The California Walnut Board will conduct its biennial election of walnut growers and handlers statewide to serve as members and alternates for a two-year term from Sept. 1, 2011 to Aug. 31, 2013.

Walnut growers are eligible to petition the California Walnut Board to have the name of a candidate included on the 2011 nomination ballot.

Growers can nominate two members and alternates from the two districts in California, divided along the southern boundaries of San Mateo, Alameda, San Joaquin, Calaveras, and Alpine counties; and one member and alternate at-large to represent the entire state of California.

It takes 10 or more walnut growers who marketed an aggregate of 500 tons or more of walnuts in the 2009-2010 marketing year to petition for a grower’s name to be placed on the nomination ballot. Separate petitions are required for member and alternate positions.

Petition forms will be mailed to all walnut growers in February and should be returned to the California Walnut Board by April 1, 2011. Ballots will be mailed to all growers in April.

The California Walnut Board is the official body that administers the federal marketing order for walnuts and has made a commitment to enhance the diversity of the organization.

The California Walnut Board is working in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to encourage eligible women, minorities, and people with disabilities to serve as board members or alternates.

“The participation of new persons will add valuable perspective to the industry,” said Dennis Balint, executive director of the California Walnut Board.

The Secretary of Agriculture will select the nominees receiving the most votes in each district and at-large for representatives on the California Walnut Board.

Petition forms are available at the California Walnut Board office at 101 Parkshore Drive, Suite 250, Folsom, Calif., 95630 or by calling (916) 932-7070.