USDA Announces Plant Variety Protection Board Appointments

September 30, 2020

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the appointment of 14 members to serve on the Plant Variety Protection Board. The newly appointed members will serve two-year terms.

Newly appointed members are:

Farmer Representation

  • Brent Robertson, Elsie, Nebraska
  • Shannon Douglass, Orland, California

Private or Industry Representation

  • Audrey Charles, Naperville, Illinois
  • Kevin Early, Aurora, Colorado
  • Kelly Keithly, Yuma, Arizona
  • Paul Nelson, St. Charles, Missouri
  • Margaret Rekoske, Savage, Minnesota
  • Thomas Day, Hollister, California

Public or Government Representation

  • John Duesing, West Des Moines, Iowa
  • Joshua Freeman, Tallahassee, Florida
  • Patrick Kole, Boise, Idaho
  • Heidi Nebel, Johnston, Iowa
  • Patricia Olosky, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Albert Tsui, Pullman, Washington

The Plant Variety Protection Act provides legal protection in the form of intellectual property rights to developers of new varieties of plants and calls for a Plant Variety Protection Board. The Board consists of 14 members representing farmers, the seed industry, trade and professional associations, and public and private institutions involved with developing new plant varieties. Members of the Plant Variety Protection Board provide oversight and guidance to the program on plant variety protection issues.

The Plant Variety Protection Office examines new applications and grants certificates that protect varieties for 20 years (25 years for vines and trees). Certificate owners have rights to exclude others from marketing and selling their varieties, manage the use of their varieties by other breeders, and enjoy legal protection of their work.

More information is available on the Plant Variety Protection Office page on the AMS website.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender