May/June 2022 - 26

The Potato Association of America mission statement: The PAA and
its allied associations must strongly support the private sector through
Extension, research and commercialization efforts aimed at enhancing
the role of the potato as the premier food source for the 21st century.
PAA honors outstanding
contributors to the potato industry
Potato Association of America
ne of the most significant
ways to recognize outstanding
contributions to the potato
industry and to our organization - the
Potato Association of America (PAA) -
is the awarding of Honorary Life
Memberships (HLM).
This is the highest award bestowed
upon an individual by the PAA. Each
year at the annual meeting, this award
is given to deserving individuals and is
considered by many to be the highlight
of the banquet.
In 2021, the PAA honored William H.
Bohl, David Douches, Steven Johnson
and Robert Thornton. Each of these
scientists have brought contributions
to the potato industry in different ways.
Here are their biographies and some
" words of wisdom " they have to share.
where they grew sugar beets, dry beans,
alfalfa and barley along with raising a
small herd of beef cattle, William (Bill)
always had a passion for agriculture.
Bohl earned a bachelor's degree in
crop production from Montana State
University in 1973 and immediately
continued on to earn a master's in
agronomy from South Dakota State
University. He then participated in a sixmonth
IFYE exchange program, where
he lived with six farm families in Sweden
for three weeks apiece. After arriving
back in the States, he taught agriculture
courses at Chadron State College in
Nebraska for one semester, followed by
teaching at the University of Minnesota
Crookston, then known as University of
Minnesota Technical College.
Bohl's experience in Minnesota
William H. Bohl
Bohl's earliest recollection of working
with potatoes was helping plant them
in a large garden on the family farm
near Pompey's Pillar, a tiny, now almost
non-existent, town in south central
Montana. Having been raised on a farm
fostered a desire to pursue a Ph.D.
He attended Iowa State University
on a graduate teaching assistantship.
His doctorate research program was
studying nitrogen fixation in alfalfa
that led to a Ph.D. in crop production
and physiology in 1981.
Bohl took a meandering route before
becoming involved with the potato
industry. His experience in agriculture
post-Ph.D. included an off-campus
Extension specialist/agronomy position
with the University of Wyoming with
emphasis in forage management and
as a technical services manager for a
Midwestern seed company.
He was hired in 1990 by University
of Idaho as a multi-county Extension
educator working with potato
producers in a three-county area that
included approximately 100,000 acres
of potatoes. His assigned location
was in Blackfoot, but he spent many
hours at the Aberdeen Research and
Extension Center, where he learned
from many excellent people working in
potatoes, including Steve Love, Larry
Sandvol, Joe Pavek and Dennis Corsini.
Love was instrumental in helping
learn about potatoes, and they
cooperated on a number of research
projects mostly concerning seed piece
spacing and depth of which some were
published in the American Journal
of Potato Research (AJPR). Bill held
the multi-county Extension educator
position until July 2010, when his
responsibilities with UI were reassigned
to mainly horticulture.
Bill's work in potatoes extends
beyond the geographical area he
was assigned. From 1991 to 2010, he
published the Spudvine newsletter that
contained one potato-related article.
Of the
articles published, Bill
authored or co-authored 140 (67%)
and edited all others. In 2012, the PAA
recognized Bill with the Outstanding
Extension Project Award for this
newsletter. In 2010, Bill and Steve
Johnson of the University of Maine
were editors of the second revision
of Commercial Potato Production in
North America. The previous revision
had been completed in 1992 by Joseph
B. Sieczka, Cornell University, and
of Washington
State University. Bill authored or coauthored
first and
second editions of the book, Potato
Production Management Systems.
Bohl's service to the PAA includes
holding all offices of the Extension
Section. He was instrumental in
developing and obtaining approval for
the Outstanding Extension Project

May/June 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of May/June 2022

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