WASHINGTON - Holmes County farmer Jeremy Rolling has been appointed by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to serve as alternate on the National Peanut Board.

Rolling, who also serves as President of Holmes County Farm Bureau, was appointed as one of six alternates and five other members on Jan. 12 for a three-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2018 and ending Dec. 31, 2020.

"It’s an honor to be chosen to serve." said Rolling, who is a longtime member of the Florida Peanut Producer's Association and operates Rolling Family Farms in Westville alongside his wife, Teresa - a family endeavor which earned the family the award for Holmes County Farm Family of the Year in 2013.

The National Peanut Board is composed of 12 producer members and their alternates. Eleven members and alternates are from the primary peanut producing states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. An at-large member and alternate represent the minor peanut producing states.

“Research and consumer education are keys to growing the $1 billion peanut industry in America,” said Perdue. “Both the new and continuing members of the board bring great insight to this work from their many years of experience helping America’s 7,000 peanut-farming families improve production practices and continue to produce the world’s highest-quality peanut product for people around the globe.”

Research and promotion programs are industry-funded, authorized by Congress and date back to 1966. Since then, Congress has authorized the establishment of 22 research and promotion boards.

The USDA reports these boards empower agricultural industries by establishing a framework for them to pool resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotion activities. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provides oversight, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal responsibility, program efficiency and fair treatment of participating stakeholders.

In addition to Rolling, other alternates appointed by Perdue include Thomas Adams of Newville, Alabama; Westley B. Drake, Newsoms, Virginia; Jeff Roper, Lubbock, Texas, who will serve the remaining one-year portion of a vacancy and reappointed alternates Lonnie Fortner of Port Gibson, Mississippi and Raymond P. Garner Jr. of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina

New appointees include Tom Corcoran of Eufaula, Alabama; William T. Carte, Live Oak, Florida and Paul Rogers, Wakefield, Virginia. Reappointed members are: Joe H. Morgan of Hattiesburg, Mississippi and Dan Ward of Clarkton, North Carolina.