Request for Referendum on Pork Checkoff Program

by 5m Editor
14 November 2008, at 9:07am

US - The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced that it will conduct a Request for Referendum next month among eligible producers and importers of hogs, pigs, pork, and pork products to determine if they want a referendum on the Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Order, commonly known as the Pork Checkoff Program. Participation is voluntary, and only individuals who desire a referendum on the Pork Checkoff Program should participate.

USDA will only conduct a referendum on the order if at least 15 percent of the total number of eligible pork producers and importers request a referendum. The total number of producers and importers eligible to participate in the Request for Referendum is approximately 69,446; therefore, at least 10,417 eligible producers and importers must request a referendum. If necessary, the referendum will be conducted within one year after the results of the Request for Referendum are announced. If results of the Request for Referendum indicate that a referendum is not supported, a referendum would not be conducted.

The Request for Referendum will be held December 8, 2008 through January 2, 2009. Producers and importers who were engaged in pork production or in the importation of hogs, pigs, pork or pork products between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2007, and were at least 18 years of age on or before December 31, 2007, are eligible to participate.

For producers, the Request for Referendum will be conducted at the USDA County Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices where their administrative farm records are maintained. For producers not participating in FSA programs, the opportunity to participate will be provided at the County FSA office where the person owns or rents land. Eligible producers may obtain form LS-54-1: Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Request for Referendum from those offices either in person, by mail or by facsimile.

In order to vote, Form LS-54-1 and supporting documentation, where applicable, such as a sales receipt, veterinary bill, feed bill, copies of grower contracts, cancelled check or proof of payment must be returned in person, by mail, or by facsimile to the appropriate county FSA office by the close of business Jan. 2, 2009. Form LS-54-1 and supporting documentation returned by mail must be postmarked no later than midnight on Jan. 2, 2009, and received by Jan. 9, 2009.

The forms can be downloaded by clicking here.