A referendum to determine whether to establish a Michigan Wheat Program will be conducted from June 20 through July 1 by the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development.
The referendum of Michigan wheat producers was authorized by MDARD Director Keith Creagh after his review of testimony given at two public hearings held in Frankenmuth and Lansing on March 30 and 31, and from written testimony received by MDARD.
The proposed program would be administered by a committee of nine members appointed by Governor Rick Snyder - eight of whom are Michigan wheat producers and one industry representative - and fully funded by assessments on bushels of wheat. The proposed program calls for a maximum assessment of up to ½ of 1% (.5%) of the value of the wheat sold.
By law, the referendum is conducted by MDARD. Official Wheat Referendum Return Forms will be mailed to Michigan wheat producers of record on June 17, 2011. For this program, eligible producers are those who have produced any market wheat in quantity beyond that person's own family use, and who have a value at first point-of-sale of more than $800 in any one growing season within the last three years. All Official Wheat Referendum Return Forms must be postmarked no later than July 1, 2011.
For the program to be adopted, more than 50% of the votes cast, representing more than 50% of the total bushels voted, must approve the proposal.
Eligible producers not receiving an Official Wheat Referendum Return Form after June 20 should contact MDARD at P.O. Box 30017, Lansing, MI 48909, or call toll-free (800) 292-3939. Eligible producers may also request an Official Wheat Referendum Form by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.