Specialty Crops Marketing Orders & Agreements

AMS oversees 22 research and promotion programs and 28 marketing orders that empower farmers, ranchers, and agricultural businesses.  AMS ensures fiscal accountability and program integrity.  In order to apply and enforce the legislative and regulatory provisions of acts and orders and promote consistency in oversight of all marketing programs, AMS and the boards and committees follow written and approved guidelines:  Guidelines for AMS Oversight of Commodity Research and Promotion Programs (pdf). 

Marketing orders and agreements are industry-driven programs that help fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop producers and handlers achieve marketing success through minimum quality requirements, marketing and promotion initiatives, and other authorized efforts that foster success for industry members.  By working together, industry members leverage their own funds to design and execute programs that they would not be able to do as individuals.  Marketing orders and agreements are authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (pdf)

Help Shape the Future of Agriculture

There are over 25 marketing orders serving a variety of commodity industries.  Local administrative committees and boards manage the day-to-day operations of their marketing orders or agreements under the oversight of the AMS. Committees and boards are comprised of producers, handlers, and public members selected by USDA from nominations. We hope you will consider becoming a nominee or attending a meeting. Learn more about nomination opportunities for each board by checking the Notices to Trade.  USDA seeks nominees so that the diversity on the boards reflect the diversity of their industries.

It’s a benefit to you and your industry.

  • Collaborate and network with stakeholders
  • Develop leadership and communication skills
  • Help direct how assessment money is spent
  • On average, attend 2-6 meetings per year (6-15 days) & receive reimbursement for travel costs for non-virtual meetings

Interested in learning about best outreach practices for connecting with individuals with underserved communities to serve on USDA boards and committees?  View the Together We Grow: Engaging Diverse Agricultural Communities featuring a panel discussion on this important topic



Director:  Michelle Sharrow
Email:   michelle.sharrow@usda.gov
Phone:  (202) 720-8085

Deputy Director of Marketing Programs: Sue Coleman
Email:  Sue.Coleman@usda.gov
Phone: (202) 378-2569

Deputy Director of Operations:  Andrew Hatch
Email: Andrew.Hatch@usda.gov
Phone: (202) 720-8085

West Region Acting Branch Chief: Barry Broadbent
Email: barry.broadbent@usda.gov
Phone: (503) 326-2724

Southeast Region Branch Chief: Christian Nissen
Email: Christian.Nissen@usda.gov
Phone: (863) 324-3375

Mid-Atlantic Region Branch Chief: Alexandra Caryl
Email: Alexandra.Caryl@usda.gov
Phone: (202) 720-8085