Douglas J. Michael

Douglas J. Michael, Urbana, has been an instrumental leader in the potato industry. He began his career farming with his father and today, farms nearly 2,000 acres with his family.

He and his family have a reputation of using new production and marketing techniques on the farm. They have used the electric-driven center pivot irrigation systems the latest mechanical harvesting techniques, hydrocoolers and slush icing of produce, computer-controlled potato packaging and barrel washing for potatoes.

He has been involved in the National Potato Council for 34 years, serving as the secretary, treasurer, vice president and president. He was an original supporter and organizer of the National Potato Promotion Board. He was also president of the Ohio Potato Growers Association and the National Potato Council. Awards include Potato Man of the Year Award and the Golden Potato Award from the National Potato Council. The family farm received the "Farmer of the Year" award given by the 1999.