1997 Honorary Life Member Selections


Donald Garth Anderson was born and raised in St. Peter’s, P.E.I., on a family farm first settled by his great-grandfather some 200 years ago. Don attended Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown, continued his education at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and returned to the family farm, which over the years has grown to a 500-acre mixed farming operation (dairy and potatoes).

In 1965, Don became a Director of the P.E.I. Potato Marketing Board and was appointed manager in 1971, a position he held until 1988. He was a member of the Consultative Committee, Canadian Dairy Commission; member of the Board of Governors for the Fresh for Flavour Foundation of Canada; Chairman of the Potato Committee, Canadian Horticultural Council; and a member of the Minister’s Advisory Council of the Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce.

Don has great energy and enthusiasm showing excellent leadership and promotion capabilities to the potato industry of P.E.I. He continues as an ambassador for the potato industry – provincially, nationally and internationally. His name has become synonymous with P.E.I. potatoes among representatives of the potato industry from countries in South America, the Carribean and the Mediterranean rim of Europe and Africa. The confident and friendly face, his heart-felt greetings and his genuine concern for his fellow men are pleasant memories in the minds and hearts of all people who came to Prince Edward Island and left with the promise of cooperation and trade with the P.E.I. potato industry.

Don promoted with great pride, the P.E.I. Elite Seed Farm at Fox Island, and the excellent quality of P.E.I. seed potatoes. Don looked for and promoted new technology and innovation in agriculture and agri-business. The excellent facilities and the technological advances in the propagation and production of disease-free seed at the Elite Seed Potato Farm are shining examples of Don’s vision and commitment to progress in the potato industry.

Don’s interest and involvement in national and international potato organizations has resulted in the hosting of two conferences on P.E.I. within the past three years. He was instrumental in bringing the PAA to P.E.I. in 1981 and chaired the Planning Committee and the conference successfully. In August, 1981, he was appointed a Director of the PAA- the first Island to act in this capacity. Don has continuously encouraged and promoted greater liaison and involvement with both federal and provincial governments, facilitating communication and cooperation amongst public servants of P.E.I. and federal public servants involved in research, inspection and marketing.

Don has been an elder and chairman of the board of the St. Peter’s United Church, a member of the school board for the past 20 years, and a member of the Rotary Club of Charlottetown. He is a Past-President of the P.E.I. Liberal Party. Don was appointed Director of the P.E.I. Rural Beautification Society in 1966 and on the Advisory Board since that time, and President of the society since 1970.

Donald G. Anderson is a faithful Islander and a loyal Canadian who takes pride in his province and in Canada for their potential to provide food for the world. Don has deservedly earned a lofty place in agriculture and the potato world as an Honorary Life Member of the Potato Association of America.

Allan Parker, Nominator


Dale Robert Hensel was born and raised near Carmel, Indiana. Following high school he completed B.S. and M.S. degrees at Purdue University in 1953 and 1958, respectively. Dale also served 29 months during this period in the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army and was stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC. Dale earned a Ph.D. degree in soil fertility at Rutgers University in 1960. Dr. Henset joined the University of Florida faculty in 1960 as Assistant Soils Chemist at the University’s Hastings Potato Investigations Laboratory. He was promoted in 1964 to Associate Soils Chemist in charge of the Station and to full professor in 1970. Dr. Hensel completed his formal service to the potato industry and the University of Florida when he retired January 31, 1996.

During his career at Hastings Dale always placed the needs of the north Florida potato and vegetable industries at the top of his research and extension priorities. As Center Director of the Hastings Station, Dale was responsible for coordinating active vegetable research and extension programs in crop fertility, variety improvement, and pest, disease, and insect control. Although, until recently, three academic faculty (horticulturist, entomologist, and plant pathologist/nematologist) were stationed at Hastings, Dale realized that University of Florida resources would never be adequate to expand these programs. In order to address various irrigation issues and other problems, Dale therefore initiated numerous cooperative projects with colleagues on the University main campus in Gainesville. At various times he had cooperative irrigation efficiency projects with both USDA and University agricultural engineers, fertility studies with colleagues in the Vegetable Crops, Soils, and Agronomy Departments, marketing studies in Agricultural Economics, and tuber composition work in Food Science. Whenever a research or extension need surfaced within the potato industry Dale always tried to find a way to address the need and to support his staff in doing so. He actively encouraged University colleagues and graduate students to pursue research projects which could benefit the north Florida potato industry.

