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Michigan apple producers to vote on program continuation

Staff Writer |
Michigan apple producers will have an opportunity to vote on whether to continue the Michigan Apple Advertising and Promotion Program in a referendum conducted by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) through March 30, 2018.

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Ballots will be mailed by MDARD to Michigan apple producers of record. Eligible producers with questions, or those not receiving a ballot, should contact MDARD toll-free at 800-292-3939.

The Apple Advertising and Promotion Program of Michigan was developed to enhance the economic position of Michigan apple producers through market development, education, and research.

The program is a public body independent of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. It is comprised of seven apple producers appointed by the Governor.

MDARD Director Gordon Wenk and a person appointed by the Michigan State University Dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources are non-voting, ex-officio members.

The program was last approved in 2013 and, by law, must be renewed every five years. Currently, Michigan apples are assessed at a rate of $0.52 per hundredweight of fresh apples, $0.28 for apples sold for processing, and $0.12 for apples sold for juice.

Included is a $.04 per hundredweight for research and up to $.03 per hundredweight for promotion of U.S. apples with the United States Apple Association.

For the program to be renewed, more than 50 percent of the producer votes cast, representing more than 50 percent of the total number of bushels represented on the cast ballots, must approve it.

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