The Vine
Madeleine Poulin
Madeleine Poulin

National Potato Council Welcomes New Program Coordinator

The National Potato Council (NPC) has welcomed new Program Coordinator Madeleine Poulin to assist the council as it promotes the interests of U.S. potato growers, their families, and the rural communities they support.

“Madeleine will be a tremendous addition to the team,” said Kam Quarles, NPC CEO. “As a recent college graduate with a passion for the agriculture industry, she brings a fresh perspective and vision to the organization as we continue to stand up for America’s potato growers on Capitol Hill.”

A 2022 graduate of Elon University in Elon, North Carolina, Poulin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental and sustainability studies and policy studies, with a concentration in sustainable food production. In 2021-22, she interned at the university’s student-run Loy Farm and Garden, where she gained hands-on experience in farming and business management. Through her coursework, Poulin also visited farms in North Carolina and spoke with farmers about their experiences, needs, and challenges.

In her role as Program Coordinator, Poulin will assist in the execution and implementation of programs to inform and engage membership and support its foundation through a variety of communications tools, meetings, and programs. She will assist in the yearly cycle of activities supporting the association’s annual Potato Expo, NPC Washington Summit, and Summer Meeting, as well as a variety of membership programs, industry publications, and other policy and membership.

Vive Crop Protection Expands US Sales Team

Vive Crop Protection expands its US sales team with the addition of four new agricultural professionals: Key Account Manager Meggie Gilbert, Southeast Sales Manager Sarah Savage, Delta Regional Sales Manager Jeremy Watts and Western Technical Sales Agronomist Victoria Marsh.

Meggie Gilbert has worked in the crop protection industry for 14 years with companies such as Syngenta, BASF and Simplot. These past roles include sales representative, district manager, and supplier relations and strategy lead. More recently, Gilbert was a regional manager at Blue Diamond Growers where she managed 225 growers across three counties focused on maximizing grower returns and profitability.

Sarah Savage is Vive’s new southeast regional sales manager. Savage works from her home base in north Florida. She comes to Vive from Always Fresh Farms where she worked as a sales associate. Savage will be responsible for growing market share of Vive’s product portfolio covering Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and southern Alabama. A graduate of the University of Florida, she holds a B.S. in Agricultural Economics.

Jeremy Watts has joined the team as the delta regional sales manager covering Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas and northern Alabama. Watts works from his home base in Mayhew, Mississippi. A graduate of Mississippi State University with a B.S. in Agricultural Information Science, Watts has worked in the agriculture industry for 17 years.

Victoria Marsh joins the Vive team as western technical sales agronomist. Marsh comes to Vive from Tessenderlo Kerley Inc. where she worked as a regional agronomist. Marsh will be responsible for growing Vive’s field trial program in the West to better support Vive’s Precision Chemistry portfolio. A graduate of Washington State University, she holds a B.S. in Agronomy and Crop Science and an M.S. in Soil Science.

Meggie Gilbert
Sarah Savage
Jeremy Watts
Victoria Marsh
Ted Allen

Ted Allen

Star-Studded Potato Expo 2023 To Feature Celebrity Chefs, Chopped And Chopped Junior Host Ted Allen

When celebrity chef Simon Majumdar tweeted a photo of his Potato Expo 2022 cooking demonstration last January, Duff Goldman bemoaned missing the show. “WHY DIDN’T I KNOW THERE WAS SOMETHING CALLED “THE POTATO EXPO”?!?” the Food Network personality asked in a retweet.

Emmy Award-winning host of Chopped and Chopped Junior Ted Allen also jumped in to echo Goldman’s regret, posting his reply about his love of America’s number one vegetable: “The potato is a miracle product — as much a miracle as are eggs.”

After an offline discussion, the food personalities resolved to remedy their previous Potato Expo absences by taking the 2023 event by storm in a chef cookoff of their favorite potato recipes. The cooking competition, entitled, “This Spuds for You – Celebrity Chef Edition,” will be hosted by Allen and feature chef teams led by Majumdar and Goldman. The cookoff, along with a separate cooking demonstration by long-time Potato Expo favorite Majumdar, will serve as featured events of the Potato Expo 2023, held at the Gaylord Rockies Resort in Aurora, Colorado, Jan. 4-5, 2023.

Hosted annually by the National Potato Council, Potato Expo has become the largest conference and trade show for the potato industry held in North America. In January, the event will celebrate its 15th anniversary and once again bring together growers, suppliers, industry experts, and value chain partners from around the world for two days of learning, business development, and networking.

In addition to the 100,000-square foot trade show, the Expo Hall will host a stage for “Potato Talks,” a center of activity featuring engaging discussions and entertainment all focused on the latest innovations in potatoes and potato production. As always, the 2023 event includes numerous networking opportunities, such as the Kick-Off Reception with a live auction to benefit the Potato Leadership, Education and Advancement Foundation (Potato LEAF), daily Beer Gardens, and an Après ski village-themed closing party.

Potato Expo serves as a forum to foster collaboration between national and state potato associations, as well as the rest of the industry. Potatoes USA, United Potato Growers of America, Potato Sustainability Alliance, and others meet each year prior to the kickoff of Potato Expo to organize and plan for the new year.

The full schedule can be found at

Chris Reat Joins Meristem Team As Senior Business Development, Sales Leader

Meristem Crop Performance announced that ag industry veteran Chris Reat has joined their team to expand business opportunities in Texas and across the southern US. He will seek to further boost Meristem’s portfolio of innovative solutions into new markets.

Reat has an extensive background in sales, account responsibility, marketing, stewardship, and team leadership. He has held positions with UPL, FMC and Monsanto. In addition to sales responsibilities, he will seek business development opportunities with partners throughout the region he serves.

Reat is a graduate of Texas A&M University – College Station, where he earned a bachelor’s of science degree in agriculture development. He and his wife, Becky, have two sons: Cole, a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and currently in pilot training; and Cade, a senior at Texas A&M studying supply chain management.