USDA Appoints Advisory Board

Committee makes recommendations on ways to help beginning farmers and ranchers.

The 20-member Beginning and Ranchers Advisory Committee was named this week. The committee is made up of seven new members and 13 reappointments. Set up by the Agricultural Credit Improvement Act of 1992, the committee suggests ways to help beginning farmers and ranchers and identifies ways to provide joint financing using federal and state programs.

"I was pleased to meet with committee members in July, and I appreciate their work to strengthen support of beginning farmers and ranchers," says acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner. "As the Administration's proposals for the 2007 Farm Bill demonstrate, helping beginning farmers and ranchers is a priority. I look forward to working together with this diverse, skilled team to build a strong future for our next generation of farmers and ranchers."

Committee members serve two-year terms and can be reappointed for up to six consecutive years. The makeup of the board is required to include representatives from state beginning farmer programs; educational institutions; lending institutions; nonprofit organizations; USDA's Farm Service Agency; the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service; as well as farmers and ranchers.

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