Michigan wheat producers have approved a referendum to establish a checkoff, known as the Michigan Wheat Program, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) announced this week.
Monies collected will be used to advance wheat research, education, information delivery and market development and to foster industry collaboration.
The referendum was conducted from June 20 to July 1 of this year. MDARD said that of 1,374 valid ballots received, 747 producers, or 54 percent, voted yes. The “yes” votes represented approximately 6.1 million bushels of production, also approximately 54 percent.
For the program to be adopted, more than 50 percent of the producer votes cast and more than 50 percent of the total production amount represented on the cast ballots, had to approve the proposal.
The Michigan Wheat Program will be administered by a committee of nine members appointed by the state’s governor, including eight wheat producers and one industry representative.
The program will be fully funded by assessments on wheat sales, with the assessment rate to be set annually by the Committee, never to exceed 0.5 percent of the value of the wheat sold.
Twenty states have similar self-tax programs for the wheat industry, often called checkoffs. Most other commodities also have checkoffs at the state level or, in some cases, the national level.
More information, including the formal director’s order establishing the program, is available online at www.michigan.gov/mda.