Robert Falconer will become executive director of the California Wheat Commission effective May 1, 2008.

Falconer replaces Bonnie Fernandez, who left the commission after 24 years to take a new position with the Center for Produce Safety.

Falconer has been employed for the past 19 years by the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers and currently serves as executive vice president. His duties have included managing the legislative and regulatory program for the association dealing with many quarantine and plant regulatory issues at the state, federal, and international levels.

Falconer has served on several governmental advisory committees including the Light Brown Apple Moth Environmental Task Force and Nursery Pest Advisory Task Force. He is also a member of the Agri-Business Presidents Council and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Coalition for Urban and Rural Environmental Stewardship.

Mike Scriven, chairman of the California Wheat Commission said, “We are very pleased to announce Bob Falconer as the new executive director. We are looking forward to him leading the wheat industry into the next decade, with emphasis on market development, and research and development of new and improved varieties.”

Falconer was raised on a diversified farming operation in Porterville, Calif. and holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences from Fresno State University. He has also held positions with the California Grain and Feed Association and Diamond Walnut Growers.

“California wheat producers are very fortunate to have a resource like the California Wheat Commission,” Falconer said. “I am truly excited to get started working with the board to continue the fine efforts in market access and research the Commission is historically known for. I feel very fortunate stepping into a very successful and accomplished organization following the fine leadership of Bonnie Fernandez.”