OAKLEY • Local farmer Randy Hardy was elected this month to serve as president of the National Potato Council (NPC) at the group’s annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas.
Hardy, owner of Hardy Farms, works the family farm with his son, Ben, and his wife, Karlene, who serves as the farm’s secretary and treasurer.
Hardy took over the operation at the age of 19 after his father’s sudden passing.
For the past 20 years, he has been involved in the activities of the U.S. Potato Board and served as its chairman.
He was appointed to the NPC board of directors in 2008 and, most recently, served on the board’s Executive Committee as the vice president of trade affairs.
In accepting the position, Hardy said the activities of potato industry make a difference.
“My involvement with the National Potato Council has shown me that we, as an industry, are better positioned to have an impact on national agricultural policy than ever before, but we need to do better,” he said. “We need to share with our friends and neighbors who are involved in agriculture that we need their voice. We need them to help us tell our story.”
Hardy took the lead of an organization his uncle and mentor, Idaho farmer W.B. Whiteley, presided over in 1955-56.
He and Karlene have five children, Rachelle, Charlotte, Ben, Jaclyn and Kristen, and 27 grandchildren.
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, Hardy will host the 2014 NPC Summer Meeting, June 25-27, in Sun Valley.