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USDA Wants YOU to Serve on a Board, Committee or Council

Posted by Dr. Melissa R. Bailey, AMS Fruit and Vegetable Program Associate Deputy Administrator in Food and Nutrition
Feb 21, 2017
Industry representative Katie Swinson enjoying her time in a peanut field in Duplin County, N.C.
Industry representative Katie Swinson enjoys her time in a peanut field in Duplin County, N.C., a major area for peanut production.

Why does someone choose to serve on a USDA board?  To find out, we asked several members of one important board that very question.

The Peanut Standards Board, which is overseen by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), was created by Congress to establish quality and handling standards for peanuts sold in the marketplace. Peanuts are an important agricultural commodity. According to the American Peanut Council, U.S. peanut farmers produce around 1.9 million tons of peanuts annually on approximately 1.44 million acres. In 2014 American peanut production generated an estimated $1.1 billion in revenue (NASS).   Peanut quality affects the entire industry and the Peanut Standards Board is comprised of a mix of producers and industry representatives covering the entire supply chain. This means peanut farmers, manufacturers, shellers, importers, and their representatives are all welcome to serve.

For Katie Swinson, an industry representative from North Carolina’s Golden Grove Peanut Co., serving on the board offered a chance to be more involved with the peanut industry as a whole. “In my position, I utilize the peanut standards on a daily basis and knew that I would be a valuable asset for the board,” said Swinson. “Serving on this board has solidified my belief that the entire peanut industry is united in the effort to support the growth of the industry. Any new member can look forward to a positive experience working with people from all over the country, voicing their concerns to raise awareness of issues the industry is facing.”

Shelly Nutt accepted the call to serve on the board when a spot opened up for a candidate from the southwest. As the executive director for the Texas Peanut Producers Board, she regularly represents peanut farmers, communicating the need for the state department of agriculture to address issues the industry is facing. This background came in handy when the board looked at changing the current peanut standards. “I had to learn the current standards and see how the industry would respond to the proposed changes,” said Nutt. “I had to make a whole bunch of calls to peanut shellers all over Texas. Serving on the board gives me a chance to communicate.”

The Peanut Standards Board is one of the many ways that AMS supports the agriculture industry. As the Aug. 24, 2015 deadline to apply for open positions on the Peanut Standards Board approaches, we encourage industry members to nominate themselves or other candidates to serve.

AMS is driven to recruit and hire new and diverse talent for our boards and also into our workforce. Many USDA boards and committees have open positions. Whether you want to serve on one of our advisory boards and councils, marketing order boards and committees, or our research and promotion boards, there are plenty of ways for you to support your industry.

Category/Topic: Food and Nutrition

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Bill Nash
Aug 20, 2015

I would be happy to serve in any position needed involving the goat or poultry industry.

Ruth Winter
Aug 20, 2015

I'm willing to serve on any committee that serves the media. I know nothing about peanute but a lot about public interest.


Robin Phillips
Aug 20, 2015

I have a culinary degree and am passionate about good food, health and children. I would love to be a part of any and all committees.

Aug 20, 2015

I would like to serve on Food & Nutrition, Federal Advisory Boards or Councils and Advisory Boards that are involved w/ Cooperate Farms that directly provide food for the poor in inner cities and rural under served area. I would also like to be involved w/ education about farming and conservation.

Gerald Young
Aug 20, 2015

Maybe imissed it but there are no links if you want to serve or how to contactthe right department, please provide addition info, thanks

Austin E. Nixon
Aug 20, 2015

I would be interested in serving on the new marketing order for Pecans. I have 42 years working in the pecan shelling industry and working with pecan growers from Georgia to Arizona. I am currently General Manager of Navarro Pecan Co., Inc. in Corsicana, Texas.

Elvrine Chow
Aug 20, 2015

I would be interested in knowing about boards or committees in Hawaii where I live.

gretchen maine
Aug 20, 2015

USDA wants me to serve on a board? Why is it that dairy farmers can't get through to anyone at USDA, never mind serve on a board. We are not asked to serve on a board. Heck, whenever we want to be heard by anyone at USDA, we are totally shut out. What about that?

Elvira Lo
Aug 20, 2015

I have been in the food industry for over 25 years, and was the past president of Hawaii food manufacturer' association, I have various experience in international and domestic trade shows, and would like to serve on the "trade" committee.

Marlene Hollick, Ed.D., M.P.H, R.D.
Aug 20, 2015

I'd like to serve on public health or food & nutrition advisory boards or councils.

Aug 21, 2015

I'am ready to serve in any position and in any country and to be involved in any committee/board mainly in the feed industry.

Aug 21, 2015

I would be interested in knowing about boards, councils or committees in Hawaii where I live.

matthew J Canaday
Aug 21, 2015

If there is a board that has coffee- i'd like to join or serve

Noole Mass
Aug 22, 2015

Wouldn't mind serving on a Board, Committee or Council though my area of agriculture is dairy. Just need more information on this Board, Committee or Council.