Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has issued a request for nominations to the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st century Agriculture (AC21).

The committee will provide the USDA with practical recommendations on how to incorporate agricultural biotechnology alongside existing agricultural methods.

“Under its charter, the AC21 helps USDA to maintain an intensive and broad-based dialogue to explore and understand the wide array of issues related to agricultural biotechnology,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) wrote in a statement Tuesday.

Vilsack recently renewed the AC21 after its original establishment in 2003. The committee will consist of 20 to 25 members, up to seven of whom will have been members of federal and/or state government agencies outside the USDA. Members will serve terms of up to two years and may be reappointed, but may not serve more than six consecutive years.

The goal in selecting committee members will be to form a body of individuals with a broad range of viewpoints who together can address USDA policy issues surrounding biotechnology.

Nominations of qualified persons should be submitted by April 17, 2011. For more information on submitting a nomination, view the Request for Nominations in the Federal Register.