AMS No. 151-11
Gwen Sparks (202) 260-8210
WASHINGTON, July 19, 2011 –– The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that it is adopting the final rule to add two importer seats and change the boundaries of all districts under the Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan.
At least once every five years, pursuant to the provisions and regulations, the plan is reviewed and, if needed, changes are made based on U.S. watermelon production and the amount of assessments paid by importers.
Under this realignment, each domestic district will represent, on average, 16 percent of total U.S. production. Further, the percentage of assessments paid by importers increased to 29 percent and as a result, the number of importers represented on the board will increase by two. Therefore, the board will consist of 37 members: 14 producers, 14 handlers, eight importers and one public member.
Due to the re-alignment of districts, the following vacancies are created: one producer vacancy in District 2; one handler vacancy in District 3, one producer vacancy in District 7; and two importer vacancies.
The final rule, published in the July 18, 2011, Federal Register, becomes effective today, July 19, 2011. The rule is available at www.regulations.gov
For additional information, contact Jeanette Palmer, Marketing Specialist, Research and Promotion Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, Department of Agriculture (AMS), Stop 0244, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-0244; or faxed to (202) 205-2800 or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, copies of the rule may be requested from the same mailing address or by telephone at (888) 720-9917 during regular business hours. The final rule is also available at www.regulations.gov and on the AMS website at www.ams.usda.gov/FVPromotion
AMS monitors the operations of the National Watermelon Promotion Board in accordance with the Watermelon Research and Promotion Act of 1985. The board administers an industry-funded national research and promotion program to maintain and expand markets for watermelons.
More information about the research and promotion programs can be found at www.ams.usda.gov/fv/rpb.html
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