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Agriculture Press Release

May 22, 2001

Chief of Florida Farmersí Markets to Head National Association

TALLAHASSEE -- The chief of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Servicesí system of state farmersí markets has been chosen to head the nationís largest association of market managers, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson has announced.

Donald A. Coker, chief of the Bureau of State Farmersí Markets, was elected president of the National Association of Produce Market Managers (NAPMM) during the groupís recent annual meeting in St. Louis.

Coker previously served as secretary, second vice president and first vice president of the association. He has been a member of the association for five years, serving on the board of directors for four. Coker is a native of Gainesville and received a masterís degree in business from Florida State University. He has been chief of State Farmersí Markets since 1995.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services operates a system of 16 state farmersí markets specializing in fresh Florida produce. The markets provide facilities for assembling and marketing Florida produce and livestock. Through volume production and marketing, effective competition is assured for both small and large growers and buyers. The first market opened in 1935.

Today, more than 25 million units of fresh fruits and vegetables, valued at more than $225 million, are sold through the markets annually. The markets are maintained by the Department through income derived from a combination of package fees, facility rentals and truck scale fees. The markets generate more than $3 million in revenue annually. Information about Floridaís farmersí markets is available online at www.fl-ag.com.

The National Association of Produce Market Managers has served the produce industry for 50 years. It works to improve market facilities of the Americas and associated international markets; increase services that markets render to the public, producers and distributors; promote cooperation and exchanges of information; make recommendations regarding research and other activities beneficial to marketing; and promote high market standards. Information about NAPMM is available online at www.napmm.com.



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