Secretary Vilsack Announces Plant Variety Protection Board Appointments

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - 3:30pm
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Release No.: 070-15

WASHINGTON, May 26, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced 14 appointments to the Plant Variety Protection Board.  Two alternate members were also appointed. Each appointee will serve a 2-year term.

“These appointees represent a diverse cross section of the farm community and the plant breeding seed industry.  I am confident that farmers, growers and producers will be well served by them,” said Secretary Vilsack.  “Helping USDA to find new ideas and insights, this advisory committee will help strengthen the future of American agriculture.”

Charles Brown, Eloy Corona, Emily Dierking, John Duesing, Jose Re, and Bernice Slutsky are the newly appointed members representing the seed industry sector while Stevan Madjarac was reappointed. James Sutton is a newly appointed alternate seed sector member.

The newly appointed alternate member representing farmers is David Burns.  The reappointed farmer is Wendell Shauman.

Representing the Public/University sector are new members Jianli Chen, Jose Costa, Elizabeth Lee, and Katherine White with Joonhyung Cho and Danielle Conway reappointed to the board.

The Plant Variety Protection Act, enacted in December of 1970 and amended in 1994, provides legal protection in the form of intellectual property rights to developers of new varieties of plants.  The Act also calls for a Plant Variety Protection Board of 14 members to be appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture.  The board has the following duties:  (1) advise the Secretary concerning the adoption of rules and regulations to facilitate the proper administration of the Act; (2) make advisory decisions for the Secretary on appeals concerning decisions on applications by the Plant Variety Protection Office and on requests for emergency public-interest compulsory licenses; and (3) advise the Secretary on any other matters under the rules and regulations.

The appointed board will hold their first teleconference meeting in July or August 2015.

The Secretary selects the appointees nominated by farmers’ associations, trade associations in the seed industry, professional associations representing expertise in seed technology, plant breeding, and variety development, public and private research, and development institutions and the USDA.

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