Jacob Vanderschaaf is the owner and President of Tuberosum Technologies Inc. a potato breeding company in Canada. Mr. VanderSchaaf gained extensive experience in agribusiness as Executive Director of the Christian Farmers Federation and as Special Assistant to the former Federal Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Mr. E. Whelan. Jacob has worked with potatoes for over 25 years and has held management positions in various companies in the potato industry.
He is founder and shareholder of The Little Potato Company (LPC). Jacob VanderSchaaf, a Dutch immigrant, made his way to Canada in when he was 21. While he loved his new home, he missed the delicious potatoes that he had grown up with all his life. His desire for the perfect Dutch styled potato lead Jacob to attempt to grow his own in Canada. What started as a one acre test plot led to a successful venture and the founding of The Little Potato Company that is currently marketing over $45,000,000 worth of potatoes a year across Canada and parts of the United States.
Understanding that the Little Potato Company was going to need a consistent supply of quality potatoes for their growing market, Jacob co-founded of Spudwyck Farms. Spudwyck Farms currently grows close to 1000 acres of creamer potatoes. With a keen interest in sustainability and the growing organic market, Jacob also founded Prairie Pride Organics, an organic potato producer that also grows organic wheat, oats, beans etc to maintain a healthy crop rotation.
Right from the beginning, Jacob focused his attention to developing the genetics and sourcing varieties that could improve this popular small potato category. It was with this goal in mind that Jacob founded Tuberosum Technologies Inc (TTI) in 1995. From the start TTI’s mandate was to develop further varieties of potatoes that encouraged more sustainable and efficient methods of potato production.
Dr. Khyal Chand Thakur has an academic and scientific background in biological sciences. He is professionally a trained plant breeder. His Masters degree (M Sc.) is in Botanical Sciences. His training as a researcher started with the research work for the award of Master of Philosophy (M. Phil) degree.
The research work for the degree of Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph. D) involved the breeding of parental lines and standardization of technologies for commercial production for a hybrid true potato seed (TPS) or botanical seed and its utilization as low cost alternative for potato production.
From 1981 to 1984 he worked as a Senior Research Fellow (SRF) for the International Potato Center (CIP), Lima, Peru; subsequently as a professional scientific staff (1984-2001) at CIP’s Regional Office for South West Asia (SWA) in New Delhi, India.
From November 2001 to May 2008 he worked as a Senior Scientist (Plant Breeding) with the All India Coordinated Research Project on Potato (AICRP-Potato) at the Central Potato Research Institute (CPRI), Shimla (H.P.), India.
While working as a professional staff of CIP SWA Regional Office at New Delhi, India; he was frequently involved in imparting training, coordinating collaborative research and information sharing with the National Cooperating Institutions in many countries. As a resource person he visited: Bangladesh, Chile, Indonesia, Nepal, Peru, Philippines, South Korea and Thailand to impart training to researchers/trainers/farmers; organize and participate in seminars and symposia.
The published work, both peer reviewed and others, includes over 60 research papers in the journals of international repute and in the workshop proceedings. Majority of the publications address research findings related to breeding in potato.
Since June 2008 Dr. Thakur has been working as Director, Research and Development for a Canadian company Tuberosum Technologies Inc.
Dr. Thakur has over 30 years of experience in potato research and development.
Joel VanderSchaaf has been involved in the potato industry for over 15 years, having hands on experience in almost every stage of the potato industry from breeding, to production, to packing, to marketing. Working closely with his father, Jacob VanderSchaaf and sister Angela Santiago, who founded The Little Potato Company (LPC) and Tuberosum Technologies Inc (TTI) in 1995, Joel is helping bring small and specialty potatoes to the North American consumer. After working at LPC and various production farms affiliated with LPC, Joel began work at Tuberosum in 2009. He is currently General Manager of Tuberosum and helps facilitate the execution of Tuberosum’s cutting edge breeding programs, research and variety introduction.