Nov 14, 2013Michigan plum growers discontinue program
Michigan’s plum producers have voted to discontinue the Michigan Plum Industry Development Program. The current program will end on Jan. 1, according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD).
MDARD conducted the recent referendum in accordance with state law, which requires that the program be submitted for producer approval every five years.
A total of seven ballots were cast in the referendum. One ballot was disqualified because of incomplete information. Of the remaining six valid ballots to determine continuation of the program, four producers voted yes (67 percent) representing 156,793 pounds of plums (22 percent), and two producers voted no (33 percent) representing 554,210 pounds of plums (78 percent). 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 pounds represented on the cast ballots, must have approved it, according to MDARD.
The Michigan Plum Industry Development Program was developed to improve the economic position of Michigan’s plum producers by supporting and creating greater marketing opportunities through crop and market information, advertising and promotion, and appropriate research. The program was established in October 1978, with an assessment collection beginning in January 1979.