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USDA in search of candidates for Plant Variety Protection Board

Board advises secretary about Plant Variety Protection Act

By Diego Flammini,

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Plant Variety Protection Office (PVPO) is seeking candidates to join the Plant Variety Protection Board (PVPB) in 2015.

The Board provides guidance to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack about the proper rules and regulations of the Plant Variety Protection Act.

The Board is made up of 14 people from different aspects of plant development. They’re appointed by Secretary Vilsack and include seed industry and farmer representatives. Members serve on a voluntary basis except for expenses the government deems reimbursable.

The Act, which passed in 1970, is designed to provide developers with piece of mind that they’ll be able to recover some of the cost of their research. In 1994 the Act was amended to include potatoes and other tuber crops (crops with an underground way of allowing for new crops to grow.)

Under the Act, protection means protected plant varieties can only be sold by those with a certificate for the product, or with the owner’s permission.

The current Board’s term expires in May 2015 and anyone interested must submit a nomination package by February 6, 2015.

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