Members Named to Seven Agricultural Trade Advisory Committees

June 30, 2015   |   News Release

Contact: USDA Office of Communications (202) 720-4623

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2015 – U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and United States Trade Representative Michael Froman today announced the appointment of 129 private-sector members to the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) and six Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees (ATACs).

“USDA and USTR rely on the individuals who serve on these committees to provide their expert advice on U.S. trade policy and priorities,” said Vilsack. “They are an invaluable asset as we work to enact trade agreements and trade policies that deliver the greatest economic benefit for U.S. agriculture and for our nation as a whole,” Vilsack said. “The last six years have been the strongest in history for U.S. agricultural exports, with international sales of American farm and food exports totaling $771.7 billion. Those exports now support more than a million quality American jobs. As we negotiate new trade agreements in Asia and Europe we will rely on APAC and ATAC members’ expertise and knowledge to bring home the best possible deals.”

"The strength of our trade agenda is dependent on the advice and counsel we receive from our trade advisors,” said Froman. “And, now is more important than ever as we pursue the most ambitious trade agenda ever for America’s farmers, ranchers and businesses of all sizes. The individuals we are appointing today represent one of the most important sectors to America’s export economy and will provide critical advice as we negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and work to expand export opportunities for American agriculture."
Congress established the advisory committee system in 1974 to ensure a private-sector voice in establishing U.S. agricultural trade policy objectives to reflect U.S. commercial and economic interests. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative jointly manage the committees. 

The APAC provides advice and information to the Secretary of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative on the administration of trade policy, including enforcement of existing trade agreements and negotiating objectives for new trade agreements. The ATACs offer technical advice and information about specific commodities and products. 

This group of committee members will serve until June 15, 2019. They will be supplemented by additional appointments over the next four years. Applications are encouraged at any time and will be reviewed periodically for additional appointments. A complete list of committee members and information about applying is available at Questions may be sent via e-mail to

Appointees, by committee, are as follows:

Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee 

Gary Adams – National Cotton Council of America
Cynthia Allen – Allen Farms
Dale Artho – Dale and Kathy Artho Farms
Carlos Ayala – Perdue Foods, LLC
Steve Baccus – Baccus Farms, Inc.
Laura Batcha – Organic Trade Association
Devry Boughner – Cargill, Inc.
L. Dow Brantley, III – Brantley Farming Co.
Jon Caspers – National Pork Producers Council
Stephen L. Censky – American Soybean Association
Annie W. Durbin – U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council
Marsha A. Echols – World Food Law Institute
Jerry Flint – DuPont Pioneer
Nancy E. Foster – National Renderers Association
Hezekiah Gibson – United Farmers USA/Gibson Farm
Earnest Chandler Goule – National Farmers Union
Thomas A. Hammer – National Oilseed Processors Association
Shannon S.S. Herzfeld – Archer Daniels Midland Company
Robert P. Koch – Wine Institute
Elmira Mangum – Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Brenda N. Morris – Morris Farms, LLC
Daniel D. Moss – Moss Ag and Arrowhead Potato Company
Thomas A. Nassif – Western Growers
Christian E. Schlect – Northwest Horticultural Council
Philip M. Seng – U.S. Meat Export Federation
Joseph Steinkamp – Steinkamp Farms, Inc.
Thomas E. Stenzel – United Fresh Produce Association
Reneé Toussaint-Strickland – Strickland Ranch and Exports, Inc.
Michael Stuart     – Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association
Thomas M. Suber – U.S. Dairy Export Council
James H. Sumner – USA Poultry and Egg Export Council
Rayne Thompson – Sunkist Growers
Alan T. Tracy – U.S. Wheat Associates, Inc.
Larry B. Wooten – North Carolina Farm Bureau

Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Animals and Animal Products

Kurt L. Brandt – United Food and Commercial Workers International Union
Tracy L. Brunner – Cow Camp, Inc.
Jaime A. Castaneda – National Milk Producers Federation
Anthony E. Clayton – Clayton Agri-Marketing, Inc.
Steven L. Foglesong – Black Gold Ranch and Feedlot
Thad Lively – U.S. Meat Export Federation
James Robert McCan – McFaddin Enterprises
Todd Menotti – Tyson Foods, Inc.
Lisa Wallenda Picard – National Turkey Federation
Don Shawcroft – John B. Shawcroft Ranches, LLLP
Hal Shenson – Nature’s SunGrown Foods, Inc.
Dennis Stiffler – Mountain States Rosen
Peter Tabor – Pet Food Institute
John J. Wilson – Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.

Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Fruits and Vegetables

Julie Adams – Almond Board of California
Reginald Brown – Florida Tomato Exchange
James R. Cranney, Jr. – California Citrus Quality Council
John Foster – Earthbound Farm 
Robert Guenther – United Fresh Produce Association 
Matt Harris – Washington State Potato Commission
Richard Hudgins – California Canning Peach Association 
Randy Hudson – National Pecan Growers Council
Marcy L. Martin – California Fresh Fruit Association
Ken Melban – California Avocado Commission
Mike Montna – California Tomato Growers Association
Dale Murden – Texas Citrus Mutual
Joel Nelsen – California Citrus Mutual 
Shannen Nettleton – Seneca Foods
Jim A. Zion – Meridian Growers, LLC

Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Grains, Feed, Oilseeds and Planting Seeds

Stan Baker – Baker Seed Technologies, Inc.
Rebecca Bratter –U.S. Dry Bean Council
Lynn Clarkson – Clarkson Grain Company, Inc.
Sharon L. Covert – Illinois Soybean Association
Robert E. Cummings, Jr. – USA Rice Federation
Dennis DeLaughter – U.S. Rice Producers Association 
Neal H. Fisher – North Dakota Wheat Commission
Ron Gray – Gray Farms, Inc.
Craig Hill – Iowa Farm Bureau
William Hoffman – Hoffman Farms
Donald E. Latham – United Soybean Board
Karen Lowe – CoBank, ACB
Michael D. Nichols – Nichols Family Farms, LLC
J. Steve Peirce, Jr. – RIBUS, Inc.
Bernice Slutsky – American Seed Trade Association
Larry David Stenberg – DOW AgroSciences
Matt Stutzman – Stutzman Farms, Inc.
Ron Suppes – Suppes Farms
Rodney W. Van Orman – Anderson Hay and Grain Co., Inc.
Gary Wertish – Minnesota Farmer’s Union

Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Processed Foods

Robert B. Anderson – Organic Trade Association
Robert Bauer – Association of Food Industries
Muhammad M. Chaudry – Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America
George R. Davis – Porter Creek Vineyards
Thomas S. Gellert – Cheese Importers Association of America
Barbara Gilbert – United Food and Commercial Workers International Union
Ann Grappin – American Potato Trade Alliance 
Tim Hamilton – Food Export Association of the Midwest USA/Food Export USA Northeast
Lisa Hill – Ocean Spray International Services, Inc.
Karen S. Horan – National Confectioners Association
Tom LaFaille – Wine Institute 
Christine LoCascio – Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, Inc.
David McCaleb – Brewers Association
John McDermid – PepsiCo
Bill J. McFarland – Musco Family Olive Company
Autumn V. Price – Land O’Lakes 
Melissa San Miguel – Grocery Manufacturers Association
Paul Schiefer – Amy’s Kitchen
Kelly Shea – The WhiteWave Foods Company
Ron Tanner – Specialty Food Association
Sue Taylor – Leprino Foods
Peter Thornton – North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Bernadette M. Wiltz – Southern United States Trade Association

Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Sweeteners and Sweetener Products
Perry J. Cerminara – The Hershey Company
Arnold Coombs – Bascom Family Farms
Thomas Earley – Agralytica, Inc.
Patrick Henneberry – Imperial Sugar Company
Roland E. Hoch – Global Organics Ltd.
James W. Johnson, Jr. – U.S. Beet Sugar Association
Keith Krause – McKee Foods Corporation
Luther Markwart – American Sugar Beet Growers Association 
Kevin Price – American Crystal Sugar Company
Jim Simon – American Sugar Cane League of the USA, Inc. 
Ryan Weston – Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company 
John Yonover – Indiana Sugars, Inc.

Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Tobacco, Cotton and Peanuts 

T. Patrick Archer – American Peanut Council
Michelle Huffman – National Cotton Council of America
Don Koehler – Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Peanuts
Monique Muggli – Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids 
Richard Pasco – American Peanut Product Manufacturers, Inc.
Evans J. Plowden, Jr. – American Peanut Shellers Association
Roger F. Quarles – Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association
J. Michael Quinn – Carolinas Cotton Growers Cooperative, Inc.
Harvey Schroeder – Oklahoma Cotton Council 
Sledge Taylor – Buckeye Farms
Randy Veach – Arkansas Farm Bureau 


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