ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, U.S. — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman on June 26 appointed Gina Tumbarello, American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), director of international policy and trade, to the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Grains, Feed, Oilseed and Planting. 

Tumbarello was one of 19 new appointees to six agricultural trade advisory committees. 

"International trade policy is a growing sector in the feed industry, and agriculture as a whole. Last year alone, the feed industry exported some $9 billion in products, and the average annual growth rate over the last 10 years was almost 14%," said Richard Sellers, AFIA senior vice-president of legislative and regulatory affairs. "Gina leads AFIA's development of key trade issues for the global feed industry and we are pleased that she will now serve as an advisor on related topics to Secretary Vilsack and Ambassador Froman."

The advisory committee system was established by Congress in 1974 for U.S. agricultural trade policy objectives to reflect those of the U.S. commercial and economic interests. The U.S. Department of Agriculture along with the U.S. Trade Representative manage the committees, which sole purpose is to provide advice and information on negotiating objectives and positions. 

"The agricultural trade advisory committees provide great insight into trade issues for the United States. Hearing from such a wide variety of agricultural experts helps us formulate our trade strategy and keep American exports growing to record numbers," Vilsack said in a USDA statement. "Agricultural trade plays a vital role in the health of our economy, and the new members of the committees will bring welcome new perspectives."

The appointments became effective as of June 15.