United Fresh Trio Tapped for USDA Committees
United Fresh’s president and CEO, Tom Stenzel, along with SVP of Food Safety and Technology Dave Gombas and SVP of Public Policy Robert Guenther, have been appointed by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to serve on federal agriculture advisory committees.
Stenzel is one of 34 members of the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC), which will advise the secretary of agriculture and U.S. trade representative on the administration of policy, including the enforcement of existing trade agreements and negotiating objectives for new trade pacts.
Guenther serves on the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) for Trade in Fruits and Vegetables, one of six technical committees that provide counsel on specific commodities and products.
Gombas is a member of the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods, which provides impartial, scientific advice to federal food safety agencies.
Noting that international sales of American farm and food exports over the past six years were the strongest in history – totaling $771.7 billion – Vilsack considered committee appointees "an invaluable asset representing one of the most important sectors to America's export economy, whose expertise and knowledge will be relied upon to bring home the best possible trade deals."
In addition, representatives from several United Fresh member organizations have been named to USDA's advisory committees on trade policy, fruits and vegetables, and grains, including:
Almond Board of California, Julie Adams
California Avocado Commission, Ken Melban
California Citrus Mutual, Joel Nelsen
California Citrus Quality Council, James Cranney Jr.
California Fresh Fruit Association, Marcy Martin
CoBank, ACB Karen Lowe
Earthbound Farm, John Foster
Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, Michael Stuart
Florida Tomato Exchange, Reginald Brown
North Carolina Farm Bureau, Larry Wooten
Northwest Horticultural Council, Christian Schlect
Sunkist Growers, Rayne Thompson
Texas Citrus Mutual, Dale Murden
Washington State Potato Commission, Matt Harris
Western Growers Association, Tom Nassif
Established by Congress in 1974, the committees ensure that the private sector has a voice in the development of agricultural trade policy objectives that reflect U.S. commercial and economic interests. Appointee terms last until June 15, 2019.