Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue last week announced the appointment of 25 members of the recently reestablished Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (FVIAC). The newly appointed members will serve terms of up to two years beginning immediately and ending in 2020.
We caught up with one of those appointees, Tommy Wilkins of Grow Farms Texas, at the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit Show in Orlando to talk about the committee for this report that first aired on our broadcast partner The RFD-TV Network.
“This is a strong group representing a cross section of the fruit and vegetable industry,” said Perdue. “I look forward to having them as a resource for feedback and firsthand information to help us better understand the impact of USDA programs on farmers, ranchers, packagers, shippers and everyone involved in bringing quality food to American families and exporting American-grown products around the world,” said Perdue.
Originally chartered in 2001, the FVIAC advises the Secretary of Agriculture on issues affecting the fruit and vegetable industry. Committee members represent organic and non-organic growers, shippers, wholesalers, retailers, industry trade associations, importers, processors, foodservice suppliers, food brokers, state departments of agriculture and farmers markets; and represent local, regional and national levels. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) ensures the committee is administered according to the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
The committee members are:
- David K. Bell, Cherryfield Foods Inc. Farm/Maine Wild Blueberry Company, Cherryfield and Machias, Maine
- Richard E. Bowman, JJ Family of Farms, Loxahatchee, Fla.
- Chalmers R. Carr III, Titan Farms LLC, Ridge Spring, S.C.
- John Chandler, Chandler Farms L.P., Selma, Calif.
- Kristine (Tina) Ellor, Phillips Mushroom Farms L.P., Kennett Square, Penn.
- Kelly Carl (KC) Ely, FreshPoint, Oklahoma City, Okla.
- Bret Erickson, J&D Produce, Edinburg, Texas
- Molly Gleason, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Springfield, Ill.
- Julie L. Gordon, Cherry Marketing Institute, Dewitt, Mich.
- Kiley Harper-Larsen, NK Lago Farms LLC, Pahokee, Fla.
- Jeffrey Huckaby, Grimmway Enterprises Inc., Bakersfield, Calif.
- Michael Janis, San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market, San Francisco, Calif.
- Brian Kirschenmann, Kirschenmann Farms Inc., Bakersfield, Calif.
- Tom Lipetzky, Colorado Department of Agriculture, Broomfield, Colo.
- Paul Palmby, Seneca Foods Corporation, Janesville, Wis.
- Luis A. Pérez-Codina, Liaison CAN/US Logistics dba Can/US Fresh, Miami, Fla.
- Kelly Powell-McIver, North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission, Benson, N.C.
- Reade Sievert, Associated Wholesale Grocers, Kansas City, Kan.
- Steve Smith, Red Gold Inc., Elwood, Ind.
- Harry (Bruce) Talbott, Talbott’s Mountain Gold LLLP, Palisade, Colo.
- Lawrence (Greg) Tison, Jacksonville Farmers Market, Jacksonville, Fla.
- Derrin Wheeler, MBG Marketing, Alma, Ga.
- Tommy Wilkins, Grow Farms Texas, Donna, Texas
- Charles A. Wingard, Walter P. Rawl & Sons, Pelion, S.C.
- Donn Zea, California Dried Plum Board/Prune Marketing Committee, Roseville, Calif.