WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The North American Millers' Association (NAMA) announced on Sept. 12 that NAMA President Mary Waters has been named to the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) for Trade in Grains, Feed, Oilseeds and Planting Seeds.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced the appointment this week. The committee will provide technical advice and information in the development and implementation of U.S. agricultural trade policy. Waters will serve on the ATAC until June 9, 2015.

"I am honored to be a member of the ATAC. It is vitally important for the agriculture industry to actively participate in the formation of agricultural trade policy," said Waters. "My participation on the ATAC is another way for NAMA to invest in the future of agriculture."

There are six ATAC’s:

  • Animals and Animal Products;
  • Fruits and Vegetables;
  • Grains, Feed, Oilseeds and Planting Seeds;
  • Processed Foods;
  • Sweeteners and Sweetener Products; and
  • Tobacco, Cotton and Peanuts.

"With U.S. agricultural exports reaching record highs as our farmers and ranchers bring the American brand to more of the world consumers, agricultural trade is demonstrating once again its vital role in the health of our nation's economy," said Vilsack. "Members of these seven committees understand the importance of open markets to the U.S. economy. By serving on these committees, they have the opportunity to provide their expertise and knowledge to deliberations that influence U.S. trade policy, ultimately helping to grow, innovate and out-compete the rest of the world."

Congress established the advisory committee system in 1974 to ensure a private-sector voice in establishing U.S. agricultural trade policy objectives to reflect U.S. commercial and economic interests. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative jointly manage the committees.