County Ag Report: Catch up with National Potato Board President Dominic LaJoie

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 1:52 PM EDT
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VAN BUREN, Maine (WAGM) - Nearly halfway through his national potato council presidency, Dominic Lajoie spoke to newssource8′s Rhian Lowndes about how things are going in this week’s County Ag.

Dominic LaJoie knew he wanted to work with the national potato board.

“I was fascinated by the information they were bringing back from the national meetings... so I’ve been serving as the chair of the environmental committee for the last 6 years and then I became president. Worked my way up.”

LaJoie says in the first half of his presidency, the pandemic caused concern, particularly the recent Delta variant.

“The Delta variant and spikes across the country, it’s concerning. We definitely want our schools open, our universities open, our restaurants fully open. You know food service is a big part of the potato industry. If those markets aren’t developed back to where they were, we’re gonna feel a lot more pain.”

But he’s looking forward to some changes in the next 6 months of his role.

“I’m really looking forward to having live meetings with growers again... Obviously we’ve been meeting over zoom but its not the same. We do well when were together in person a lot more info is passed amongst us, a lot more problems are solved, and issues are addressed.”

LaJoie faces challenges.

“A lot of the country is seeing heat damaging, heat triple digit heat, and potatoes don’t like that.”

But he’s looking up

“But in general, crops across the country should be in pretty good shape. of course, I’m an optimist. a farmer thinks like that all the time”

LaJoie finishes his presidency at the end of February, and will continue his work with the council as a past president and committee member.

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