By Clint Thompson
Georgia pecan growers are voting this month to renew a one-cent per pound assessment on pecans for the Georgia Agriculture Commodity Commission for Pecans.
According to Andy Harrison, commodity commissions manager for the Georgia Department of Agriculture, ballots have been sent to Georgia growers of 30 acres or more. They will vote on the assessment, which is required under Georgia law. Producers are required to vote every three years to renew the assessment.
“Of the balance that comes in, we need 2/3 voting affirmative on it. We’ve sent out about 700 or 800 ballots to pecan growers,” Harrison said. “It’s one cent per pound on pecans marketed. That money can be used for research, education, promotion for Georgia pecans.”
All returning ballots must be postmarked by May 30. The back of the return envelope must be completed for the ballot to be valid. The commodity commission utilizes assessment funds for research, education, and promotion of Georgia pecans.
Harrison emphasized that the Georgia Department of Ag administers the funds. But it is the Georgia Pecan Commission who decides how the money is spent.
“Members of the commission decide where the money’s going. They vote on behalf of what they feel like is best for the growers’ interest. A lot of it goes to research for the University of Georgia and USDA,” Harrison said.
Growers of 30 or more acres who have not received a ballot should contact Andy Harrison, at firstname.lastname@example.org.