USDA Announces Appointments to the Hass Avocado Board

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the appointment of seven members to the Hass Avocado Board. Appointed are two producer members, two producer alternates, one importer member and one importer alternate to fill three-year terms expiring on October 31, 2025, and one vacant importer alternate seat to fill the remainder of the term which expires on October 31, 2024.

Members and alternates newly appointed to serve are:

  • Bob Schaar, Temecula, California (Producer Member)
  • Elaine Veyna Bannatyne, Fillmore, California (Producer Member)
  • Daniel Harte, Santa Paula, California (Producer Alternate)
  • Rocco Fiore II, Pasadena, California (Alternate Member)
  • Debbie Willmann, Ontario, California (Importer Member)
  • Juan Monsalve, Norwalk, Connecticut (Importer Alternate)
  • Christopher Henry, San Diego, California (Importer Alternate 2-Year Term)

The Hass Avocado Board has 12 members, including seven producer members, two importer members, and three producer or importer members who serve in swing seats. Each member has an alternate.

More information about the board is available on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Hass Avocado Board webpage and on the board’s website

Since 1966, Congress has authorized the development of industry-funded research and promotion boards to provide a framework for agricultural industries to pool their resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets and conduct important research and promotion activities. AMS provides oversight of 22 boards, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.

AMS policy is that diversity of the boards, councils and committees it oversees should reflect the diversity of their industries in terms of the experience of members, methods of production and distribution, marketing strategies and other distinguishing factors, including but not limited to individuals from historically underserved communities, that will bring different perspectives and ideas to the table. Throughout the full nomination process, the industry must conduct extensive outreach, paying particular attention to reaching underserved communities, and consider the diversity of the population served and the knowledge, skills and abilities of the members to serve a diverse population.