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The Softwood Lumber Check-off Program

October 02, 2013
Author: Suz-Anne Kinney
The USDA is seeking comments on proposed changes to the Softwood Lumber Board. The Board was established under the Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order; it administers the program known as the softwood lumber check-off. The USDA and the Board collect assessments from US manufacturers and importers and use those assessments to promote softwood lumber in US markets.

The proposed changes include :

  • Revising Board membership to reflect the diversity of the industry in terms of size of operation; the proposed allocation of board seats is 6 in the South (2 for large companies and 4 for small), 5 in the West (4 for large companies and 1 for small), 1 for the Northeast and Lake States (any size), 2 for eastern Canada (1 large and 1 small), 4 for western Canada (3 large and 1 small) and 1 non-Canadian importer. Of the 19 seats on the Board, at least 10 large companies and at least 7 small companies will be represented.
  • Allowing companies that operate in more than one geography to seek representation in any region in which they operate (US or import). For instance, if a company is both a domestic manufacturer and an importer, the company can seek nomination for either one seat or the other but not both. The current rule requires companies to seek the seat that describes the majority of their business, either by type (manufacturer or importer) or region. The proposed rule would allow companies to choose which seat they will seek.
  • Adding flexibility for the Board to fill vacancies that occur during a term.
  • Re-designating Virginia and West Virginia as part of the South region.

Comments on the Proposed Rule must be received by October 25, 2013. All comments should reference the document number (AMS-FV-13-0038) and the date and page of the Federal Register the rule was published in (September 25, 2013; page 58956). Written comments may be submitted via:

Promotion and Economics

Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Room 1406-S, Stop 0244

Washington, DC 20250-0244

  • Fax: (202) 205-2800

Read the proposed rule and submit and monitor comments here.

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