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Vilsack Names Members to Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee

Release No.: 176-14
AMS Public Affairs (202) 720-8998

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2014 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced new members of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) oversees the 25-member Committee, which will meet up to two times per year to advise the Secretary of Agriculture on issues affecting the fruit and vegetable industry.

“I thank these members for dedicating their time to this committee,” said Secretary Vilsack. “With over $40 billion in sales, the fruit and vegetable industry is an integral part of this country’s economy. And of course, fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet. I look forward to hearing the Committee members’ recommendations on the many important issues facing their industry.”

Committee members represent a broad cross-section of the industry, including fresh fruit and vegetable growers, shippers, wholesalers, retailers, industry trade associations, importers, processors, foodservice suppliers, brokers, state departments of agriculture, organic producers and marketers, and farmers markets and food hubs. As representatives of various sectors of the industry, members bring diverse experiences and perspectives to help USDA understand the impact of its programs and how to improve upon its services.

Originally chartered in 2001, the Committee has met 14 times and developed over 60 statements and recommendations on issues ranging from food safety to school nutrition to USDA programs. AMS oversees the Committee to ensure that it is administered according to the Federal Advisory Committee Act. Members are nominated by their peers. In order to create staggered terms, 11 of the members will serve two-year terms while 14 will serve three-year terms.

The following members will serve two-year terms on USDA’s Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee from 2014-2016:

• Virginia Barnes, Barnes Farm, Hastings, Fla.;
• Richard Ha Jr., Hamakua Springs Country Farms, Hilo, Hawaii;
• Ricke Kress, Southern Gardens Citrus, Clewiston, Fla.;
Paul Newman, Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers/ Columbia Valley Fruit, Wenatchee and Union Gap,Wash.;
• Robert Nolan, Deer Run Farms, Brookhaven, N.Y.;
• Christopher Puentes, Interfresh, Inc., Orange, Calif.;
• Jennifer “Jin Ju” Wilder, Valley Fruit and Produce Co., Los Angeles, Calif.;
• Vaughn Koligian, Sun-Maid Growers of California, Kingsburg, Calif.;
• Diane Smith, Michigan Apple Committee, Lansing, Mich.;
• Beth Knorr, Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy, Peninsula, Ohio; and
• Brent Roggie, National Grape Cooperative Association, Westfield, N.Y. and Concord, Mass.

The following members will serve three-year terms on the committee from 2014 - 2017:

• Ben Burkett, B&B Farms, Petal, Miss.;
• Helen Dietrich, Ridgeview Orchards, Conklin, Mich.;
• Kristine Ellor, Phillips Mushroom Farms, Kennett Square, Pa.;
• Richard Hanas, A. Duda and Sons Inc., Oviedo, Fla.;
• James Alan Johnson, Carzalia Valley Produce, Columbus, N.M.;
• Lorri Koster, Mann Packing Company, Salinas, Calif.;
• Jorge Vazquez, Latin Specialties, Houston, Texas;
• Andy Shoemaker, Taylor Fresh Foods, Salinas, Calif.;
• David Yanda, Lakeside Foods, Manitowoc, Wis.;
• Tiffany Boaldin, Golden Eagle Casino-Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, Horton, Kan.;
• Thomas N. Williams, Spartan Nash, Edina, Minn.;
• Catherine Burns, Produce Marketing Association, Newark, Del.;
• Carlos Castaneda, Castaneda and Sons, Arroyo Grande, Calif.; and
• Roland McReynolds, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, Pittsboro, N.C.;

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  Last Modified Date: 07/28/2014