Meet the expert panel
Dan was raised in Farmington, WA where lentils were introduced to the USA in 1916 by J.J. Wagner. He graduated from WSU in 1978 with a degree in Agricultural Mechanization. In 1978, Dan, his brother, and 2 cousins built a lentil processing facility in Farmington called BNP Lentil Company. BNP started processing/cleaning lentils for human consumption in 1979 and the 1990’s they processed 30 million lbs. per year. In 1992, Dan took the first USA financed trade team mission into Europe (Spain, Italy and Greece). After the trade team mission, he started doing direct export business into Europe until they sold the business in 2016. He worked 2 more years at BNP, then took on a Merchant position with Columbia Grain in 2018 where he still works today. He has served as Chairman of Grades Committee for the Dry Pea and Lentil Association for 25yrs. Dan is married to Sherise Bruce, and resides in Lewiston, ID. They have 6 children and 8 grandchildren.
Jim was born and raised in Genesee, Idaho. He graduated from the University of Idaho. For a few years after graduation, he worked Farm Credit before returned to farm in 1980. He currently farms with his two sons on a very diversified farm. They grow crops ranging from quinoa and sunflowers to alfalfa hay and crops of wheat. They also farm just about every type of pulse there is! Garbs are their favorite. Jim's farm has been designated an Idaho Century Farm by the Idaho Department of Agriculture and the Idaho State Historical Society. This huge milestone is marked by 100 or more years in production on the same land and by the same family. Jim has served on many grower boards and still serves on the Genesee School Board. He is married to Rita Hermann. They have 5 children.
Solon is from Waitsburg, WA. He's a 3rd Generation Coug with more than 10 family members graduating in Pullman. He's worked in over 20 states in the past 20 years managing University Dining as a regional support chef for one of the largest quality of life services companies in the world. Most of this time was spent from Texas through the Gulf Coast learning Southern, Creole, Southwestern, BBQ, and traditional Mexican cuisines. He and his wife, Kylie own Cocobee Candle Co. in Colfax, WA. His passion for food led him back to Pullman so that he could bring his experience back to the region that he calls home.
Ken lives in Fairfield, WA and is currently the Product Manager and Agronomy at Progene Plant Research in Moscow, ID. He was raised on a family farm in Tekoa, WA and has worked in agriculture his entire life. He has worked in all types of agriculture roles, from Family Farm to McGregor Company as a Fieldman. He then served as a Certified Crop Advisor for a local grain and seed company. He is a board member for the Washington State Crop Improvement Association and serves as the Vice Chair for the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council Research Committee.
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