1990 Honorary Life Member Selections


Elmer E. Ewing was born September 16, 1931 in Normal, Illinois. Since not all things are normal in Illinois, Elmer began his agricultural career asa chemistry major at the University of Illinois. He received his B.S. in that major with highest honors in 1953. His interests changed and he obtained his M.S. in Horticulture from the same university in 1954. After a one year assignment with the Rockefeller Foundation in Mexico, he came to Cornell where he received his Ph.D. in Vegetable Crops in 1959. At Cornell he has had teaching, extension and research responsibilities since 1959. In 1982 he was appointed chair of the Department of Vegetable Crops and has maintained that position to the present.

Dr. Ewing has published extensively on various physiological aspects of potatoes. He is well known for his recent work in modeling potato growth, including the effects of defoliation on plant growth and tuber yield. His research has provided insights into the tuberization process. These efforts coupled with investigations on heat tolerance have led to a better understanding of potato growth and production in tropical areas. He was instrumental in the development of the use of cuttings for studies on tuberization and as simple models to study potato physiology. In addition to these most recent endeavors, he has a strong background in extension and applied research, dealing with plant nutrition, irrigation, sprout inhibition, and storage practices to minimize sugar accumulation.

Dr. Ewing is recognized internationally for his work. He is an active member of the European Association for Potato Research and the Potato Association of America. He served the PAA ASA Director, Vice-President, President-Elect and President. He has been active in many working committees/sections of the PAA, contributing freely for the good of the organization.

Elmer and his wife Marilyn have two daughters and three sons. Because of his technical competence, his many contributions to the understanding of potato physiology, and his commitment to the organizations and individuals associated with potatoes, it is an honor and a privilege to present Elmer E. Ewing for Honorary Life Membership in the Potato Association of America.

Joseph B. Sieczka, Nominator


Bertrand Forest was born in 1918 at Saint-Pie-de-Guire, Yamaska county, Quebec He earned a B.A. in 1939 followed by a B.Sc.A. degree at Laval University (1943). His interest in research led him to the Horticulture department of MacDonald College where his thesis on the effects of fertilizer levels on yield, specific gravity and after-cooking darkening of potatoes earned him a M.Sc. degree in 1945.

For the next 15 years he worked as Research Officer on horticultural crops for Agriculture Canada during which time he earned his Ph.D. at Cornell University (1956). His potato research included work on chipping and culinary qualities, soil fertility and manganese toxicity and he even found time to devise a potato harvester for experimental plots. During this time he was part of the group which pioneered the Regional Potato Trials in Canada.

In 1960, Dr. Forest was called upon to reorient his career in administration. He was appointed Director of Research and Teaching for the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, a position he held until his retirement in 1979. His sense of mission and organizational abilities led to the development of strong and comprehensive units in soils, plant protr and the network of provincial research stations, a structure which exists to this day. Dr. Forest’s most remarkable achievement is without doubt the establishment of the Quebec’s Elite Potato Seed Farm in 1961.

Throughout his career, Dr. Forest was an ardent advocate of research as the basis for the advancement of agriculture. He was particularly able to translate the sometimes abstract and technical scientific information into a form which could be readily understood by both growers and politicians. Although nota member of PAA, Dr. Forest was a member of several professional and scientific societies, both national and international. He served as President of the Quebec Order of Agrologists from 1972 to 1975. He received the Centennial Medal of Canada (1967) for distinguished service to his country and is Commander of the Order of Agronomic Merit (1976). In 1977, McGill University conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

For his commitment and tireless efforts to better the cause of agriculture, for his success in establishing the structures which have resulted in a strong and coherent potato industry in Quebe. It is an honor and a privilege to present Dr. Bertrand Forest for Honorary Life Membership in the Potato Association of America.

Jacques Laganiere, Nominator


Wilbur Gould was born August 7, 1920 in Colebrook, New Hampshire. He served in the U.8. Navy during WorId War II and spent 32 months in that service asa food inspector in the Pacific atea. He was a member of the Ohio State University faculty from 1946 to 1985, where he was a respected educator and advisor to numerous graduate students. Dr. Gould retired in 1985 as the Director of the Food Industries Center, Ohio 8tate University. His potato research centered on the effect of storage temperatures on chipping characteristics of different cultivars grown under various environmental conditions.

