The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service’s Commodity Roundtable has met in industry settings before, but this was the first time the group, made up of leaders of USDA promotion boards, met at USDA headquarters, according to a news release from the National Watermelon Promotion Board.
The promotion board’s executive director, Mark Arney, is a member and past chairman of the roundtable, which also includes officials from the mango, potato, mushroom, cranberry, avocado, soybean, dairy, peanut, sorghum, pork, cotton, egg, poultry and beef industries.
William Watson, executive director of the Orlando, Fla.-based National Mango Board, is the current manager of the group.
Watson said the group meets twice a year for “problem-solving” meetings that address issues important to members’ organizations.
“Participants share experiences and discuss opportunities in key operating areas such as finance, employee relations, AMS compliance, technology and good governance,” Watson said. “The group is also expanding to include marketing and communications members.”
Attending the meeting in Washington was AMS administrator Anne Alonzo.