Oct 4, 2019Vidalia Onion marketing referendum ballots go out
Vidalia onion growers this month with vote whether or not to continue their federal marketing order.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will conduct a referendum Oct. 7–28, 2019, for Vidalia onion growers, according to a press release. Growers who produced Vidalia onions in Georgia from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2018, are eligible to vote. Notice of the referendum was published in the Federal Register on Sept. 27, 2019.
Vidalia onions are grown in 20 Georgia counties designated by the state’s Vidalia Onion Act of 1986.
USDA will consider continuing the marketing order if two-thirds or more of producers voting in the referendum, or producers representing two-thirds or more of the volume of Vidalia onions, vote in favor, according to the press release.
The marketing order enables the Vidalia onion industry and the Vidalia Onion Committee to conduct research and promotion initiatives under USDA’s oversight and requires a continuance referendum every six years to determine producers’ level of support for the program, according to the press release.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will mail ballots and voting instructions to all producers of record. Eligible producers who do not receive a ballot by Oct. 27 may contact Steven Kauffman at [email protected] or (863) 324-3375, according to the press release. Requests for a ballot may also be faxed to (863) 291-8614 or mailed to USDA, AMS, 1124 First Street South; Winter Haven, Fla. 33880.
More information about the marketing order regulating the handling of Vidalia onions produced in Georgia is available on the 955 Vidalia Onions webpage.
Authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, marketing orders are industry-driven programs that help producers and handlers achieve marketing success by leveraging their own funds to design and execute programs that they would not be able to do individually. AMS provides oversight to 29 fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing orders and agreements, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.