I like that idea, even it has no chance to be a part of this farm bill. Reserving a part of the funds for the Specialty Crop Block Grants - say 10% of the total pie - for generic promotion would create a viable promotion program would have sufficient money to make a credible impact in the market.
The funds from the block grant program should be matched with assessments on the industry to create a feeling of shared investment by the trade.
The time will eventually be right for this idea. If not 2012, then let the 2017 farm bill be the vehicle for a federally funded national generic promotion plan for fruits and vegetables.
Speaking of promotion orders, do you remember the USDA approved promotion plan for Christmas trees that was nixed amidst much disinformation about the “Christmas tree tax” late last year? I recently talked with an Oregon Christmas tree farmer who is anxious for the Obama Administration proceed with the promotion order.
Unfortunately for that grower, I would say that outcome is not likely. . President Obama’s presidential advisers aren’t likely to allow him to get dinged again as a Grinch on the same issue. The Christmas tree promotion plan will be in limbo until after the election and perhaps beyond.