Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Jamie Clover Adams announced Monday that the state’s potato growers have approved a referendum to continue the Michigan Potato Industry Commission.
The Michigan Potato Industry Commission was designed to promote the potato industry through research, promotion, advertising, and market development and expansion. By law, the program must be renewed every five years.
The Commission will continue for an additional five years beginning July 1, 2017 and ending June 30, 2022. The current assessment rate is established annually by the Commission and is not to exceed 5-1/2 cents per hundredweight for the grower and 1-1/2 cents per hundredweight for the first handler.
A total of 19 valid ballots were cast in the referendum. Of those, 17 producers voted yes (89.5 percent) representing 9,471,678 hundredweight of potatoes (88.2 present of the production volume represented) and 2 producers voted no (10.5 percent) representing 1,266,900 hundredweight (11.8 percent).
For renewal of the program and its activities, more than 50 percent of the voting producers, representing more than 50 percent of hundredweight produced by those voting, must have approved it.