Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has appointed 13 members and their alternates to the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council to serve 3-year terms of office beginning Jan. 1, 2017.
Newly appointed producer members are Bill Steed, of Pauma Valley, Calif.; Brittany H. Lee, of Gainesville, Fla.; Adair Chambers Peterson, of Homerville, Ga.; George Fritz Jr., of Bloomingdale, Mich.; Tim Wetherbee, of Hammonton, N.J.; Chris Barnhill, of Ivanhoe, N.C.; Steven M. Erickson, of Salem, Ore.; and Rob Dhaliwal, of Lynden, Wash.
Newly appointed alternate producer members are Young Kwun, of Porterville, Calif.; Janet B. Swilley, of Plant City, Fla.; John V. Bennett, of Alma, Ga.; Robert Carini, of West Olive, Mich.; Dennis G. Doyle, of New Lisbon, N.J.; H. Neil Moore, of Ivanhoe, N.C.; Douglas A. Krahmer, of St. Paul, Ore.; and Bryan Sakuma, of Bow, Wash.
Newly appointed importer members are Brian Bocock, of South Haven, Mich.; Janice Lynn Honigberg, of Chicago, Ill.; and Bo Slack, of Wenatchee, Wash. Newly appointed alternate importer members are Brian Caster, of Salinas, Calif.; Andrew Maiman, of Weston, Fla.; and Thomas H. Bodtke, of South Haven, Mich.
Raymon Biln, of British Columbia, Canada, is the newly appointed exporter member and Parm S. Bains, of British Columbia, Canada, is the newly appointed alternate exporter member.
Guy P. Cotton, of Stockton, Calif., is the newly appointed handler member and Risa Bakker, of Hanford, Calif., is the newly appointed alternate handler member.
Council members and alternates selected by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture administer the program. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provides oversight of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council in accordance with the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996 and the Blueberry Promotion, Research and Information Order. USDA encourages board membership that reflects the diversity of the individuals served by the programs.
Since 1966, Congress has authorized the establishment of 22 research and promotion boards that are industry-funded and empower agricultural industries with a framework to pool resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotion activities. AMS provides oversight, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal responsibility, program efficiency and fair treatment of participating stakeholders.
For more information about research and promotion programs, visit www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/research-promotion.