WASHINGTON – Washington sweet cherry growers will vote from Apr. 21, 2017 through May 5, 2017, on whether to continue their Federal marketing order. Growers who have produced sweet cherries in designated counties in Washington from Apr. 1, 2016 through Mar. 31, 2017, are eligible to vote.
A continuance referendum is required every six years. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) would consider terminating the marketing order if continuance is not favored by a two-thirds majority of voting growers or a two-thirds majority of the volume of sweet cherries represented in the referendum.
The Washington Cherry Marketing Committee, comprised of growers and handlers, locally administers the marketing order. The committee can set grade, size, quality, maturity, and container regulations, with USDA approval. The order also enables the committee to conduct marketing research and development projects.
Notice of the referendum was published in the Feb. 14, 2017, Federal Register.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will mail ballots and voting instructions to all producers of record. Eligible producers who do not receive ballots may contact Teresa Hutchinson or Gary Olson by email at Teresa.Hutchinson@ams.usda.gov or GaryD.Olson@ams.usda.gov, by phone at (503) 326-2724, by fax at (503) 326-7440, or by mail at:
Source: USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)