Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Director Sandison recognizes longtime WSDA manager for excellence

Kathy Davis

WSDA Derek Sandison last week handed out the first Director’s Citation Award of his administration, selecting as the recipient Don Potts, Eastern Region manager of the Grain Inspection Program.

The WSDA Director's
Citation Award
The agency’s Grain Inspection Program serves the industry and the public by assuring quality grain products are sold and exported. The program provides sampling, weighing, testing and inspection services on a 24/7 basis. The Spokane office, where Don is based, is one of the nine program locations around the state.

WSDA grain inspection
office in Spokane
Along with leading the program in his region, Don is well known for his outreach to the industry and community. He makes presentations at many industry conventions and trade shows, and regularly leads tours of the Spokane office. Don is also a regular guest on a local radio show highlighting agricultural issues and has been featured in “Wheat Life” magazine.

A recent accomplishment really made Don stand out. A corporation comprised of five large grain companies asked Don’s office to provide commercial official inspections. As a hybrid inspection service that incorporates U.S. grain standards and factors used for marketing, this commercial official inspection is not a service that had ever been done in Washington.

Furthermore, private inspection businesses were competing with WSDA for the contract, which makes up about 60 percent of the Spokane Grain Office’s work.

Don Potts, left, receiving his award.
Director Sandison is on the right.
Thanks to Don’s creativity and tenacious effort, his office was able to secure the contract. In recognizing Don with a Director’s Citation Award, Director Sandison noted that Don had embraced change and brokered innovative solutions.

The Director’s Citation Award is handed out by WSDA directors at their discretion and was created to recognize achievements that benefit the agriculture industry or the agency. The last award was issued in June 2014 by former Director Bud Hover to the Washington State University Extension Service in recognition of their centennial year.