Agriculture Chairwoman Stabenow Applauds Selection of Michigan Members to National Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory CommitteeMonday, July 28, 2014
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today applauded the selection of Diane Smith, Executive Director of the Michigan Apple Committee, and Helen Dietrich of Ridgeview Orchards, to USDA's Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. Overseen by the Agricultural Marketing Service, the Committee is comprised of 25 members and meets twice a year to develop recommendations for the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture on issues affecting our country's produce industry. Michigan is a national leader in agricultural diversity second only to California.
"I am so happy Diane and Helen have been appointed to serve on USDA's Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee," said Stabenow. "From apples, to blueberries, to asparagus, Michigan is a national leader in fruit and vegetable production. Having two women serve on this national committee who understand Michigan's unique and diverse agricultural needs will be critical to the continued success of our fruit and vegetable industry, as well as the success of our local food systems and nutrition programs."
Diane has served in Michigan's apple industry for over 17 years and works for the state's 850 apple growers as Executive Director of the Michigan Apple Committee. Helen's family co-owns and operates Ridgeview Orchards in Conklin where they encourage agriculture insourcing by growing apple slices for McDonald's Happy Meals at store locations in Michigan.
Members of the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee are nominated by their peers and represent all areas of the produce industry. Each member contributes a variety of experiences and perspectives to help USDA identify the effectiveness of its programs and services, including those found in the 2014 Farm Bill.