USDA sets date for Lamb Referendum

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that it will offer lamb producers, feeders, and first handlers the opportunity to vote in a nationwide referendum on whether to continue or terminate the Lamb Promotion, Research, and Information Order, authorized under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996. The referendum will be held Feb. 2-27.

The referendum will be conducted at USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices. To be eligible to vote, persons must certify and provide documentation, such as a sales receipt or remittance form, which shows they have been engaged in the production, feeding, or slaughtering of lambs during the period, Jan. 1, 2008, through Dec. 31, 2008.

Beginning Feb. 2, and continuing through Feb. 27, persons eligible to vote should obtain form LS-86 from a county FSA office either in person, by mail, fax, or via the Internet at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/Ismarketingprograms.

Persons must vote in the referendum at the county FSA office where their administrative farm records are maintained. For those persons not participating in FSA programs, the opportunity to vote will be provided at the county FSA office where the person owns or rents land.

Form LS-86 and supporting documentation must be returned in person, by mail, or by fax, to the appropriate county FSA office. The form and documentation returned in person or by fax must be received in the appropriate county office prior to the close of business Feb. 27, 2009. The form and documentation returned by mail must be postmarked no later than midnight Feb.27, and received in the county FSA office by March 6.

Notice of the referendum was published in the Dec. 16, 2008, Federal Register. Copies of the Final Rule and Notice are available from the Marketing Programs Branch; Livestock and Seed Program, AMS, USDA; STOP 0251 — Room 2628-S; 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-0251; tel. (202) 720-1115; or via the Internet at www.ams.usda.gov/lsmarketingprograms.