The USDA announced that it will conduct a "request for referendum" in December among eligible hog producers and importers of pork and swine to determine if they want a referendum scheduled to determine if the national pork checkoff should be continued or recalled (terminated).
Participation in the request is open to only those eligible parties who desire a referendum, and eligible parties who do not desire a referendum should not vote, according to the announcement.
USDA said it will conduct the referendum if at least 15% of the total number of eligible producers and importers request the referendum. USDA noted that the number of eligible persons totals 69,446, and, therefore, at least 10,417 of those persons will need to request the referendum for there to be one.
USDA said eligibility is based on the number of people who were engaged in hog production or importation of pork and swine between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2007 and were at least 18 years old before Dec. 31, 2007.
The request will be conducted at USDA Farm Service Agency offices from Dec. 8 through Jan. 2, 2009, according to the announcement, and additional information on the request for referendum is available from Kenneth R. Payne, chief of the marketing programs branch of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, by calling (202) 720-1115, faxing (202) 720-1125 or e-mailing [email protected].