.16 Organic Certification Advisory Committee.

A. Composition and Appointment. The Maryland Organic Certification Advisory Committee is composed of the following 12 members who are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Secretary:

(1) One consumer of organic products;

(2) Four producers of organic products;

(3) One handler of organic products;

(4) One representative of a recognized organic industry group;

(5) Four experts, at least one of whom is from the University of Maryland, in associated and related fields with knowledge of, and interest in, organic agriculture; and

(6) One member of the Maryland Agricultural Commission.

B. Committee Staff. Staff support for the Committee shall include four employees of the Department. Two of these employees shall have knowledge in the field of organic agriculture, and two shall represent the organic certification program and the marketing services program.

C. Quorum. A majority of the voting members of the Maryland Organic Certification Advisory Committee serving at any one time constitutes a quorum for transaction of business.

D. Terms.

(1) The term of any member serving on the Committee shall expire 3 years from the date of appointment.

(2) A member may not serve more than two consecutive terms.

(3) A vacancy shall be filled for an unexpired term, and appointment for an unexpired term may not be considered as one of two terms.

(4) Members shall attend and participate in a minimum of 50 percent of the meetings each year to remain in good standing.

(5) The Secretary shall invite nominations to the Committee from interested organizations.

E. Responsibilities. The Committee shall:

(1) Make policy recommendations to the Secretary regarding the operation, regulation, and promotion of the organic certification program and the organic industry; and

(2) Offer recommendations and suggestions as to how the Department can support and create opportunities for Maryland certified organic producers to market their products.