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WASHINGTON -- Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack named 25 committee members Jan. 5 who will advise him on key U.S. Department of Agriculture issues that affect the fruit and vegetable industry.

The new members appointed to the Fruit & Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee represent grower-shippers, wholesalers, retailers, processors, trade associations, importers, foodservice suppliers, brokers and state departments of agriculture.

Secretary Vilsack reauthorized a two-year charter for the Fruit & Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee in March 2009, and the Agricultural Marketing Service collected nominations until July.

Now USDA announced the new members to the committee: Andrea Caroe of EarthClaims LLC in California, Lorna Christie of the Produce Marketing Association in Delaware, Jeremy Gillam of Gillam Farms in Arkansas, Alan Hardison of Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo in California, Michael Hollister of Driscoll Strawberry Associates in California, Edwin Kee of the Delaware Department of Agriculture, Beth Ann Knorr of Countrywide Conservancy in Ohio, Vaughn Koligian of Sun-Maid Growers of California in California, Tom Lovelace of McEntire Produce in South Carolina, Lisa McNeece of Grimmway Enterprises Inc. in California, Guy Moore of Larriland Farms in Maryland, Paul Newman of First Fruits Marketing in Washington, Robert Nolan of Deer Run Farms LLC in New York, Dianne Nury of Vie-Del Co. in California, Michael O'Brien of Schnuck Markets in Missouri, Russell Poore of Poore's Nursery & Farm in Kentucky, Howard Popoola of Topco Inc. in Illinois, Brent Roggie of the National Grape Co-op Association in New York, William Roe III of W.G. Roe & Sons Inc. in Florida, William Smittcamp of Wawona Frozen Foods in California, J. Allen Swann of Swann Farms in Maryland, Maureen Torrey of Torrey Farms in New York, Oscar Vizcarra of Becker Farms in New York, Jennifer (Jin Ju) Wilder of Coast Produce in California and Rebecca Wilson of Tom Lange Co. in Illinois.

Nominated by their peers and appointed for two years, the members have tackled many policy issues over the years, including the farm bill, child nutrition, crop insurance, Perishable Agricultural Committee Act license fees, trade and country-of-origin labeling.

USDA said that in the coming weeks, it would schedule the committee's first meeting for 2010 in the Washington, DC, area.