Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner has announced the names of members of the new Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. USDA will schedule the committee's first meeting for Jan. 2008 in the Washington, D.C., area.

The 25 members were selected from individuals nominated by their peers. Committee members represent fresh fruit and vegetable growers/shippers, fresh fruit and vegetable wholesalers, retailers, industry trade associations, importers, fruit and vegetable processors, foodservice suppliers, fresh-cut processors, brokers and state departments of agriculture.

Each member is appointed to a two-year term. Fourteen of the members are incumbents from the previous advisory committee.

Originally chartered in 2001, the advisory committee advises the Secretary of Agriculture on issues affecting the fruit and vegetable industry. In May 2007, USDA approved a new two-year charter for this committee. The Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 provides for the establishment and operation of advisory committees within the executive branch of the federal government.

More information about the meeting will be published in the Federal Register and will be available at www.ams.usda.gov/fv. Information also can be obtained by e-mailing robert.keeney@usda.gov or by calling (202) 720-4722. USDA's Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee Members 2007-2009:

Danny Arnold, A-W Produce Company, Texas.

Gordon Bowman, Bowman Apple Products, Virginia.

Wayne Brandt, Brandt Farms, California.

William Brim Lewis, Taylor Farms, Georgia.

Frederick Caito, Caito Foods Service, Indiana.

Charles Ciruli, Jr., Ciruli Brothers/Amex Distributing Company, Arizona.

Jim Corby, Food Lion, North Carolina.

Scott Danner, Liberty Fruit Company, Kansas.

Matthew D'Arrigo, D'Arrigo Brothers, New York.

Andrew Deane, Del Monte Foods, California.

Joseph DeVerna, Ocean Spray, Massachusetts.

Michael Hollister, Driscolls' Inc., California.

A.G. Kawamura, California Department of Food and Agriculture, California.

Helen Masser, Sterman Masser, Inc., Pennsylvania.

Lisa McNeece, Grimmway Enterprises, California.

John Millwater, Fresh Express, Texas.

Luis Monterde, B&M Blueberries, Mississippi.

Robert Morrissey, National Watermelon Association ,Florida.

Paul Newman, Rainier Fruit Company, Washington.

Daniel Richey, Riverfront Growers/Riverfront Packing, Florida.

Mike Stuart, Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, Florida.

Lisa Strube, Strube Celery and Vegetable Company, Illinois.

Jennifer Verdelli, Verdelli Farms, Pennsylvania.

Rebecca Wilson, Tom Lange Company, Illinois.

Larry Yonce, J.W. Yonce and Sons, South Carolina.