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Minn. organic task force seeks eight members

ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is seeking members to fill eight scheduled vacancies on the Minnesota Organic Advisory Task Force. Authorized by Minnesota Statute, the task force advises the Commissioner of Agriculture and the University of Minnesota about policies and programs that will improve organic agriculture in the state.

Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson says this growing agriculture and food sector needs and deserves support from public institutions like the Department of Agriculture and the University.

"Consumer demand for organic food and other products is surging," Frederickson said. "We need task force members who will share their ideas and opinions on ways we can help Minnesota's organic farmers and processors meet that demand."

Members from the following categories or sectors are needed:

Two farmers using organic agriculture methods; one organic processor; one organic wholesaler and/or distributor of organic products; one member of the University of Minnesota faculty; one member representing a nonprofit producer organization; one member representing the interests of the public; and, one member representing the interests of consumers.

All members must be residents of Minnesota willing to serve a one-year term. Half-day meetings are held three or four times per year; members receive reimbursement for travel.

Task force vacancies are filled through the state's open appointments process. The application form is available online at (click the Open Commissions/Appointments icon) or by calling the Secretary of State's office at 877-551-6767. Applicants should specify the category/sector they represent and submit a cover letter with their applications. The deadline to apply is June 26.