC's board of directors.
NPC's executive committee and board of directors are comprised of U.S. potato growers nominated by their state organizations and elected by their peers. As president, Mullen will host the 2013 NPC Summer Meeting, June 26-28, in Walla Walla, Wash.