WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will conduct a referendum Dec. 6–31, 2021, for California walnut growers to vote on whether to continue their federal marketing order. Growers who produced walnuts in California from Sept. 1, 2020, through Aug. 31, 2021, are eligible to vote. Notice of the referendum was published in the Federal Register on Oct. 13, 2021.
USDA will consider continuing the marketing order if two-thirds or more of producers voting in the referendum, or producers representing two-thirds or more of the volume of California walnuts, vote in favor.
The marketing order authorizes the California walnut industry and the California Walnut Board to conduct research and marketing promotions, establish quality regulations, and implement volume control, under USDA’s oversight. It also requires a continuance referendum every six years to determine producers’ level of support for the program.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will mail ballots and voting instructions to all producers of record. Eligible producers who do not receive a ballot by Dec. 20 may contact Joshua Wilde at Joshua.R.Wilde@usda.gov or (503) 326-2037. Requests for a ballot may also be faxed to (503) 326-7440 or mailed to USDA, AMS, 1220 SW 3rd Avenue, Suite 305, Portland, OR 97204.
More information about the marketing order regulating the handling of walnuts grown in California is available on AMS’s 984 California walnuts webpage.
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.
More information about federal marketing orders is available on the Marketing Orders and Agreements webpage or by contacting the Marketing Order and Agreement Division at (202) 720-2491.
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