July 18, 2008
July 18, 2008 - The executive board of the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) approved a "Vote Yes for American Lamb" campaign to be launched in August in preparation for a national lamb checkoff referendum that is expected in Feb. 2009.
A key part of the campaign is the involvement and collaboration from the state sheep producer organizations and industry affiliate groups as well as individual producers. ASI is asking state associations to formally lend their name to the campaign and to provide volunteers to serve on a committee to operate the activities. Participants are encouraged to contact Peter Orwick, email@example.com
, or Mary Jensen, firstname.lastname@example.org
, at the ASI office by Aug. 22 if you are interested in assisting with this campaign.
A similar campaign and volunteer leader committee was successful for the industry in 2005 when the sheep industry approved the referendum with 80 percent of the votes favoring the program.
"We believe we can affect a successful referendum if we run a campaign similar to the one we ran three years ago," stated Burdell Johnson (N.D.), ASI president. "A key part of the campaign will be to ensure supporters vote in the referendum."
The rule under which the checkoff was approved requires a vote three years after the implementation of the program and then again at the seven-year mark. 2009 will mark the seventh year since the industry implemented the checkoff program.
The American Lamb Board (ALB) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service are working on the referendum notice and provisions. ASI understands that the rules for this referendum will be the same as they were in 2005.
Under the program rules, the ALB is not allowed to promote a yes vote in the referendum; therefore, it is incumbent on organizations like ASI to promote a yes vote. The ALB will advertise the rules of the referendum and the time frame for the vote. Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33