Back to May 2021

How to cast your vote in the FMO referendum


Logo for the American Pecans marketing brand. It reads: American Pecans: The Original Supernut. The brand is promoted and managed by the American Pecan Council, under a federal marketing order. Pecan growers in the U.S. can vote to continue the APC in the 2021 FMO referendum.
The Agricultural Marketing Service in the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a notice on April 13 that directed a referendum to be conducted among eligible pecan growers across the Pecan Belt “to determine whether they favor the continuation of the marketing order regulating the handling of pecans produced in the production area.”

The FMO referendum will be conducted from June 7 to June 28, 2021.

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will soon begin mailing ballots and voting instructions to all pecan growers of record to vote in a referendum on whether to continue their federal marketing order that authorizes the American Pecan Council to conduct crop and market data collection, domestic research and promotion campaigns, and [to continue] efforts to regulate grade, size, quality, pack, and container requirements under USDA’s oversight,” a USDA spokesperson told Pecan South.

To be eligible to vote, growers must have produced a minimum average of 50,000 pounds of inshell pecans over the four years from Oct. 1, 2016, to Sept. 30, 2020, or must own a minimum of 30 pecan acres in the production area of Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas. USDA will consider continuing the marketing order if at least two-thirds of the growers voting, by number or volume, vote in favor of continuance. 

Eligible growers who do not receive a ballot for the FMO referendum should contact Abigail Campos at [email protected],  or by phone at 863-324-3375  or 863-307-3288. Requests for a ballot may also be faxed to (863) 291-8614 or mailed to USDA, AMS, 1124 First Street South, Winter Haven, FL 33880.

The federal marketing order regulates the handling of pecans produced in the United States. Through this order and with oversight from the USDA, the American Pecan Council was founded in 2016 and tasked with building consumer demand, developing markets, establishing industry standards, and promoting pecans. Interested parties may obtain copies of the marketing order from any of the following:

  • the Southeast Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division within USDA AMS through telephone at (863) 324-3375
  • the Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, within USDA AMS through telephone at (202) 720–2491
  • online here.
Author Photo

Catherine Clark

Catherine Clark is the managing editor of Pecan South. She has her M.S. in Journalism from the University of Southern California, and her B.A. in Communication and Spanish from Trinity University. For questions, comments or concerns, she can be reached at [email protected].