Survey on Continuing Pork Checkoff will be Conducted

If enough producers ask for referendum, vote will be taken within a year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service announced Thursday that it plans to soon ask pork producers and importers of hogs and pork if they want a continuation referendum conducted on the national pork program. AMS said should 15% of eligible producers and importers indicate that they do, the referendum will be held within one year after the results of the survey are announced. The results of the referendum will be binding on the secretary of agriculture, meaning that should a majority of those participating in the referendum vote to recall the program, the secretary would be required to order that the program be closed down.

The program manages the pork checkoff that collects 40 cents per $100 of price in all swine selling transactions, and the checkoff is used to fund pork advertising and promotion, consumer information, industry research and producer education.

A proposed rule governing the survey was published in the May 23 Federal Register, and AMS said comments on the rule are being accepted through July 22. The rule is posted at in the "Pork Program" section.

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