MODESTO, Calif. - The Almond Board of California (ABC) announced Jan. 20, 2005 as the deadline for filing nomination petitions for election to the ABC Board of Directors.

As a governing body for the industry, the ABC Board of Directors is comprised of five handler and five grower representatives who set policy and recommend budgets in several major areas including: production research, public relations and advertising, nutrition research, statistical reporting, quality control, food quality and food safety.

Independent almond growers interested in seeking nomination to the 10-member board must submit a petition signed by at least 15 independent almond growers by Jan. 20.

There is one independent grower member and one alternate grower member position available for election. The petition should state the specific position the candidate is seeking (member or alternate). Petitions must be filed at the ABC office located at 1150 9th Street, Suite 1500, Modesto, CA 95354-0845, by close of business on Jan. 20.

Also open for nomination is one independent almond handler member and one alternate handler member position. A handler must declare in writing his or her candidacy to the board no later than Jan. 20 to have his or her name appear on the ballot.

Cooperative almond handler member and alternate positions and cooperative grower member and alternate positions are also up for nomination. These positions will be selected through their cooperative association.

The Almond Board of California administers a grower-enacted federal marketing order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. Established in 1950, the board's charge is to promote the best quality almonds, California's largest tree nut crop. For more information on the Almond Board of California visit www.AlmondBoard.com.

The United States Department of Agriculture, which oversees federal marketing orders, would like to enhance the diversity of the Almond Board and is encouraging all eligible women, minorities and people with disabilities to consider running for a position on the board.

To obtain petition submission instructions or for further information on election procedures, individuals should contact Merle Jacobs at (209) 343-3222 or mjacobs@almondboard.com.