Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman has appointed eight producer members, eight alternate producer members, three importer members and three alternate importer members to serve on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's new Hass Avocado Board.

“I am pleased these individuals have agreed to serve on the Hass Avocado Board,” said Veneman. “They bring a great deal of knowledge and experience to this board.”

The board will administer the Hass Avocado Promotion, Research and Information Order under the supervision of USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service. The order, which became effective Sept. 9, 2002, authorizes the industry board to conduct a coordinated program of promotion, research and information in order to maintain and expand the market for Hass avocados.

The newly appointed members will serve their initial terms beginning immediately.

Appointed to two-year terms are: producer members Robert Bednar of Valley Center, Calif., George H. Barnes of Valley Center, Calif., and James P. Finch of Ojai, Calif.; producer alternates; Ralph De Leon of Santa Paula, Calif., Robert J. Perry of Somis, Calif., and Donna Singmaster of Fallbrook, Calif.; importer member Eric R. Crawford of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; and importer alternate Daniel McGrath of Ventura, Calif.

Appointed to three-year terms are: producer members Mark C. Borchard of Somis, Calif., Alva V. Snider of Fallbrook, Calif., and H. Leonard Francis of San Marcos, Calif.; producer alternates Paul J. Foley Jr. of Carpinteria, Calif., Robert J. Flack of Newport Beach, Calif., and Thomas P. Markle of Escondido, Calif.; importer member James M. De Malo of Cherry Hill, N.J; and importer alternate Luke G. Sears of Bronxville, N.Y.

Appointed to four-year terms are: producer members Charles J. Wolk Jr. of Fallbrook, Calif., and Scott A. McIntyre of Temecula, Calif.; producer alternates Giovanni P. Cavaletto of Fallbrook, Calif., and Donald W. Reeder of Ventura, Calif.; importer member Eduardo E. Figuero of Massapequa, N.Y.; and importer alternate Michael A. Browne of Somis, Calif.

Assessment obligations under the program began on Jan. 2, 2003.