The Request for Referendum period for the Pork Checkoff has ended, according to the National Pork Board, which administers the program.
Eligible pork producers had from Dec. 8, 2008 to Jan. 2, 2009 to vote on whether they wanted a referendum on the Pork Checkoff.
For producers, the Request for Referendum was conducted at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) County Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices where their administrative records are maintained.
The county FSA offices will be counting the forms it receives and notifying producers who are ineligible.
All county FSA offices must submit the results to the state FSA office by Jan. 27. On Jan. 30, the state FSA offices must submit the results to the national FSA office.
USDA is expected to announce the results of the referendum in the ensuing months.
USDA will only conduct a referendum on the Pork Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Order (Pork Checkoff) if at least 15% of the total number of eligible pork producers and importers request a referendum.
If enough producers request a referendum, then a vote will be conducted within one year after the results of the Request for Referendum are announced.
U.S. pork producers and importers pay $0.40/$100 of value when pigs are sold and when pigs or pork products are brought into the United States.