The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that it will offer soybean producers the opportunity to request a referendum on the Soybean Promotion and Research Order (Order), as authorized under the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act (Act).
The Act requires the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a Request for Referendum every 5 years after the initial referendum, which was conducted in 1994. The last Request for Referendum was conducted in 2009. Soybean producers who are interested in having a referendum to determine whether to continue the Soybean Checkoff Program are invited to participate.
The Request for Referendum will be conducted at USDA's county Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices. To be eligible to participate, producers must certify and provide documentation that shows that they produced soybeans and paid an assessment on the soybeans during the period of Jan. 1, 2012, through Dec. 31, 2013.
Beginning May 5 and continuing through May 30, 2014, producers may obtain a form by mail, fax, or in person from the FSA county offices. Forms may also be obtained via the internet at http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/SoybeaninformationontheSoybeanRequestforReferendum during the same time period. Individual producers and other producer entities may request a referendum at the county FSA office where their administrative farm records are maintained. For the producer not participating in FSA programs, the opportunity to request a referendum will be provided at the county FSA office where the producer owns or rents land. Completed forms and supporting documentation must be returned to the appropriate county FSA office by fax or in person no later than close of business May 30, 2014; or if returned by mail, must be postmarked by midnight May 30, 2014, and received in the county FSA office by close of business on June 5.