Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden has announced the appointment of 20 members to serve on the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers.
The Committee will provide public and industry perspectives on USDA strategies, policies, and programs to capture the many issues relevant to beginning farmers and ranchers including opportunities in local food systems, generational transfers, training and credit.
"The next generation of America's farmers and ranchers are more diverse than ever before, have new market opportunities and continue to bring innovative ideas to the agriculture industry," Harden said.
The individuals selected will serve on the committee through September 2015.
• Chris Beyerhelm, Deputy Administrator for Farm Loan Programs with the Farm Service Agency, Washington, D.C.
• Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant, Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator, University of Illinois Extension
• Dr. Duncan M. Chembezi, Professor and Extension Economist from Alabama A&M University
• Michelle Conner, Owner/Farm Manager of Evandale Farm, LLC, and Beginning Farmer Program Coordinator, Pittsfield, N.H.
• Marcus Creasy, Cow/Calf Producer & Immediate Past President of the Arkansas Cattlemen's Association
• Kole James Fitzpatrick, Regional Technical Assistance Specialist with Intertribal Agriculture Council & Operator of a Small Cow/Calf Ranch, Montana
• Marty Gerencer, Principal/Owner of Morse Marketing Connections, LLC, Michigan
• Timothy M. Gossman, Farm Loan Officer/Senior Vice President, Root River State Bank, Minnesota
• Christopher Holman, Farmer/Owner Operator of Nami Moon Farms, Wisconsin
• Adrienne Farrar Houël, President and CEO of Greater Bridgeport Community Enterprises, Inc., Connecticut
•Dr. Anna J. Jones-Crabtree, Beginning Farmer and Owner/Operator of Vilicus Farms, Montana
• Yani Rose Keo, Executive Director/Co-Founder of the Alliance for Multicultural Community Services and President/Founder of Cambodian Gardens Inc., Texas
• Gary Matteson, VP of Young, Beginning, Small Farmer Programs for the Farm Credit Council, Washington, D.C.
• Maria Miller, Director of Education, National Farmers Union, Colorado
• Julie D. Neill, Owner/Operator of Neill & Sons Dairy, Missouri
• Peter Scheffert, Farm Loan Officer with Farmers State Bank of Hartland, Minnesota
• Jose Antonio Serrano, General Manager of Alba Organics, California
•Dr. Garry Stephenson, Professor/Coordinator of Small Farms Program, Oregon State University
•Dr. Jennifer Elaine Taylor, Coordinator of Small Farm Programs from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University
• Windy Mae Van Dam, Dairy Rancher/Former Operator of 2 B Dairy and Director, Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory Board, California
The committee's upcoming meeting will be announced in the Federal Register prior to the meeting and will include the meeting date, details and topics for discussion. Information will also be available on the committee's website.