Hog Producers To Vote on Promotion
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Hog producers will vote Sept. 19-21 on whether to keep paying a fee that funds the ``other white meat″ advertising campaign for pork, the Agriculture Department said Wednesday.
Votes will be cast at local offices of USDA’s Farm Service Agency.
It will be the first referendum on the pork program since it was created 14 years ago.
Opponents of the program, which pays for research as well as advertising, say it has done little to stimulate pork consumption and mostly benefits meat processors and large, corporate farms.
Karl Johnson, a Minnesota producer who is leading a campaign to keep the program, said it has been ``a phenomenal success at what it was designed to do, build demand and address issues that individual producers couldn’t do on their own.″
The voting is open to farmers who will have sold at least one hog from Aug. 18, 1999, through Aug. 17 of this year. Importers of hogs and pork also will be eligible.
Absentee voting will take place Aug. 18 to Sept. 21. Absentee ballots will be available Aug. 1.
The fee requires payment of 45 cents for every $100 of a pig’s value when it is sold. The money goes to the National Pork Board, which contracts promotional services through the producers council.
On the Net: The referendum announcement: http://www.ams.usda.gov/news/199-00.htm