Ben Kudwa Joins Staff of Michigan Vegetable Council

After 27 years with Michigan Potato Commission, Kudwa takes part time role with council.

Published on: Feb 20, 2014

Ben Kudwa, who recently retired after 27 years as Executive Director of the Michigan Potato Industry Commission, has accepted a part-time position with the Michigan Vegetable Council. He will fill the newly created position of Director of External Relations.

"I am very pleased the Board of Directors chose to create this new position and hire Ben," says MVC Executive Director Dave Smith. "Ben brings a wealth of experience on industry issues and is well connected with key leaders in industry, government and at Michigan State University. Ben is available for part-time work and is very interested in helping the council."

As the council's director of external relations, Ben will represent the council at industry, government and university meetings and planning sessions. He will also help in developing the council's position on issues of importance to vegetable growers.

Ben Kudwa Joins Staff of Michigan Vegetable Council
Ben Kudwa Joins Staff of Michigan Vegetable Council

"The council is at a critical juncture," says MVC President Ralph Oomen. "We just completed our 2013 Great Lakes Fruit and Vegetable EXPO with record attendance of over 4,200 people, 430 vendors and three days filled with educational sessions. Dave Smith has needed to commit an increasing amount of his time to Expo planning activities.

"With the addition of Ben to the council's staff, we have created a structure to allow Dave to focus more of his time on the EXPO and management of the MVC. Ben will cover external relations for the council. This is an opportunity to focus on industry issues and the EXPO at the same time," Oomen added.

"I am pleased to join the Michigan Vegetable Council on a part-time basis," Kudwa says. "My career with agricultural groups has allowed me to build relationships and there is no better group to share those relationships with than the MVC. I very much appreciate this opportunity and look forward to working with the council and Dave Smith."

Ben Kudwa can be reached at or 517-331-6341.