WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reopened the referendum voting period from June 29, through July 23, 2021, for pecan growers to vote on whether to continue their Federal marketing order.
During the initial referendum period of June 7-28, 2021, USDA received requests from industry members to extend the voting period as not all eligible growers had received ballots and needed additional time to request one prior to the end of the voting period. To facilitate full grower participation in the referendum, USDA is reopening the voting period from June 29 through July 23, 2021. During this time, USDA will continue to mail ballots to eligible voters who request them. All ballots received during the previous voting period and the reopened voting period will be accepted. No action is needed by voters who have already submitted a ballot.
To be eligible to vote, growers must have produced a minimum average of 50,000 pounds of inshell pecans over the four years from Oct. 1, 2016, to Sept. 30, 2020, or must own a minimum of 30 pecan acres in the production area of Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. USDA will consider continuing the marketing order if at least two-thirds of the growers voting, by number or volume, vote in favor of continuance.
Notice of the reopening was published in the Federal Register on July 6, 2021.
Eligible growers who have not received a ballot, should contact Abigail Campos at Abigail.Campos@usda.gov, Dolores Lowenstine at Dolores.Lowenstine@usda.gov, Chris Nissen at Christian.Nissen@usda.gov or (863) 324-3375. Requests for a ballot may also be faxed to (863) 291-8614 or mailed to USDA, AMS, 1124 First Street South, Winter Haven, FL 33880.
More information about the marketing order regulating the handling of pecans grown in 15 states is available on the AMS 986 American Pecan Council webpage, the Marketing Orders and Agreements webpage or by contacting the Marketing Order and Agreement Division at (202) 720-2491.
Authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, marketing orders are industry-driven programs that help producers and handlers achieve marketing success by leveraging their own funds to design and execute programs that they would not be able to do individually. AMS provides oversight to 29 fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing orders and agreements, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.
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