Dr. Gould’s major contribution to the potato industry has been his long-term leadership in the area of raw product quality as it affects the production of processed potato products, primarily potato chips and french fries. Wilbur authored the original “Quality Assurance Manual” for the manufacture of potato chips and snack foods, published by the Snack Food Association. He was senior author of the more recent North Central Regional Research Publication “Quality Evaluation of Potato Cultivars for Processing.” He has been executive head of the Ohio Food Processors Association since 1957 and has been a Food Technology Consultant to the 8nack Food Association since 1975. For many years, he conducted the popular Quality Control Short Course for processing plant quality assurance personnel. His international activities included a tole as consultant to the USDA Food Fair in Germany and the FAO Frozen Food Conference in Italy. More recently he has assisted potato chip manufacturers in Australia and New Zealand.

Wilbur Gould has been an active member of the Potato Association of America, the Institute of Food Technologists and three national honorary societies (Phi Tau Sigma, Sigma Xi and Gamma 8igma Delta). He received the IFT Section’s Outstanding Service Award in 1978 and was elected Fellow of the Institute oŸ Food Technologists in 1985. Dr. Gould received the National Food Processing Machinery and Supply Association’s Outstanding Leadership and Service Award and the Norman E Childers Award from the Ame¡ Society of Horticultura1 Science for distinguished graduate teaching. In 1989, Dr. Gould was inducted into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame in recognition of bis exemplary contributions to that state’s agriculture.

Wilbur and his wife, Jessie, have three children: Ronald, a plant manager for General Mills; Rebecca, a former buyer for Wanamakers; and Jacquelyn, former research and development technologist for General Mills.

Wilbur Gould remains an active and excellent source of current information on raw and finished product quality and processing technology, continuing bis long and close association with potato processors in the U.S. and many countries of the world.

I am honored and pleased to present Wilbur Gould for Honorary Life Membership in the Potato Association of America.

Paul H. Orr, Nominator


Bob O’Keefe was born in Alliance, Nebraska on February 17, 1926. After high school he spent two years in the Navy Air Corps V-5 program. In 1946 he married Darlyne McCormick. They raised eight children and have twelve grandchildren. Darlyne died in 1979. In 1984 Bob married Grace Hesselger.

Most of Bob’s professional life has been spent in connection with the University of Nebraska. There he earned his B.S. in Botany in 1949, his M.S. in Horticulture in 1959, and his Ph.D. in Agronomy (Genetics) in 1965. During that time he was head of the Potato Outstate Testing Program in Horticulture (1950-1952), Supervisor of the Box Butte Experiment Farm (1952-1957) and head of the potato breeding and improvement program. He has been on the Faculty of the University of Nebraska, College of Agriculture since 1971. He was Acting Chairman of the Department of Horticulture in 1971 and 1972 where he initiated an expanded state-wide program in ornamentals, vegetables and fruits. After retiring in 1989 Bob has been busy consulting.

Potatoes have been first and foremost in all of his endeavors. He was associated with the release of more than seven varieties–several with high tolerance to common scab. Asa researcher and extensionist Bob helped improve the Nebraska potato industry and engineered its national importance despite its relatively small size. His accomplishments in connection with tools used in the chipping process are well known to the industry.

As a teacher and advisor he guided undergraduate students in subjects of scientific relevance as well as practical value. For graduate students, many from overseas, he has been a guiding force in the successfuI completion of their degrees, with programs which focused on their future needs.

Bob has published more than 140 research and extension publications. He was a leading collaborator in research projects for the Potato Regional Programs NC-84 (Genetics), NC-150 (Quality and Nutrition Value), and was a member of the Potato Technology committee of the Potato Chip-Snack Food Association (International).

Bob has served on the executive committee of Nebraska-Wyoming Potato Council. He was elected to Gamma Sigma Delta Honorary in Agriculture and to Sigma Xi Honorary in Science. Bob has been an invited lecturer on potato breeding and processing at international events in the U.S., Latin America, the Middte East and the U.S.S.R.

Bob has been an active participant in the Potato Association of America. He was a member of the certification section, chairman of the Breeding and Genetic Section, President (1980) and chairman of the annual meeting in Nebraska in 1979. Currently he’s the chairman of the North American Variety Handbook Committee.

I am honored and pleased to present Dr. Robert B. O’Keefe for Honorary Life Membership in the Potato Association of America.

Oscar S. Malamud, Nominator