Dr. Eugenia Banks
“Potato Woman of the Year 2013”
In his speech Gerard Backs describes her as follows: “Eugenia has a professional passion for potatoes and she is a true practitioner who knows that you actually have to be in the field to learn”. The proportion of women in the potato world is significantly lower than that of men, but nevertheless we chose a woman this year that absolutely deserves to be placed in the spotlights: Dr. Eugenia Banks. Eugenia Banks is working as potato specialist for the Canadian ‘Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).
Dr. Banks is responsible for the trial fields, including one of the largest HZPC trial fields. She works tirelessly and takes care that also our trial field looks beautiful. She closely follows the trial fields and of course she is also present during harvest. Eugenia was also the first to spot “clone 30” on the trial field, which initially got the nickname wow!, thanks to good results in the field, nice round white tubers, good yield, uniform sizes and scab resistance. In the meantime the variety is named “Whitney”. Moreover Mrs. Eugenia Banks has a great deal of knowledge on potato diseases and pests, so you will regularly find her in the field to provide advice. People know and respect her and she is also often invited as speaker on meetings. North American phytopathologists call her an expert in her field of expertise.
Since she is a practical thinker, she compiled the book ‘Potato Field Guide’. This book helps to recognize diseases or pests with the help of photos. In no time the first edition was sold out!
There are still many things to be said, but we can surely conclude that this lady has a great influence in the North American potato sector.
“Eugenia, we have great respect for your contribution to the potato world and for that reason you are our undisputed choice for ‘Potato Woman of 2013!”