WASHINGTON – The US Dept. of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has extended the comment period on the proposed rule to amend orders, rules and regulations regarding 19 of the 22 national commodity research and promotion programs it oversees until Dec. 23, giving stakeholders more time to provide feedback.
The proposed rule, published on Nov. 23, would establish a uniform process for removing members and staff of commodity research and promotion program boards and councils that fail to perform duties or engage in willful misconduct or dishonest actions.
The commodity research and promotion programs are administered by a board or council made up of industry stakeholders appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to record the course of promotion and research activities of their industry. Staff members are hired to run the daily business operations.
USDA oversees program boards and councils, but the members and staff are not USDA employees. The proposed amendments would not keep the boards and councils from carrying out their own removal actions, instead their intent is to strengthen USDA’s ability to support the work of the boards.
The Soybeans, Sorghum and Lamb programs already have standardized protocol for removing personnel. These provisions will remain and act as models for the provisions in the proposed rule.Comments may be submitted online at www.regulations.gov. A copy of the proposed rule is available on the AMS website.