LAMB REFERENDUM DEADLINE IS FEB. 28
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service has announced final procedures for a continuance referendum under the Lamb Promotion, Research and Information order, more commonly known as the Lamb Checkoff Program. USDA has been conducting the referendum since Jan. 31. The last day for producers to vote is Monday, Feb. 28.
The referendum will be conducted at USDA's County Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices. To be eligible to participate, persons must certify and provide documentation, such as a sales receipt or remittance form, that shows they have been engaged in the production, feeding or slaughtering of lambs during the period of Jan. 1, 2004, through Dec. 31, 2004.
Persons may obtain form LS-86 to vote in the referendum from county FSA offices either in person, by mail or facsimile. Forms may also be obtained at www.ams.usda.gov/lsg/mpb/rp-lamb.htm.
Persons will vote in the referendum at the county FSA office where their administrative farm records are maintained. For the person not participating in FSA programs, the opportunity to vote will be provided at the county FSA office where the person owns or rents land. Form LS-86 and supporting documentation may be returned in person, by mail or facsimile to the appropriate county FSA office. Form LS-86 and accompanying documentation returned in person or by facsimile must be received in the appropriate county office prior to the close of business of Feb. 28. The form and accompanying documentation returned by mail must be postmarked no later than midnight of Feb. 28, 2005, and received in the county FSA office by March 7, 2005.
For the program to continue, it must be approved by a majority of voters who also represent a majority of the volume represented in the referendum.
The Lamb Checkoff Program program provides for assessments on the sale of lamb and lamb products and for an industry board to carry out promotion, research and information programs designed to increase the demand for lamb and lamb products. Federal law requires the referendum be held within three years after assessments first begin.
Assessments began July 1, 2002. AMS oversees the activities of the program.