Hall of Fame Winners for 2012 – 2001


Richard Polatis & Daniel Polatis received this year’s award from the Idaho Potato Museum for their many years of work in Potato Farming as a family owned business.

US: Idaho Potato Museum in Blackfoot Inducts Four Into Hall of Fame

Frank Fullmer and Sim Johnston have both passed away, but their families accepted their awards. Both were instrumental in the industry more than 50 years ago. Johnston brought 28 miles of sprinkler pipe to irrigate the high desert, and both men farmed thousands of acres.

Albert Wada and Chris Abend were also honored. Abend is a farmer, shipper, processor dehydrator, frozen producer, and markets product for the industry. He says he’s honored to represent his company, and be recognized with legends of our state’s world leading industry.
Source: kpvi.com
Publication date: 3/21/2008

Ray DeRoche is credited with starting and saving the chipping business in Idaho by encouraging growers to raise potatoes specifically for the chipping industry, pushing for new varieties more suited to that purpose, and along with Garn Theobald, started a shipping business, R & G Potato Co. Inc., which caters to them exclusively.

L.A. Gillette was one of the founders of Potato Growers of Idaho. He strongly believed in collective bargaining to achieve fair commodity prices for growers. In 1987, he was selected grower of the year by Potato Grower of Idaho magazine. He served three years on the National Potato Promotion Board and was a member of the National Potato Advisor Council.

LaVerelle Stecklein served on the National Potato Council, the Idaho Potato Commission, the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Marketing Committee and was a lifetime grower of the Idaho Potato. He served as chairman of PGI’s contract bargaining committee for more than 20 years, negotiating for the best deals possible for himself and fellow growers.

Dr James R Davis
Ray Rockwood
Frank Stoddard
Earl M Tanner