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Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.
This document directs that a referendum be conducted among eligible producers of Vidalia onions grown in Georgia to determine whether they favor continuance of the marketing order that regulates the handling of Vidalia onions produced in the production area.
The referendum will be conducted from September 9 through September 27, 2013. To vote in this referendum, producers must have produced Vidalia onions within the designated production area in Georgia during the period of January 1 through December 31, 2012.
Copies of the marketing order may be obtained from the referendum agents at 799 Overlook Drive, Winter Haven, FL 33884, or the Office of the Docket Clerk, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Fax: (202) 720-8938; or Internet: www.regulations.gov.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Corey E. Elliott, Marketing Specialist, or Christian D. Nissen, Regional Director, Southeast Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA, 799 Overlook Drive, Winter Haven, FL 33884; Telephone: (863) 324-3375, Fax: (863) 325-8793, or Email: Corey.Elliott@ams.usda.gov or Christian.Nissen@ams.usda.gov.
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Pursuant to Marketing Agreement and Order No. 955, as amended (7 CFR Part 955), hereinafter referred to as the “order,” and the applicable provisions of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), hereinafter referred to as the “Act,” it is hereby directed that a referendum be conducted to ascertain whether continuance of the order is favored by the producers. The referendum shall be conducted from September 9 through September 27, 2013, among Vidalia onion producers in the production area. Only Vidalia onion producers that were engaged in the production of Vidalia onions in Georgia during the period of January 1 through December 31, 2012, may participate in the continuance referendum.
USDA has determined that continuance referenda are an effective means for determining whether producers favor the continuation of marketing order programs. USDA would consider termination of the order if fewer than two-thirds of the producers voting in the referendum and producers of less than two-thirds of the volume of Vidalia onions represented in the referendum favor continuance. In evaluating the merits of continuance versus termination, USDA will not exclusively consider the results of the continuance referendum. USDA will also consider all other relevant information concerning the operation of the order and the relative benefits and disadvantages to producers, handlers, and consumers in determining whether continued operation of the order would tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act.
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the ballot materials to be used in the referendum have been submitted to and approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and have been assigned OMB No. 0581-0178, Vegetable and Specialty Crop Marketing Orders. It has been estimated that it will take an average of 20 minutes for each of the approximately 80 producers of Vidalia onions in Georgia to cast a ballot. Participation is voluntary. Ballots postmarked after September 27, 2013, will not be included in the vote tabulation.
Corey E. Elliott and Christian D. Nissen of the Southeast Marketing Field Office, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA, are hereby designated as the referendum agents of the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct this referendum. The procedure applicable to the referendum shall be the “Procedure for the Conduct of Referenda in Connection With Marketing Orders for Fruits, Vegetables, and Nuts Pursuant to the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as Amended” (7 CFR 900.400-900.407).
Ballots will be mailed to all producers of record and may also be obtained from the referendum agents, or from their appointees.
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Dated: July 24, 2013.
Rex A. Barnes,
Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-18225 Filed 7-29-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P