Acting USDA Secretary Chuck Conner has announced the names of members of the new Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. USDA will schedule the committee's first meeting for January 2008 in the Washington, D.C., area.

The 25 members were selected from individuals nominated by their peers. Committee members represent fresh fruit and vegetable growers/shippers, fresh fruit and vegetable wholesalers, retailers, industry trade associations, importers, fruit and vegetable processors, foodservice suppliers, fresh-cut processors, brokers and state departments of agriculture. Each member is appointed to a two-year term. Fourteen of the members are incumbents from the previous advisory committee.

Originally chartered in 2001, the advisory committee advises the Secretary of Agriculture on issues affecting the fruit and vegetable industry. In May 2007, USDA approved a new two-year charter for this committee. The Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 provides for the establishment and operation of advisory committees within the executive branch of the federal government.

More information about the meeting will be published in the Federal Register and will be available at www.ams.usda.gov/fv. Information also can be obtained by e-mailing robert.keeney@usda.gov or by calling (202) 720-4722.

USDA’s Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee Members: 2007-2009

Danny Arnold, A-W Produce Company, Texas

Gordon Bowman, Bowman Apple Products, Virginia

Wayne Brandt, Brandt Farms, California

William Brim, Lewis Taylor Farms, Georgia

Frederick Caito, Caito Foods Service, Indiana

Charles Ciruli, Jr., Ciruli Brothers/Amex Distributing Company, Arizona

Jim Corby, Food Lion, North Carolina

Scott Danner, Liberty Fruit Company, Kansas

Matthew D’Arrigo, D’Arrigo Brothers, New York

Andrew Deane, Del Monte Foods, California

Joseph DeVerna, Ocean Spray, Massachusetts

Michael Hollister, Driscolls’ Inc., California

A.G. Kawamura, California Department of Food and Agriculture, California

Helen Masser, Sterman Masser, Inc., Pennsylvania

Lisa McNeece, Grimmway Enterprises, California

John Millwater, Fresh Express, Texas

Luis Monterde, B&M Blueberries, Mississippi

Robert Morrissey, National Watermelon Association, Florida

Paul Newman, Rainier Fruit Company, Washington

Daniel Richey, Riverfront Growers/Riverfront Packing, Florida

Mike Stuart, Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, Florida

Lisa Strube, Strube Celery and Vegetable Company, Illinois

Jennifer Verdelli, Verdelli Farms, Pennsylvania

Rebecca Wilson, Tom Lange Company, Illinois

Larry Yonce, J.W. Yonce and Sons, South Carolina