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Michigan Potato Growers to Vote on Program Continuation

LANSING, MI – Michigan’s 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) beginning Monday, January 31, 2022, through Friday, February 11, 2022.

Ballots were mailed to potato growers today, Monday, January 24, 2022. Eligible growers with questions, or those not receiving a ballot, should contact MDARD toll-free at 800-292-3939 or by sending an email to Guardiolaj1@michigan.gov. All ballots must be received in the MDARD Lansing office by or postmarked no later than February 11, 2022.

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. Currently, the grower assessment is 4 ½ cents, not to exceed 5 ½ cents, per hundredweight and 1 ½ cents for the first handler (shipper).

By law, the program, established in 1970 and last amended in 2014, must be renewed every five years. For the program to be renewed, more than 50 percent of the votes cast by growers, representing more than 50 percent of the total hundredweight represented on the cast ballots, must approve it.

For the purpose of this referendum, each grower is entitled to one vote representing a single firm, individual proprietorship, corporation, company, association, partnership, or husband-wife or family ownership.