The California Pistachio Commission (CPC) unanimously elected Kevin Herman, a pistachio grower from Madera, Calif., to be CPC chairman at the group's recent meeting.

Herman, a third-generation farmer, has been growing pistachios since 1985 and currently manages over 1,400 acres. He also owns the Specialty Crop Co., a farm management company. Herman replaces Brian Blackwell of Pioneer Nursery, who completed his CPC chairmanship after serving four successive years.

In District I (Kern, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Tulare Counties), recently re-elected commissioners are Brian Blackwell (Pioneer Nursery) and Chuck Nichols (Nichols Farms) with Blackwell's alternate, Dave Petersen (Petersen Pistachio Development).

In District II (Fresno, Kings, Madera and Merced Counties), Kevin Herman (Specialty Crop Co.) was re-elected commissioner with alternate Bob Keenan (Keenan Farms).

In District III (Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Glenn, Placer, San Joaquin, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama and Yolo Counties), the recently re-elected commissioner is Dan Hutfless (Ord Bend Farms) with alternate Rick Strain (Strain Orchards). The new board began serving their two-year term July 1.

Continuing their 2003-05 terms on the CPC for District I are commissioners Jeff Gibbons (Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella) and Jeff Yurosek (Yurosek Farms) with Yurosek's alternate, Russ Waymire (Waymire Farms).

District II returning commissioners are Jim Frawley (Paramount Farms) and David Sborov (Golden West Farming Cooperative), with Sborov's alternate, Marvin Scott (El Dorado Pistachio).

The election resulted in three vacant alternate commissioner positions, which were filled at the July 13 meeting. John Starling (Nichols Farms) was appointed alternate to Nichols whereas Dave Szeflin (Paramount Farms) was appointed alternate to Gibbons in District I, and Ron Frye (Cosecha Farms) was appointed alternate to Frawley in District II.

Also, Claudia Sersland was re-appointed as the CPC's public member with William Rice appointed alternate to Sersland.

The 2003 harvest was an “off” year for the alternate-bearing crop with production only reaching 118 million pounds. In contrast, the 2004 harvest is expected to produce another record “on” year crop. The 2002 crop produced a record 302.4 million pounds. Harvest is slated to begin in late August.