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USDA Announces Plant Variety Protection Board Appointments

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2018 - Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced the appointment of 14 members to serve two-year terms on the Plant Variety Protection Board. Two alternate members were also appointed.

“Innovation in the plant and seed industry has always been vital to agriculture, making it possible for us to meet the needs for food, clothing and other goods that American families, and the world need,” said Secretary Perdue. “With their great experience as farmers and in the plant breeding seed industry, these board members will help continue the tradition of this robust American agricultural sector.”

Newly appointed members are:

Academia Sector Representatives

  • John Beuttenmuller, Greenwood, Fla.
  • Joshua Freeman, Quincy, Fla.
  • Albert Tsui, Pullman, Wash.
  • Katherine White, Detroit, Mich.

Farm Sector Representatives

  • Shannon Douglass, Orland, Calif.
  • Wendell Shauman (Alternate), Kirkwood, Ill.

General Interest Sector Representatives

  • Heidi Nebel, Des Moines, Iowa

Government Sector Representatives

  • Brent Burchett, Frankfort, Ky.
  • John Heaton, Sacramento, Calif.
  • Patrick Kole, Eagle, Idaho
  • James Sutton, Atlanta, Ga.

Seed Industry Sector Representatives

  • Eloy Corona, Research Triangle Park, N.C.
  • John Duesing, Johnston, Iowa
  • Kelly Keithly, Yuma, Ariz.
  • Stevan Madjarac, Chesterfield, Mo.
  • Charles Brown (Alternate), Bay City, Wis.

The Plant Variety Protection Act secures intellectual property rights for developers of new varieties of plants. The board members represent farmers, seed industry, trade and professional associations, and public and private research institutions.

More information about the board is available on the Plant Variety Protection Board page on the AMS website.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.