Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has announced the appointment of eight members and eight alternate members to the Cotton Board.

The Cotton Board consists of 36 representatives of cotton producers and importers, their alternates and one consumer advisor. The newly-named members and alternates will serve a three-year term, ending Dec. 31, 2009.

The re-appointed members are: Kevin G. Rogers, Mesa, Ariz.; Tom J. Gary, Greenwood, Miss.; Roger L. Blackwelder, Rotan, Texas; Janet C. Ydavoy, Ft. Myers, Fla.; and Sonja Chapman, Boonton, N.J.

The re-appointed alternate members are: Walter A. Heiden, Arlington, Ariz.; William E. Harris, Benton, Miss.; and Carlos F.J. Moore, Naples, Fla.

The newly appointed board members are: James M. Lucas, Chester, Ga.; Mark D. Williams, Farwell, Texas; and Anderson D. Warlick, Gastonia, N.C.

The newly appointed alternate members are: Benjamin O. Boyd, Sylvania, Ga.; Randy L. Braden, Midland, Texas; Linda F. Taylor, Wolfforth, Texas; Robert J. Mele, Cherry Hill, N.J.; and Teresa M. Nersesyan, Long Beach, Calif.

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 http://www.usda.gov/.