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New chairman for Potato Commission board

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MOSES LAKE — The executive board of the Washington State Potato Commission is under new leadership with the election of Roger Hawley as chairman of the board.

Hawley was officially inaugurated as chairman of the WSPC executive board during the commission’s annual meeting on June 19. Hawley is taking over for Stacy Kniveton, who served as chair from 2017-2018.

The commission celebrates the change in leadership roles yearly and intends to continue focusing on research and key issues that impact Washington potato growers,” the WSPC said in a press release.

Kniveton’s tenure as chair was a successful bout, as he was able to bring about a rewrite to Senate Bill 6529. Before it was rewritten the bill would have delayed the majority of pest control efforts by four days, which the WSPC says would have resulted in yield loss and “substantial food waste.”

Kniveton’s rewrite of the bill creates a legislative work group that reviews pest control safety and in turn makes recommendations to the state legislature. For Hawley being chair of the board is a natural progression, as his father, Hugh Hawley, served as chair from 1976-1978. The WSPC states Hawley will be honing in on taking advantage of new opportunities and working with a “well-versed team of commissioners.”

I am excited to give back to an industry that has given me so much and (to) follow in my father’s footsteps. It is an honor to be appointed by my peers,” Hawley stated.