|USDA announces dates of sorghum checkoff referendum|
|Written by Holyoke Enterprise|
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has finalized procedures for the upcoming referendum on the continuation of the sorghum checkoff program and is announcing the dates it will conduct the referendum.
For the program to continue, the Sorghum Promotion, Research and Information Order requires a referendum be conducted no later than three years after the start of assessments, which began July 1, 2008. The order requires a simple majority vote in the referendum for the program to continue.
USDA will conduct the referendum Feb. 1-28 at local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices for producers. Ballots may be obtained in person, by mail or facsimile at county FSA offices or via the internet at www.ams.usda.gov/sorghumpage.
Any eligible person engaged in the production or importation of sorghum from July 1, 2008 to Dec. 21, 2010 is eligible to participate. Individuals are required to provide documentation such as a sales receipt or remittance form that shows they engaged in the production or importation of sorghum.
The sorghum checkoff program, and its 13-member board, is authorized by the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1966. The mandatory program is funded at the rate of 0.6 percent of the net market value on grain sorghum and 0.35 percent of the net market value of sorghum forage.
Sorghum checkoff is a national, coordinated, self-help marketing program designed to strengthen the position of sorghum in the marketplace, maintain and expand existing domestic and foreign markets and uses for sorghum and develop new markets and uses for sorghum.
The final procedures were published in the Nov. 18, 2010 Federal Register. The notice announcing the dates of the referendum were published in the Jan. 4 Federal Register.
For more information contact a local Farm Service Agency office. The Phillips County FSA Office can be contacted by calling 970-854-2812, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights or call toll-free at 866-632-9992.