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Notice

Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee

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AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice of public meeting.

SUMMARY:

The purpose of this notice is to notify all interested parties that the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will hold a Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (Committee) meeting that is open to the public. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) established the Committee to examine the full spectrum of issues faced by the fruit and vegetable industry and to provide suggestions and ideas to the Secretary of Agriculture on how USDA can tailor its programs to meet the fruit and vegetable industry's needs. This notice sets forth the schedule and location for the meeting.

DATES:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesday, February 25, 2009, from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.

ADDRESSES:

The first day of the Committee meeting will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1480 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202, and the second day will be held at the USDA South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 3501-S, Washington, DC 20250.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Andrew Hatch, Designated Federal Official, USDA, AMS, Fruit and Vegetable Programs. Telephone: (202) 690-0182. Facsimile: (202) 720-0016. E-mail: andrew.hatch@usda.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (5 U.S.C. App. II), the Secretary of Agriculture established the Committee in August 2001 to examine the full spectrum of issues faced by the fruit and vegetable industry and to provide suggestions and ideas to the Secretary on how USDA can tailor its programs to meet the fruit and vegetable industry's needs. The Committee was re-chartered in July 2003, June 2005 and again in May 2007 with new members appointed by USDA from industry nominations. This is the Committee's final meeting under the current 2-year charter.

AMS Deputy Administrator for Fruit and Vegetable Programs, Robert C. Keeney, serves as the Committee's Executive Secretary. Representatives from USDA mission areas and other government agencies affecting the fruit and vegetable industry will be called upon to participate in the Committee's meetings as determined by the Committee Chairperson. AMS is giving notice of the Committee meeting to the public so that they may attend and present their recommendations. Reference the date and address section of this announcement for the time and place of the meeting.

Topics of discussion at the Committee meeting will include: Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act license fees, labor and immigration legislation, the National Organic Program, and a review of products, including fresh-cut items, that USDA purchases for the National School Lunch Program and other domestic outlets. Additional agenda items can be expected.

Those parties that would like to speak at the meeting should register on or before February 6, 2009. To register as a speaker, please e-mail your name, affiliation, business address, e-mail address, and phone number to Mr. Andrew Hatch at: andrew.hatch@usda.gov or facsimile to (202) 720-0016. Speakers who have registered in advance receive priority. Groups and individuals may submit comments for the Committee's consideration to the same e-mail address. The meeting will be recorded, and information about obtaining a transcript will be provided at the meeting.

The Secretary of Agriculture selected a diverse group of members representing a broad spectrum of persons interested in providing suggestions and ideas on how USDA can tailor its programs to meet the fruit and vegetable industry's needs. Equal opportunity practices were considered in all appointments to the Committee in accordance with USDA policies.

If you require special accommodations, such as a sign language interpreter, please use the contact name listed above.

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Dated: December 10, 2008.

James E. Link,

Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.

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[FR Doc. E8-29657 Filed 12-15-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-02-P