Dr. Peter VanderZaag appointed to International Advisory Committee of World Potato Congress Inc.
David Thompson, President and CEO of World Potato Congress Inc. announced today the appointment of Dr. Peter VanderZaag, President: SunRISE Potato Ltd, Alliston, Ontario, Canada, to the organization’s International Advisory Committee. President Thompson noted that Dr. VanderZaag brings extensive and valuable experience to the Advisory Committee. “World Potato Congress Inc. consults, on an ongoing basis, with the Committee,” noted Thompson, “I know that Peter’s contribution will be appreciated by both the Congress and the region that he represents.”
In his role as International Advisory Committee member, Dr. VanderZaag will track and report on potato related issues throughout East Asia and China, as well as offer advice to the World Potato Congress Inc., regarding programs and initiatives of the Congress. Dr. VanderZaag’s academic, business and agricultural background make him an ideal candidate to advise the Congress. His ability to work collaboratively with others is recognized and appreciated by his peers across the globe.
“We look forward to a long and productive relationship with Peter,” said President Thompson, “World Potato Congress Inc. will benefit immeasurably from his contribution.”
Together with his wife,daughter and son in law, Peter manages SunRISE Potato: a large scale farming operation founded in 1991. Sun RISE Potato grows, stores and markets over 500 hectares of chip stock potatoes annually. Peter also has a potato breeding program which focuses on developing processing varieties for long-term storage at lower than normal temperatures, as well as scab and insect resistance.
Peter joined the Board of Trustees of the International Potato Center (CIP) in 2008 and served one year as chair of the Program Committee. In April 2009 he was elected chair of the Board and served in that capacity for 4 years. CIP has an annual budget of $45 Million and does Research for Development work in 30 developing countries around the world.
Dr. VanderZaag has extensive International Experience highlighted by the following:
1982-1990: CIP Regional Director for South East Asia where he pioneered CIP work in China.
1979-1981: leader of a CIP project on developing national potato programs in Central Africa, based in Rwanda.
1975-1979: Completed research work at the University of Hawaii where he examined the state of the art of Phosphorus in the Tropics. Peter also obtained his PhD through part of this work.
1973-1975: He was an Agriculturalist with Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) in Bangladesh where he worked on crop diversification with a focus on potatoes and vegetables during the dry season.
Peter currently does annual consulting trips to Asia and Africa, advising on Research and Development issues related to Potatoes in the Developing world.