New ag trade advisory appointments made

Total of 19 new members appointed to provide advice to USTR and USDA on ag trade issues.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman 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 (USDA) and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) 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. I welcome these well-qualified individuals, and look forward to hearing their advice. I also look forward to continued engagement with the public with regard to U.S. agricultural trade policy and how it can continue to benefit American families.”

Since 2009, nearly one-third of U.S. economic growth has been due to exports. In 2013, American exports were a record $2.28 trillion. Agricultural exports alone reached a record $140.9 billion and supported nearly one million jobs in the last fiscal year. The past five years represent the strongest period for U.S. exports in the history of the United States.

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. The Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees offer technical advice and information on specific product sectors.

The new appointments became effective June 15, 2014. 

Newly appointed members by committee are:

Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC)

Name

Organization

Chad Blindauer

Blindauer Farms

Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Animals and Animal Products

Name

Organization

Shelly McKee

USA Poultry and Egg Export Council

David Carter

National Bison Association

Stephen Sothmann

U.S. Hides, Skins and Leather Association

Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Fruits and Vegetables

Name

Organization

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

Name

Organization

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

Name

Organization

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

Name

Organization

Cassandra Kuball

Corn Refiners Association

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