[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 246 (Friday, December 21, 2012)]
[Pages 75607-75608]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-30746]



Agricultural Marketing Service

[Document No. AMS-ST-12-0056]

Plant Variety Protection Board; Soliciting Nominations

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Plant Variety Protection Office (PVPO) is seeking 
candidates for the Plant Variety Protection Board. We are asking for 
the submission of nomination packages (an Application for Committee 
Membership (AD-755) and resume) by January 7, 2013.

Marketing Service (AMS), Plant Variety Protection Office; 1400 
Independence Avenue SW., Room 3543; Washington, DC 20250 or by phone at 
(202) 720-5231 or by email: Paul.Zankowski@ams.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA) (7 
U.S.C. 2321 et seq.) provides legal protection in the form of 
intellectual property rights to developers of new varieties of plants, 
which are reproduced sexually by seed or are tuber-propagated. A 
Certificate of Plant Variety Protection is awarded to an owner of a 
crop variety after an examination shows that it is new, distinct from 
other varieties, and genetically uniform and stable through successive 
generations. The term of protection is 20 years for most crops and 25 
years for trees, shrubs, and vines.
    The PVPA also provides for a statutory Board to be appointed by the 
Secretary of Agriculture (7 U.S.C. 2327). The duties of the Board are 
to: (1) Advise the Secretary concerning the adoption of rules and 
regulations to facilitate the proper administration of the PVPA; (2) 
provide advisory counsel to the Secretary on all appeals from the 
Examiner; and (3) advise the Secretary on any other matters under the 
Regulations and Rules of Practice and on all questions under Section 44 
of the PVPA, ``Public Interest in Wide Usage'' (7 U.S.C. 2404). 
Reestablishing the PVP Board is necessary and in the public interest.
    The PVPA provides that ``The Board shall consist of individuals who 
are experts in various areas of varietal development covered by this 
Act.'' (7 U.S.C. 2327(a)). The Board membership ``shall include farmer 
representation and shall be drawn approximately equally from the 
private or seed industry sector and from the sector of government or 
the public.'' (7 U.S.C. 2327(a)).
    The PVP Board consists of 14 members, each of whom is appointed for 
a 2-year period, with no member appointed for more than three 2-year 
periods. The term of the present Board will expire in December 2012. 
The first meeting of the new Board will most likely be held in the 
spring/summer of 2013. In order to provide the Secretary of Agriculture 
with a broad choice from a diverse group of applicants, the PVPO is 
asking for nominated members to serve on the Board for 2 years from the 
date of appointment. PVP Board members will serve without compensation, 
except for standard government reimbursable expenses.
    To ensure that the recommendations of the Board take into account 
the needs of the diverse groups served by the USDA (from research and 
production to trade, use, and consumption). The USDA is responsible for 
vetting every candidate who applies for membership to a USDA Research 
and Promotion Board and/or Federal Advisory Committee. Also, please 
note that federally registered lobbyists are prohibited from serving on 
advisory committees governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act 
    In order to be appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to serve 
on a board or committee, each applicant must clear all stages of the 
vetting process. Vetting is a comprehensive personal and professional 
background investigation that specifically includes, but is not limited 
to, an analysis of each candidate's criminal history, bankruptcy 
filings, liens and judgments, affiliations and associations, lobbyist 
status, and prior involvement with USDA. This process is used to ensure 
that the finest candidates are selected to represent the interests of 
the United States Department of Agriculture.
    Submit full nomination packages with completed AD 755 background 
information forms and resumes no later than January 7, 2013. Final 
selection of members will be made by the Secretary from nominations 
submitted. All nomination materials should be mailed in a single, 
complete package to: Paul Zankowski, Commissioner; Plant

[[Page 75608]]

Variety Protection Office; 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 3543; 
Washington, DC 20250.
    Nomination packages can also be sent to Thomas J. Vilsack, 
Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20250 outside of a formal call for nominations.
    USDA has special interest in assuring that women, minority groups, 
and the physically disabled are adequately represented on these 
advisory committees. We encourage and welcome nominations for female, 
minority, or disabled candidates.
    Please see http://www.ams.usda.gov/PVPO and click on PVPO Board 
(under Resources on the right side) for information on the Charter, and 
AD-755 form. The AD-755 form can also be found on the USDA Advisory 
Committee Web site (www.usda.gov/advisory_committees.xml). The Charter 
for the PVP Board will be available on the Web site at: http://www.fido.gov/facadatabase/docs_charters/1309_Charter_(2011-01-04-10-
32-08).pdf or may be requested by contacting the individual identified 
in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice.
    USDA prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on 
the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, 
disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or 
family status. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means 
for communication of program information (Braille, large print, or 
audiotape.) should contact USDA's Target Center at 202-720-2600 (voice 
and TTY).
    To file a written complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Office 
of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call 202-720-5964 (voice and TTY). 
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

    Dated: December 17, 2012.
David Shipman,
Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-30746 Filed 12-20-12; 8:45 am]