U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has appointed five members and five alternates to serve on the National Peanut Board.

Members and alternates will serve a three-year term of office beginning Jan. 1, 2012, and ending Dec. 31, 2014.

Newly appointed members representing peanut producers are: Edward E. White, Headland, Ala.; William A. Gwaltney, Jr., Windsor, Va.; and alternate members Tom Corcoran, Eufaula, Ala.; Bob Barnett, O’Brien, Fla.; Mike Steede, Lucedale, Miss.; and Paul Rogers, Wakefield, Va.

Reappointed members include Michael H. Davis, Graceville, Fla.; Don Self, Hamilton, Miss.; Cindy D. Belch, Conway, N.C.; and alternate member Dan Ward, Clarktown, N.C.

“These appointees represent a cross section of the industry, and bring a wealth of diverse perspectives and backgrounds to the board,” said Vilsack. “I am confident peanut producers will be well served by them.”

USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provides oversight of the National Peanut Board in accordance with the Commodity Promotion Research, and Information Act of 1996 and the Peanut Promotion, Research, and Information Order. Under the order, domestic producers pay an assessment at the rate of one percent of the total value of all farmers’ stock peanuts sold.

Research and promotion programs are self-help programs, funded through industry member assessments and administered by board members selected by the Secretary of Agriculture.

They allow commodity groups to conduct promotion, market and production research, and new product development for the benefit of their industries. AMS monitors board operations.

Visit www.ams.usda.gov/FVPromotion for more information about research and promotion programs.