Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has appointed 20 members to serve on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Advisory Committee on Emerging Markets for the next two years.

"We appreciate the significant contribution these individuals are making to this committee," said Johanns. "Their expertise and unique knowledge will be instrumental in helping develop new export markets for our farmers and ranchers."

New committee members include: Gary Blumenthal, McLean, Va.; Jeffery Correa, Milwaukee, Ore.; Jorge Cosio, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.; Alexis Ellicott, Washington, D.C.; Peter Guyer, Seattle, Wash.; Keith Heikes, Shawano, Wis.; John Reddington, Washington, D.C.; Dwight Roberts, Houston, Texas; Amy Thompson, Seattle, Wash.; and Mark Yontz, Des Moines, Iowa. They will join the following 10 committee members, who are being reappointed, because their terms have just expired: Julie Adams, Modesto, Calif.; Robert Bignami, Orland, Calif.; Carol Chandler, Selma, Calif.; Howard Gochberg, Grant, Minn.; Edwin Jewett, Jr., Baton Rouge, La.; Mark Kuechler, Spotsylvania, Va.; Jenifer Huang McBeath, Fairbanks, Ala.; George Obernagel, Waterloo, Ill.; John Tarburton, Milton, Del.; and Bonnie Wolfe, Great Falls, Va.

The committee will review funding proposals under the Emerging Markets Program, which is administered by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service. The program supports private and governmental projects to promote U.S. agricultural exports in emerging economies.

The committee will also advise USDA on private-sector efforts to enhance food and rural business systems in developing countries.

Committee members have expertise in international agriculture, trade and marketing, especially as they relate to emerging market economies. They serve without compensation.

For more information on the Emerging Markets Program, contact Nancy Hirschhorn at (202) 720-6896, or by e-mail: emo@fas.usda.gov.

Information on the advisory committee and the Emerging Markets Program is also available on the Web at http://www.fas.usda.gov/mos/em-markets/em-markets.asp.