From the onset of his tenure as Center Director, Dale worked to maximize the efficiency of doing small plot field work and in assuring that research center farming methods were simulations of the regional agriculture. He directed the engineering and adaptation of traditional potato industry farm equipment for doing small plot work. Most potato plot work at the Hastings Center from planting to harvest and grading is totally mechanized and collection of yield data are computerized due to Dale’s efforts. He also assured that the Station set an example and led the way in water conservation and irrigation efficiency by installing one of the first closed system irrigation systems in north Florida potato production. Most of the present fertility practices used in north Florida potato production such as low phosphorous input is based on Dr. Hensel’s past research.

Dr. Hensel has also been active in the community. Dale was one of the community leaders and committee members who successfully secured donated land and state funding for construction of a new St. Johns County Agricultural Center during the mid-1980’s. The Agricultural Center, occupied in 1987, is truly a model facility and houses county extension programs and is widely used by many in addition to the agricultural community. In recent years, Dale has served on many state and local boards including Florida 4-H Foundation, St. Johns County Planning and Zoning Board, St. Johns County Fair Board, Compass Bank Board, and many more. He has been a Sunday School Superintendent, member of the Administrative Board and Board of Trustees of the Grace United Methodist Church, recently serving as Chairman and is a past President of the Hastings Rotary Club. Dr. Hensel was recognized by the Kiwanis Club of St. Augustine in November, 1987 with the outstanding Agriculture Award.

Dale has been a long time active PAA member. His PAA activities have included membership chairman SE US 1977-1981, General Local Arrangements Chairman for the 1978 Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL, Graduate Students Award Committee 1982, Ad Hoc Committee on Business Relations 1980-82, served as Secretary, Vice Chairman, and Chairman of the Physiology Section during 1983- 86, and served as PAA Director during 1984-87. In addition to the PAA, Dale was an active member in numerous state and national professional societies including American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society, Gamma Sigma Delta, and Sigma Xi. He has been recognized by the American Institute of Chemists, American Men of Science, and Who’s Who in the Southeast.

Upon his retirement in January, 1996, Dr. Hensel stepped down as the longest tenured of all seated Department and Experiment Station Chairs within the University of Florida College of Agriculture. Dr. Dale Robert Hensel would be a truly deserving addition to the Potato Association of America list of Honorary Life Members

(Nominator unknown)


Ed started his journey in the potato world before the potato blossom season was over in 1934 (July 27) on a farm in Washburn, Maine. The first of 10 children, he was raised there on the family farm. After graduating from the local high school in 1952, he entered the University of Maine. With a major in Agronomy and a minor in Ag-Education, he graduated four years later. He continued there to earn a Master of Science degree in Botany and Plant Pathology in 1958.

The official debut of Ed’s professional educational bend was in teaching vocational agriculture at Patten (potato country), Maine, for two years. Ed then served as the Area Potato Specialist for Northern Aroostook County from 1960 to 1968. In this capacity, his responsibility was conducting educational programs and demonstrations on potato production, storage, handling, and marketing for growers and citizens of the St. John Valley, one of Maine’s major potato production areas.

For the next eight years, Ed served as a Professor and Area Extension Potato Specialist with the University of Minnesota – North Dakota University in the Red River Valley. His responsibilities were similar to those in Maine, besides which he developed close associations with the Snack Food Association, National Potato Board, and National Potato Council – associations he has maintained throughout his career. While in this position, Ed did post-Master’s work with the University of North Dakota in the subjects of Ecology, Waste Management, Technical Writing, and Marketing.

Following two years of work with private industry – associated with potatoes, naturally – Ed became Executive Director of the Maine Potato Commission in 1978. In this capacity, he was responsible for developing and conducting advertising and promotion, market development and research programs for the Maine potato industry through the use of potato tax funds. He was a major force behind maintaining and strengthening ties with the University of Maine faculty involved in potato research. He also used his extensive knowledge of potato production and marketing to assist in setting priorities of research needs for the industry.

In 1985, Ed became Potato Specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service, and maintained this position until his retirement this year. At this post, he developed, coordinated, and carried out a statewide educational program for the Maine potato industry. Included in his achievements are the annual Maine Potato Chip/Processing Conference, Cooperative Extension annual Leadership Training Institute, and the Northeast Potato Technology Forum. He carried out applied and demonstration research, published fact sheets and edited Spudlines – a newsletter for the Maine potato industry. As founder and advisor of the Mid-Maine Young Farmers Association and Young Farmer Leadership Institute, Ed has helped young farmers with market studies, industry policies, and educational pursuits. He was also one of the founders of Club 500 in the Northeast that has brought together potato experts from Maritime Canada and Maine to address industry wide concerns, and to encourage adaptation of various farm technologies to the region’s benefit. Ed, “a multimedia man”, has been for many years a co-host of the early morning “Potato Pickers Special” on WAGM-TV in Presque Isle, ME.

