nominations needed – USDA REESTABLISHES FRUIT AND VEGETABLE INDUSTRY ADVISORY COMMITTEE

The USDA announced last week that it has reestablished the Fruit
and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. The purpose of the advisory committee is to examine the full spectrum of issues the fruit and vegetable industry faces and offer the secretary of agriculture advice on how USDA can tailor its programs to better meet the industry’s needs.The exchange of views and information between the industry and government is intended to improve understanding of how USDA programs affect the industry and to contribute to those programs’ effective and efficient administration.
The Secretary of Agriculture will appoint up to 25 representatives from the country’s fruit and vegetable industry to serve two-year terms. Representatives can be fruit and vegetable growers,shippers, wholesalers, brokers, retailers, processors, fresh-cut processors, foodservice suppliers, and officials from state departments of agriculture and trade associations.
Written nominations must be received on or before July 19, 2007, and should be mailed to Robert C. Keeney, Deputy Administrator,Agricultural Marketing Service, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, USDA, Room 2077-S, Stop 0235, Washington, D.C. 20250-0235; faxed to (202) 720-0016; or e-mailed to robert.keeney@usda.gov.

Currently, California Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura serves on the committee. Previously,Florida Commissioner Charles Bronson served on the committee as well as former Michigan Director Dan Wyant. Advisory committee members will elect the chairperson and vice-chairperson. As deputy administrator of the AMS Fruit and Vegetable Programs, Keeney will serve as the committee’s executive secretary. This advisory committee was originally chartered in 2001 and reestablished in 2003 and 2005. In May 2007, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns signed authorization to re-charter the committee for two more years. More information on the advisory committee is available on the Internet at http://www.ams.usda.gov/fv. (Contact: Jennifer Yezak)