The U.S. Department of Agriculture?s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) also announced the final referendum rules under the Lamb Promotion, Research and Information Order, more commonly known as the American Lamb Board or Lamb Checkoff Program.
?We are pleased that the voting period has been scheduled,? said American Lamb Board Chairman Spence Rule. ?The effort that countless individuals and USDA have generated to get to this point is incredible.?
The referendum will be conducted at USDA?s county Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices. To be eligible to participate, you must provide documentation, such as a sales receipt, that shows that you were engaged in the production, feeding or slaughtering of lambs during the period of Jan. 1, 2004, through Dec. 31, 2004.
The Lamb Checkoff Program is authorized by the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996. This program provides for assessments on the sale of lamb and lamb products and for an industry board to carry out promotion, research and information programs designed to increase the demand for lamb and lamb products. For the program to continue, it must be approved by a majority of voters who also represent a majority of the volume voting in the referendum.
The Referendum Final Rules, the Notice of Opportunity to Participate or a sample copy of the ballot (LS-86) are available at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/lsg/mpb/rp-lamb.htm. For more information about the referendum, please contact Kenneth R. Payne, Chief, Marketing Programs Branch, Livestock and Seed Program, AMS, USDA at (202) 720-1115, or by e-mail at Kenneth.Payne@usda.gov. Or you may contact Linda Cronin; DAFO, USDA, FSA at (202) 690-8034, or by e-mail at Linda.Cronin@usda.gov. For more information about the American Lamb Board contact Bo Donegan at (303) 217-7045, or by e-mail at Bo@americanlambboard.org.