How to cast your vote in the FMO referendum
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 Abigail.Campos@usda.gov, 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.