Ed has been the leading force behind the growth of chip potato production and marketing in the State of Maine. He initiated annual chipping potato variety trials together with the Snack Food Association and the NE-107 regional potato variety adaptation trial project. As a result of his efforts, chip potato marketings from Maine have increased over fivefold since 1982.

The expertise of Ed Plissey willingly has been shared abroad. In 1994, he traveled to the Republic of Georgia, a former Soviet block state, to assist their local potato growers develop a seed potato industry. Because of his leadership, a study tour group from Georgia was hosted in Maine the following year, and a potato genetic engineering firm, NatureMark, Inc., has agreed to establish a seed potato development program in their country. Ed has also assisted Maine’s potato seed industry in developing markets in Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Bermuda, and the Dominican Republic. He has done value-added market research in Holland, Scotland, and Canada.

Beyond his duties as a Cooperative Extension Specialist, Ed has made significant contributions to scientific literature through publication of fact sheets, journal articles, and technical bulletins. One of Ed’s strengths is his ability to take the results of University research to the industry in ways that have practical applications.

The Potato Association of America has benefited from Ed’s membership as an active participant. Beyond presenting papers and journal articles, he has co-chaired Local Arrangement Committees for two PAA annual meetings in Maine (Presque Isle and Bangor) and participated on two other LAC’s while in the mid-west. He has been Chair of the Extension Section and of the Utilization and Marketing Section, five years an Associate Editor of the American Potato Journal, Secretary of the National Potato Anti-Bruise Committee for six years and continues membership on that committee, and has served as a Director of PAA since 1996.

Ed also has enjoyed activity in various other organizations, professionally and personally. As a Jaycee, he received Outstanding Young Man awards; he has been a Rotarian for 25 years; he sings with the SPEBSQSA “Barbershoppers” and has been president of his chapter; he’s a private pilot and member of a local flying association; and he’s active in the Methodist Church.

In 1957, Marilyn E. Bonney became a wedded partner of Ed’s and, while a Registered Dietitian, they have raised a family of two sons and three daughters. Now Marilyn and Ed join in their retirements in a new company venture – Bio-Ag Research Associates, Inc

Alfred A. Bushway, Edward F. Johnston & Therese M. Work, Nominators


Machiasport- Edwin S. Plissey passed away while surrounded by family after a brief illness on Nov. 14, 2011 in Bangor, ME. He was born on July 27th, 1934 in Washburn, ME to Thomas and Mary (Learnard) Plissey. Ed was raised with seven siblings on the family farm in Washburn where he developed a passion for farming and the potato.

He graduated from Washburn High School in 1952, received his BS in Agronomy in 1956, a MS in Botany and Plant Pathology in 1958 from the University of Maine at Orono, and additional graduate work in Ecology at the University of North Dakota. Over the years he became one of the country’s foremost authorities on potato production.

Throughout Ed’s career in the potato industry he held many valued leadership roles and took consulting trips around the country and the globe. He was a Vocational Agriculture Instructor in Patten, Maine, a County Agriculture Agent and Potato Specialist for the University of Maine, Fort Kent, and served as an Extension Agent and Potato Specialist for both the University of Minnesota and the University of North Dakota. In 1978 he became the Executive Director of the Maine Potato Commission, further guiding the research, marketing, and development of one of Maine’s most valued crops. In 1985, Ed was appointed a Professor and Extension Specialist for the University of Maine at Orono. Upon retirement in 1997, Ed was declared Professor Emeritus and Potato Specialist Emeritus for the University of Maine and was actively working, even recently, in helping growers in the industry evaluate new technologies and processes to improve potato production.

In his younger years, Ed was State President of the Maine Jaycees, voted Outstanding Young Man of Maine by the Jaycees in 1964, an active and valued member of his community and church throughout his life, a 34-year member of Rotary, and frequently contributed his time and skills to better the lives of those around him. His contributions were as varied as heading the board of the Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra, to bringing potatoes by the ton to food pantries. Among the many service awards Ed received was the Paul Harris Fellowship award from the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International for his work bettering his community throughout the years. In recent years, he was instrumental in Neighbors Helping Neighbors and the Sunrise Economic Council. Ed and Marilyn enjoyed traveling extensively around the US and Europe, visiting their children and grandchildren, and wintered in both Arizona and Florida. He loved music, sang in barbershop ensembles, fished, read, played Scrabble in his free time, and was an avid golfer.

