Voting will begin January 31 to select one independent grower member and alternate and two independent handler members and alternates to serve as directors for the Almond Board of California (ABC) during the 2008-2009 crop year. The ABC Board of Directors’ term of office begins March 1, 2008.

Candidates for the independent grower positions are:

Position One, Member (One year term): David Arakelian, Livingston (petitioner)

Position One, Alternate: Brad Klump, Escalon (petitioner)

Candidates for the independent handler positions are:

Position One, Member (Three year term): Dave Phippen, Ripon (petitioner)

Position One, Alternate: Ron Fisher, Modesto (petitioner)

Position Three, Member (one year term): Keith Rigg, LeGrand (incumbent)

Position Three, Alternate: Dean Nelson, Kerman (petitioner)

Ballots and instructions will be mailed to those independent growers and handlers whose names are on file with ABC. If an independent grower or handler does not receive a ballot, one may be obtained from the ABC office at 1150 Ninth Street, Suite 1500, Modesto, Calif., 95354. Ballots must be received no later than February 15, 2008, in order to be counted. Additional election information may be obtained by contacting Sue Olson at (209) 343-3224.

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 and food safety.

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.