USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman on Thursday announced the appointment of 19 additional members to six agricultural trade advisory committees.
"The agricultural trade advisory committees provide great insight into trade issues for the United States. Hearing from such a wide variety of agricultural experts helps us formulate our trade strategy and keep American exports growing to record numbers," Vilsack said.
"Agricultural trade plays a vital role in the health of our economy, and the new members of the committees will bring welcome new perspectives."
Congress established the advisory committee system in 1974 to ensure U.S. agricultural trade policy objectives reflect U.S. commercial and economic interests. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Trade Representative jointly manage the committees.
"A primary objective of President Obama's trade agenda is to unlock economic opportunity for American farmers and ranchers," said Froman. "As we fight to open markets across the world to more U.S. exports, direct insight from the American agricultural community is essential."
The committees provide advice and information to the Secretary of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative on negotiating objectives and positions, and other matters related to the development and administration of U.S. agricultural trade policy.
The Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee is comprised of senior representatives from across the agricultural community and provides advice on general trade policy matters.
New members >>
The Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees offer technical advice and information on specific product sectors.
The new appointments became effective June 15, 2014.
Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee
Chad Blindauer, Blindauer Farms
Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Animals and Animal Products
Shelly McKee, USA Poultry and Egg Export Council; David Carter, National Bison Association; and Stephen Sothmann, U.S. Hides, Skins and Leather Association
Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Fruits and Vegetables
William Braswell, Florida Blueberry Growers; Brett Erickson, Texas International Produce Association; Jake Lewin, Organic Certification CCOF Certification Services, LLC; Mathew M. McInerney, Western Growers Association; Melissa Poole, Roll Global; Mark Powers, Northwest Horticultural Council; Daniel Ritchey, Riverfront Packing Company
Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Grains, Feed, Oilseeds and Planting Seeds
Carlton Bridgeforth, Bridgeforth International Association; Paul B. Green, North American Millers Association; Paul E. Shubeck, Poet Industries; Gina Tumbarello, American Feed Industry Association
Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Processed Foods
Audrae Erickson, Mead Johnson Nutrition; Melissa Peabody, The Starbucks Coffee Company; Maia Jack, American Frozen Foods Institute
Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Sweeteners
Cassandra Kuball, Corn Refiners Association