The recently appointed U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee will meet Sept. 29-30.

The USDA published a notice of the meeting in the Federal Register and said that interested parties who would like to speak at the meeting should register with the agency by Sept. 19. Comments to the committee, questions about the event and requests to speak to the committee can be e-mailed to

The meeting, open to the public, will be at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City Hotel in Arlington, Va., 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 29 and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 30, according to the notice.

The notice said Charles Parrott, AMS Deputy Administrator for the Fruit and Vegetable Program, will serve as the committee’s executive secretary. Agenda items for the September meetings will include welcome and introductions, administrative matters, selection of the committee’s chairman and vice-chairman and discussions of issues facing the fruit and vegetable industry, according to the notice.

The USDA announced the members of the committee in late July after opening up industry nominations in November last year. The committee last met in March 2011.

The following members have committee terms from 2014-2016:


  • Virginia Barnes, Barnes Farm, Hastings, Fla.;
  • Richard Ha Jr., Hamakua Springs Country Farms, Hilo, Hawaii;
  • Ricke Kress, Southern Gardens Citrus, Clewiston, Fla.;
  • Paul Newman, Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers/Columbia Valley Fruit, Wenatchee, and Union Gap, Wash.;
  • Robert Nolan, Deer Run Farms, Brookhaven, N.Y.;
  • Christopher Puentes, Interfresh Inc., Orange, Calif.;
  • Jin Ju Wilder, Valley Fruit and Produce Co., Los Angeles;
  • Vaughn Koligian, Sun-Maid Growers of California, Kingsburg;
  • Diane Smith, Michigan Apple Committee, Lansing, Mich.;
  • Beth Knorr, Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy, Peninsula, Ohio; and
  • Brent Roggie, National Grape Cooperative Association, Westfield, N.Y., and Concord, Mass.



The following have three-year committee terms until 2017:


  • Ben Burkett, B&B Farms, Petal, Miss.;
  • Helen Dietrich, Ridgeview Orchards, Conklin, Mich.;
  • Kristine Ellor, Phillips Mushroom Farms, Kennett Square, Pa.;
  • Richard Hanas, A. Duda and Sons Inc., Oviedo, Fla.;
  • James Alan Johnson, Carzalia Valley Produce, Columbus, N.M.;
  • Lorri Koster, Mann Packing Co., Salinas, Calif.;
  • Jorge Vazquez, Latin Specialties, Houston;
  • Andy Shoemaker, Taylor Fresh Foods, Salinas;
  • David Yanda, Lakeside Foods, Manitowoc, Wis.;
  • Tiffany Boaldin, Golden Eagle Casino-Kickapoo Tribe/Kansas, Horton, Kan.;
  • Thomas Williams, Spartan Nash, Edina, Minn.;
  • Catherine Burns, Produce Marketing Association, Newark, Del.;
  • Carlos Castaneda, Castaneda and Sons, Arroyo Grande, Calif.; and
  • Roland McReynolds, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, Pittsboro, N.C.