Ed is survived by his wife of 54 years, Marilyn Bonney Plissey whom he married in 1957. He is also survived by his five children; Steven Plissey and wife Catherine of Evergreen, CO; Jo Bobb and husband Stevan of Ft. Worth, TX and their daughters, Alexandra and Rachel; Rebecca Poland and husband Alan of Bremen, ME and their children Christopher (wife Paige), Tyler, Meagan Dobson and Hayley Poland; Paul Plissey and wife Sharon Teeler of Charlottesville, VA, and their daughters, Ella and Sofi; and Bethany Plissey of Stowe, VT. He is survived by four siblings; Fred Plissey of Caribou, Diane Plissey of Maine and Florida, Prudence (husband Steve) Dobson of Washburn, Susie (husband Dennis) Lunney of Crystal River, FL, and sister-in-law, Ellen (Rusty) Jamieson Plissey of Valdosta, GA. He was pre-deceased by siblings Joanne Plissey, Pat Beaulieu, and Terry Plissey. He is also survived by many cousins, nieces and nephews.

A celebration of his life will be held on Sunday, Nov. 20th at the Roque Bluffs Chapel in Roque Bluffs, ME. A private burial is being planned for a later date to be announced by the family. Those who wish to remember Ed in a special way can make gifts in his memory to the Roque Bluffs Community Outreach Program, P. O. Box 471, Roque Bluffs, ME 04654 or to the Down East Community Hospital, 11 Hospital Drive, Machias, ME 04654 attn: Doug Jones, Administrator. https://mail.google.com/mail/images/cleardot.gif

Gifts may also be sent in his memory to The PAA Endowment, The Potato Association of America, The University of Maine, 5719 Crossland Hall, Room 220, Orono, ME 04469-5719.


Masa Tsukamoto raised 52 potato crops during his farming career in eastern Idaho. He started his farming career just north of Pocatello where he was born in 1923 and raised. In 1953 he moved to new farm land north of Blackfoot, Idaho where he spent the remainder of his farming years before retiring in 1992.

While farming, Masa cooperated with the University of Idaho allowing research plots to be planted on his farm. Masa’s farm was located about 50 miles from the research and extension center in Aberdeen, so this provided a location unlike the research farm. For many years Masa was a cooperator in the University of Idaho potato harvest soil and air temperature program. For this program, the university places thermometers in selected locations in eastern Idaho during potato harvest, but the readings are made by cooperators. The information is then made available to farmers via radio and local newspapers. It is impossible to operate this program without the cooperation of growers like Masa.

Masa has the unique ability of bringing ideas to fruition. He realized the importance of having potatoes covered while transporting. Covering trucks with a tarp by hand was time consuming and could damage potatoes if a person walked on top of the load. Masa invented and patented a hydraulic device that automatically covers a load in 15 seconds with just the flip of a switch. He named the hydraulic tarp covering machine “E-Z Tarp” and formed E-Z Tarp, Inc.

Masa was always looking for perfection in his farming operation. Not being satisfied with the way conventional planter shoes placed seed pieces, he designed, built, and patented a planter shoe called “Hed-Start” that reduces seed bed compaction, has lighter draft, and keeps the moist soil around the seed piece.

These two products were invented while Masa was farming, but even retirement did not stop him from inventing. Masa heard farmers say there must be a better and easier way to clean potato storage duct pipes than using a handheld power washer. So in 1996, Masa again put on his thinking cap, designed, and built a machine to clean and disinfect potato storage duct pipes in just two minutes. The machine is called the “Cellar Duck.”

Masa has served and continues to serve on several boards and committees. He was on the board of directors of the Potato Growers of Idaho for 15 years, and was a board member of the Blackfoot Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves on a multi-county University of Idaho extension advisory committee, and on the state potato anti-bruise committee. Masa has been concerned about potato bruising since 1962. Masa is chairman of the board of directors of the Idaho Potato Expo located in Blackfoot, a non-profit museum educating the public about potatoes.

Masa’s interests outside the potato industry include being a member of the Japanese American Citizen League and is a member of the Elks Club. He is an avid downhill snow skier, and likes fishing during the summer. Masa has been married to Mid for 43 years and they have two daughters and one son. Julie married a potato producer from the Blackfoot area and Masa periodically helps with that fanning operation. Their son, Alan, operates E-Z Tarp, Inc. in Blackfoot, and their other daughter, Kaydeen, is a pharmacist in Boise.

Masa has dedicated his life to the potato industry, and even though he no longer farms he continues to be a strong promoter of the potato industry. It is my privilege and honor to present Masa Tsukamoto for Honorary Life Membership in the Potato Association of America.

William H. Bohl, Nominator