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Michigan apple producers to vote on checkoff

Michigan Bits: Register now for drainage design workshop; apply for USDA-REAP grants.

February 15, 2023

2 Min Read
hand grabbing for red apple on tree branch
APPLE REFERENDUM: Apple growers will vote between Feb. 13 and 24 on the referendum. Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Michigan’s apple producers have an opportunity to vote on whether to continue the Michigan Apple Advertising and Promotion Program for an additional five years, as well as proposed changes to the program.

The referendum, conducted by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, began Feb. 13 and continues through Feb. 24.

Ballots will be mailed by MDARD to Michigan apple producers of record. Eligible producers with questions, or those not receiving a ballot, should call MDARD toll-free at 800-292-3939.

The Apple Advertising and Promotion Program of Michigan was developed to enhance the economic position of the Michigan apple producer through market development, education and research. 

Michigan apples are assessed at a rate of 52 cents per cwt of fresh apples, 28 cents for apples sold for processing, and 12 cents for apples sold for juice. Included is 4-cents-per-cwt for research and up to 3-cents-per-cwt for promotion of U.S. apples with the United States Apple Association.

For the program to be renewed, and the proposed changes to be enacted, more than 50% of the producer votes cast, representing more than 50% of the total number of bushels represented on the cast ballots, must approve each.

Each producer, partnership or corporation is entitled to one vote. All ballots must be filled out completely, signed and postmarked by Feb. 24, and should be sent to MDARD, Executive Office, P.O. Box 30017, Lansing, MI 48909.

Register for 2023 Drainage Design Workshop

Michigan State University Extension is partnering with the Michigan Land Improvement Contractors Association to sponsor the 2023 Drainage Design Workshop from March 7-9 in East Lansing. Early registration is available by 11:59 p.m. Feb. 23 when prices will go up. The registration deadline is 11:59 p.m. March 2. Click here to register.

USDA offering rural energy grants

The USDA Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program is accepting applications for loan guarantees and grants. USDA-REAP provides grant funding and guaranteed loan financing to rural small businesses and agricultural producers across the U.S., to be used for implementing renewable energy systems or making improvements to overall energy efficiency. 

Agricultural producers may also apply for new energy-efficient equipment and new system loans for agricultural production and processing.

Applications are due March 31. For more information and how to apply, visit the Rural Energy for America Program website.

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