Skip to main content

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Appoints New NAREEE Advisory Board Members

WASHINGTON, Dec. 9, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the appointment of nine individuals to serve on the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics (NAREEE) Advisory Board.

The NAREEE Advisory Board advises the Secretary of Agriculture and land-grant colleges and universities on top national priorities and policies for food and agricultural research, education, extension, and economics. The NAREEE Advisory Board's main objective is to contribute to effective federal agricultural research, education and economics programs through broad stakeholder feedback and sound science in its ongoing role as advisor to the Secretary of Agriculture.

The following members have been appointed to a 3-year term expiring September 30, 2018:

  • Category A. National Farm Organization – Mr. Don Villwock, Farmer, Villwock Farms and President of the Indiana Farm Bureau, Edwardsport, Ind.
  • Category C. Food Animal Commodity Producer – Ms. Wathina Luthi, Farmer/Rancher of Luthi Farms, Gage, Okla.
  • Category I. National Human Health Association – Dr. Patsy Brannon, Professor and Nutritionist at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
  • Category N. Non-Land Grant College or University with a Historic Commitment to Research in Food and Agriculture – Dr. Annette Levi, Professor and Chair, Agricultural Business Department at California State University-Fresno, Fresno, Calif.
  • Category O. Hispanic-Serving Institutions – Dr. Agnes Mojica, Chancellor at the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, San Germán Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Category Q. Transportation of Food and Agricultural Products to domestic and foreign markets – Robert Fay, Vice President of Seminole Gulf Railway LP, Fort Myers, Fla.
  • Category R. Food Retailing and Marketing Interests –Dr. Molly McAdams, President and Co-Founder of Om3, San Antonio, Texas
  • Category S. Food and Fiber Processors – Julia Sabin, Vice President of Industry and Government Affairs of The J.M. Smucker Company, Orville, Ohio
  • Category X. Private Sector Organization involved in International Development – Richard Tracy, Vice President of International Programs, Global Cold Chain Alliance, Alexandria, Va.

Each of the 25 NAREEE Advisory Board members represents a specific category of U.S. agricultural stakeholders as outlined in the 2008 Food, Energy, and Conservation Act. These areas include farming or ranching, food production and processing, forestry research, crop and animal science, land-grant institutions, non-land grant college or university with a historic commitment to research in the food and agricultural sciences, food retailing and marketing, rural economic development, and natural resource and consumer interest groups, among many others. Each member serves a 2-3 year appointment. Terms for members overlap so that approximately one-third of the Board is replaced and/or reappointed each year.

The NAREEE Advisory Board will meet on December 16-18, 2015, in Beltsville, Md., to discuss the food safety and human nutrition programs in the Research, Education, and Economics mission area of USDA. The Board will also hear updates from the REE agencies.

For additional information, please contact Michele Esch, Executive Director, NAREEE Advisory Board, Room 332A, Jamie L. Whitten Building, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-0321, Telephone: 202-720-3684, Fax: 202-720-6199, or e-mail: or visit our website at


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).