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CCM’s Nelsen to continue talking up fruit trade

CCM’s Nelsen to continue talking up fruit trade

Longtime CEO of California Citrus Mutual Joel Nelsen continues 12-year stint on USDA’s Fruit & Vegetable Trade Advisory Committee


EXETER – A longtime Tulare County crop advocate was reappointed to the USDA’s Fruit & Vegetable Trade Advisory Committee. 

Joel Nelsen, past president and strategic advisor for Exeter-based California Citrus Mutual (CCM), was reappointed to the Trade Advisory Committee last week in an announcement by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer. These positions are highly coveted as they have direct engagement with administration officials on trade policy. Nelsen has served since the George W. Bush Administration, and for the past four years, his colleagues have asked him to chair the Fruit & Vegetable Committee. There are several trade advisory committees all serving varied business sectors in the United States. Agriculture, because of its diversity, has over six committees representing the varied ag commodity sectors. 

Joel Nelsen
California Citrus Mutual

“To be able to continue serving in this role is both gratifying and humbling,” Nelsen said. “I had the support of Valley congressmen McCarthy, Nunes, and Costa along with congressional members Ken Calvert and Julia Brownly. Additionally, Sen. Feinstein sent a letter on my behalf, all of which were gratefully appreciated.” 

Congress established the advisory committee system in 1974 to ensure that U.S. agricultural trade policy objectives reflect U.S. public- and private-sector commercial and economic interests. USDA and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative jointly manage the committees.

The appointees will serve until June 15, 2023, and the committees will be supplemented by additional appointments over the next four years. Individuals are encouraged to apply for committee membership at any time and applications will be reviewed periodically.

“The give and take are real, as is the opportunity for accountability,” Nelsen said. “Certainly these past two years have been challenging, and most likely, these disputes will carry on as the administration seeks to balance trade and initiate policies that correct deficiencies in existing agreements. I truly do appreciate the fact that our California congressional members and the administration continue to believe I bring value to the process. It is very rewarding.”

Nelsen served as CEO and president of CCM for 37 years before stepping down earlier this year. 

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