California wheat growers, Woodland will be voting to decide the future of the California Wheat Commission beginning in late January. As required by the California Food and Agriculture Code, a reapproval referendum is to be conducted every five years. The Commission will continue if a majority of the producers voting in the reapproval referendum favor continuation. Ballots are required to be postmarked no later than February 18, 2008.
The State Food and Agriculture code mandates the Wheat Commission to conduct research and market promotional activities and provides for the collection of the an assessment which has been set at $.05 per hundred weight, or $1.00 per ton.
"This organization is highly respected at the state, national and international level," says Commission Chairman and Stockton wheat grower Michael Scriven. "Hours of service can go into an issue before a grower sees the final result. For example, it took 9 hard-fought years working closely with the national wheat organizations, USDA and the United States Trade Representatives Office before Mexico lifted its 9-year ban on wheat imports from California. It will continue to be a priority of the Commission to work with the agencies that implement programs for California growers to make sure the state is treated fairly."
Scriven concludes, "The wheat we grow in California is quite different from that produced anywhere else in the United States. It is up to us to demonstrate the value of California wheat to buyers; no one will do that for us. Buyers in the domestic and international market place have come to rely on the integrity and knowledge of the Commission when making their purchasing decisions. We are a grower organization – fifteen grower commissioners and alternates – covering the entire state. We oversee the Commission and give direction to its activities. There is much to be proud of and much to look forward to. I urge all wheat growers to give their affirmative vote, and keep it working for all of us."
Growers may contact the California Wheat Commission if they have not received a ballot. The Commission's phone number is (530) 661-1292.