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The points of contact between Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service and the grower & business communities are the NJ County Agricultural Agents. The agents are a tremendous source of information for both new and experienced growers. Visit your local county extension office.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

National US Fruit and Vegetable Advisory Committee needs your input

Don't let California set all the rules! From the Imperial Valley News (July 11, 2011),
California Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross is encouraging members of the California agricultural community to nominate representatives of the state’s fruit and vegetable industry to serve on the nation’s Fruit and Vegetable Advisory Committee for the 2011-2013 term.

“As the nation’s leading producer of fruits and vegetables, California should be well-represented on this national committee,” Ross said. “This advisory group helps the United States Dept. of Agriculture’s leaders pursue policies and programs that meet the needs of this dynamic industry.”
The advisory committee was formed in 2001 to help USDA address issues faced by the fruit and vegetable industry, including helping to tailor the programs of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
The USDA secretary will appoint up to 25 representatives from the nation’s fruit and vegetable industry to serve two-three-year terms. The committee, established under the authority of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (Public Law 92-463), will include individuals from fruit and vegetable growers/shippers, wholesalers, brokers, retailers, processors, fresh cut processors and foodservice suppliers. Individuals from state agencies involved in organic and non-organic fresh fruits and vegetables at local, regional and national levels, state departments of agriculture and trade associations will also be represented.
Written nominations must be received on or before July 20, 2011 and should be sent to Robert C. Keeney, Deputy Administrator, c/o Pamela Stanziani, Designated Federal Officer, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, USDA Room 2077-S, Stop 0235, Washington, D.C. 20250-0235; faxed to (202) 720-0016; or e-mailed to
If you would like USDA to hear the perspective of the rest of the fruit and vegetable industry, consider being nominated for this important policy committee. If you need assistance preparing a nomination, contact me or your county agent. We'd be glad to help.

Rick VanVranken