US ag secretary names Christmas Tree Promotion Board members

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack appointed four members to serve on the Christmas Tree Promotion Board.

Newly appointed is Charles E. Fowler, of Sylva, N.C., representing Region 3 - Eastern Region, whose term begins immediately and ends Dec. 31, 2017.

Reappointed are Mark A. Steelhammer, of Rochester, Wash., representing Region 1 - Western Region; Rex Korson, of Gowen, Mich., representing Region 2 - Central Region; and James E. Rockis, of Morgantown, W.Va., representing Region 3 - Eastern Region. Each will serve a 3-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2017 and ending Dec. 31, 2019.

Board members selected by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture administer the program. USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provides oversight of the Christmas Tree Promotion Board in accordance with the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 and the Christmas Tree Promotion, Research, and Information Order. USDA encourages board membership that reflects the diversity of the individuals served by the programs.

Since 1966, Congress has authorized the establishment of 22 research and promotion boards that are industry-funded and empower agricultural industries, including the forest products industry, with a framework to pool resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotion activities. AMS provides oversight, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal responsibility, program efficiency and fair treatment of participating stakeholders.

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