The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Sheep Industry Association have announced plans to conduct a referendum from February 25 to March 15, 2013 regarding sheep production.
As part of the referendum, all eligible producers will be able to vote on two questions; the first is whether the 10-cent-per-head assessment on all sheep sold should be increased to 25 cents. The second question would allow the Iowa Sheep and Wool Promotion Board, beginning in 2016, to change the assessment rate by 5 cents every three years. The board would only be granted this authority if producers approve increasing the assessment to 25 cents and the board could only make such changes by resolution only following a producer comment period.
Any producer actively engaged in Iowa in the business of producing or marketing sheep or wool is eligible to vote
Any producer who is actively engaged within this state in the business of producing or marketing sheep or wool and who receives income from the production of sheep or wool is eligible to participate in the referendum and is entitled to one vote.
Farmers may vote in the Iowa State University Extension office in the county in which they live. When voting each farmer will have to sign an affidavit stating they are a producer eligible to vote or provide proof of their county of residence and a sheep or wool sales receipt from the previous 12 months.
The current Iowa Sheep and Wool assessment is 10 cents per head on each sheep sold by a producer and 2 cents per pound of wool sold by a producer. The Iowa Sheep and Wool promotion board is governed by Iowa Code Chapter 182, which was initially passed in 1985 and was updated last year to allow for the current referendum to increase the assessment rate.
Producers with questions about the procedures or eligibility for voting in this referendum can contact the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship at 515-281-5321 or by email to [email protected].
For more information on how funds generated by the assessment are used, Iowans can contact the Iowa Sheep Industry Association at 712-790-6303 or via email at [email protected] or find out more online here. In accordance with Iowa Code, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is responsible for holding referendum votes and all costs incurred by the Department will be reimbursed by the Iowa Sheep Industry Association.