Michigan Asparagus Growers Approve Continuation Referendum

Agency: Agriculture and Rural Development

For immediate release: May 16, 2018
Media contact: Jessy Sielski, MDARD, 517-284-5725
Program contact: John Bakker, MI Asparagus Committee, 517-669-4250  

LANSING – Michigan’s asparagus producers have approved a referendum to continue the Michigan Asparagus Industry Development Program.

Established in June 1978, the Michigan Asparagus Industry Development Program was designed to improve the economic position of Michigan asparagus growers by supporting research and market development efforts.

The program established the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board, which is a public body independent of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. It is comprised of nine asparagus producers appointed by the Governor. MDARD Director Gordon Wenk is a non-voting ex-officio member.

The program will continue for an additional five years, beginning June 8, 2018, and ending June 7, 2023. The current assessment is at a rate not to exceed two cents per pound.

A total of 55 valid ballots were cast in the referendum. Of those, 51 producers voted yes (93 percent) representing 11,217,520 pounds of asparagus (98 percent) and 4 producers voted no (7 percent) representing 209,800 pounds (2 percent).

For renewal of the program and its activities, more than 50 percent of the voting producers, representing more than 50 percent of the production of those voting, must have approved it.

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