March 29, 2013
Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship certified the results from the Iowa sheep assessment referendum that was held Feb. 25 to March 15.
The assessment will stay at $0.10 per head after a simple majority of producers that voted did not support raising the assessment to $0.25 per head.
The second question on the referendum, which would have allowed the Iowa Sheep and Wool Promotion Board, beginning in 2016, to change the assessment rate by $0.05 every three years, was also defeated.
Senate Rural Communities and Economic Development Committee passed a bill backed by sheep growers that is aimed at giving the Oregon Sheep Commission a more reliable source of revenue.
Senate Bill 719 allows the commission to assess sheep growers up to $1 per head on sheep sold for meat. Under the current system, producers are assessed $0.03 a pound on wool sales.
John Fine, chairman of the commission and president of the Oregon Sheep Growers Association, said the current system has resulted in a dramatic fluctuation in annual assessment revenue. Growers tend to store wool when prices are down and sell it when prices increase.
Voter registration has been extended to March 30 for a proposed Indiana
Sheep and Wool Market Development Council.
In order for a vote to take place, at least 20 percent of Indiana's commercial sheep producers must register, in writing, by the March 30 deadline. The official number of Indiana sheep producers recognized for the vote is 1,833, meaning at least 367 must register for the vote to take place.
With the deadline extension, the proposed voting period is now April 15 to May 15, with the intent to announce results by June 1. The council would begin July 1.