Rep. Lois Capps (CA-24) announced that Carlos Castaneda from Castaneda and Sons in Arroyo Grande has been named to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. The 25-member Committee meets up to two times per year to advise the Secretary of Agriculture on issues affecting the fruit and vegetable industry. Castaneda is also the President of the SLO County Farm Bureau. “Our Central Coast economy is driven by agriculture,” Capps said. “Our farmers and ranchers know firsthand the important day-to-day issues facing this critical industry. I am pleased Secretary Vilsack has chosen such an excellent representative from the Central Coast to advise him on this committee, and to help make USDA programs as effective as possible.” Castaneda will serve a three year term on the Committee, from 2014 to 2017. Members of the Committee represent a cross-section of the industry, from growers, shippers, retailers, farmers markets, importers and suppliers. Members are nominated by their peers, and over the years have developed more than 60 statements and recommendations on issues ranging from food safety to school nutrition.