USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service will conduct a Request for Referendum involving eligible producers and hog, pig and pork importers to determine their desire for a referendum related to the National Pork Checkoff program.

This one-time Request for Referendum is being conducted as part of a 2001 lawsuit settlement between USDA and the Michigan Pork Producers Association, et al.

USDA will conduct a referendum on the order only if at least 15 percent of the total number of eligible U.S. pork producers and importers request it. If needed, the referendum would be conducted within a year after the Request for Referendum results are announced.

The Request for Referendum will be held Dec. 8 through Jan. 2. Producers and importers who were engaged in pork production or who import hogs, pigs, pork or pork products between Jan. 1, 2007, and Dec. 31, 2007, and were at least 18 years of age on or before Dec. 31, 2007, are eligible to participate.

For producers, the Request for Referendum will take place at USDA’s County Farm Service Agency offices where administrative farm records are maintained. For producers not participating in FSA programs, the opportunity to participate will occur at the CountyFSA office where the person owns or rents land. Eligible producers may click here to participate.

Importers may obtain Form LS-54-1 through the Marketing Programs Branch, Livestock and Seed Program, AMS, USDA or click here. Form LS-54-1 and accompanying documentation can be returned in person, by mail or by facsimile. Forms returned by mail must be postmarked no later than midnight on Jan. 2, 2009, and received by Jan. 9, 2009.

For more information, e-mail

Source: USDA