Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner has announced the appointment of 17 members and 17 alternate members to the Cotton Board, as well as one vacant alternate member position in Mississippi created by a resignation.

The Cotton Board now consists of 37 representatives of cotton producers and importers, their alternates and one consumer advisor. The members and alternates named will serve a three-year term, ending Dec. 31, 2010.

The re-appointed members are: V. Larkin Martin, Courtland, Ala.; Van F. Murphy, Quitman, Ga.; Jimmie G. Johnson, Vanduser, Mo.; Robert D. Robbins, Altus, Okla.; Arthur W. James, Jr., Sumter, S.C.; Willie L. German, Somerville, Tenn.; Jackie L. Burris, Wellman, Texas; Craig D. Shook, Corpus Christi, Texas; Kenneth W. Dierschke, San Angelo, Texas; Nancy A. Marino, Upper Brookville, N.Y.; Werner Bieri. Maysville, Ga.; John D. Clark, Los Angeles, Calif.; Yvonne M. Anderson, Minneapolis, Minn.; A. Mark Neuman, Champaign, Ill.; and Peter M. McGrath, Plano, Texas.

The re-appointed alternate members are: Walter L. Corcoran, Jr., Eufaula, Ala.; Richard L. Moss, Doeryn, Ga.; Edward E. Dement, Sikeston, Mo.; Robert H. Miller, Wellington, Kan.; Dale W. Player, Bishopville, S.C.; Larry W. Rice, Covington, Tenn.; Debra R. Barrett, Edroy, Texas; Jeffery T. Posey, Roby, Texas; Arlene M. Eastwood, Jackson, N.J.; and Linda G. Tipton, Bella Vista, Ark.

The newly appointed board members are: Dwight W. Menefee, Lake Arthur, N.M.; and Gary E. Ross, Yardley, Pa.

The newly appointed alternate members are: Jack L. Joy, Artesia, N.M.; Madison Farmer, Lamesa, Texas; June M. Sassler, Parkton, Md.; Scott D. Hyatt, New York, N.Y.; Sarah F. Kay, Charlotte, N.C.; Helga L. Ying, Piedmont, Calif.; and Kristin H. Hughes, San Francisco, Calif.

Mike P. Sturdivant, Jr., Itta Bena, Miss., was appointed to fill the Mississippi alternate member vacancy created by a resignation.

The cotton research and promotion program is designed to advance the position of cotton in the marketplace. It is funded by assessments on all domestically produced cotton and imports of foreign-produced cotton and cotton-containing products, and is authorized by the Cotton Research and Promotion Act of 1966. USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service monitors the program.

More information about USDA programs is available at www.usda.gov.