USDA Announces Continuance Referendum for Peanut Promotion, Research and Information Order

FEBRUARY 6, 2014--ATLANTAThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a document directing that a referendum be conducted among eligible producers of peanuts to determine whether they favor continuance of the Peanut Promotion, Research and Information Order (Order), which authorizes the National Peanut Board.

The referendum will be conducted from April 7 through April 18, 2014. To vote in this referendum, producers must have paid assessments on peanuts produced during the representative period from January 1 through December 31, 2013, and must currently be a peanut producer.

Under the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996 (Act), the U.S. Department of Agriculture must conduct a referendum every five years or when 10 percent or more of the eligible peanut producers petition the Secretary of Agriculture to hold a referendum to determine if persons subject to assessment favor continuance of the Order. The Department of Agriculture would continue the Order if continuance is approved by a simple majority of the producers voting in the referendum.

Jeanette Palmer and Sonia Jimenez, Promotion and Economics Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA, Stop 0244, Room 1406-S, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-0244, are designated as the referendum agents to conduct this referendum.  The referendum agents will mail the ballots and voting instructions to all known producers prior to the first day of the voting period. Persons who are producers at the time of the referendum and who produced peanuts and paid assessments during the representative period are eligible to vote. Persons who received an exemption from assessments during the entire representative period are ineligible to vote.

Any eligible producer who does not receive a ballot should contact the referendum agent no later than one week before the ending of the voting period. Ballots must be received by the referendum agent no later than close of business 4:30 p.m. Eastern time, April 18, 2014, in order to be counted.

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