By STEVE BROWN
Representatives of the new Processed Raspberry Council, a national group that has been in the works for several years, will have its first meeting in mid-May.
Tom Peerbolt, research coordinator for the Washington Red Raspberry Commission, said the state commission's strategic marketing plan will be considered as a foundation for the new council's program. Growers in Washington state produce most of the processing raspberries in the country.
Other items for consideration at the initial board meeting include:
* Election of board officers.
* Assessment policies, including whether to assess the 2012 domestic crop, when to begin assessing imports and whether to use the USDA to track imports and invoice importers or to pay to have the port collect.
* Prepare bylaws, policies, procedures, a pro forma budget for projected income and uses and a program outline.
* Establish committees for budget/finance, marketing, research and executive.
* Consider one at-large member and alternate.
* USDA guidelines.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack appointed 23 representatives to serve on the council. Members and their alternates will serve staggered terms of two or three years on the council.
Six members and their alternates will represent states producing a minimum of 3 million pounds of raspberries for processing.
Appointed were Washington producers Brad Rader, John Clark, Rolf Haugen, Adam Enfield and Ravinder Dhaliwal and Oregon producer Jerry Stratton. Alternates are Jonathan Maberry, Frank DeVries, Mark Van Mersbergen, Jon Cotton and Erin Thoeny for Washington and Donald Sturm for Oregon.
Producer Hector Lujan and alternate Michael Christensen will represent states producing less than 3 million pounds of raspberries for processing.
Additional appointments include importer members Karen Holzberg, Eric Larson and Jennifer Ryan and alternates William F. Beadle and Giulia Tanghetti; and foreign producer members Antonio Dominquez and Suzxhivinder Kahlon and alternates Gonzalo Bachelet and Arvinder Neger.
USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service will provide oversight, in accordance with the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996 and the Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research and Information Order.