This fellowship is set up in memory of Jan de Weerd by Jan W. and Tammy de Weerd and family, friends, and colleagues. Jan de Weerd was born on a dairy farm in the Netherlands, but had a love for tending the earth. He started raising his own potatoes at age 14. Jan began his own farm at 23 in dairy farming and seed potato production. In 1979, he specialized his farm in the production of high generation seed potatoes. He was a perfectionist and took pride in the quality of potatoes he grew. His reputation preceded him, and he never hesitated to give freely of his advice and expertise to others. As a result of his dedication to the potato industry, his son, Jan W. de Weerd, studied potatoes at Washington State University where he received his doctorate. This memorial fellowship will continue Jan de Weerd’s spirit of commitment and devotion to excellence in the potato industry.
This fellowship will be offered to a graduate student on an annual basis with a two-year commitment to support the potato industry nationwide. Renewal for the second year will be contingent on satisfactory academic progress as determined by the student’s academic department. The fellowship is available to graduate students who will be studying potatoes in the areas of plant science, plant pathology, economics, or marketing. The selection will be based on demonstrated interest and/or experience in the potato industry as well as academic credentials. Students from the Netherlands are encouraged to apply as well.