Michigan potato growers have an opportunity to vote on whether to continue the Michigan Potato Industry Commission in a referendum conducted by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). The referendum will begin Monday, April 16, 2012 and run through Friday, April 27, 2012.
The Michigan Potato Industry Commission was developed to foster, develop, and promote the potato industry through research, promotion, advertising, market development or expansion, education, and the development and dissemination of market and industry information. By law, the program, established in 1970 and last amended in 1996, must be renewed every five years. Currently, the producer assessment is 3.5 cents per hundredweight and 1.5 cents for the first handler.
For the program to be renewed, more than 50 percent of the producer votes cast, must represent more than 50 percent of the total hundredweight represented on the cast ballots, for approval.