This winter has reminded me of my childhood when snow came and lasted for weeks on end. My youngest daughter has enjoyed sledding with her friends and I have enjoyed sitting by the fire as much as possible.
Farming in this kind of weather brings home the reality it’s not all fun and games but it is what we love to do, most of the time.
For all of our lamb producers it’s once again time for a referendum to determine if the Lamb Promotion, Research and Information Program (Lamb Checkoff Program) should continue. The Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996 required the secretary conduct a referendum during a representative period established by the secretary among persons subject to the assessment.
These persons would include lamb producers, feeders, seedstock producers and first handlers. The last referendum was held from Jan. 31, 2005 through Feb. 28, 2005 and the Act requires a subsequent referendum on the Order be conducted no later than seven years after the assessments first began.
USDA is now required to conduct the nationwide referendum among all those subject to the assessment by July 1, 2009. The Order will continue if a majority of the persons voting, who also represent a majority of the volume of lambs, vote in favor of continuing the Order.
If the Order is not approved, USDA will begin the process of terminating the Lamb Checkoff Program.
The Farm Service Agency is responsible for assisting the Agricultural Marketing Service with conducting the referendum. The referendum voting will run through Feb. 27. Voting will take place at your local FSA office. Information on the referendum is available at your local FSA office and online at www.ams.usda.gov/LSMarkingPrograms.
The historic events of this past year have reminded me, and I’m sure most of you, of the incredible journey our young nation has traveled. As we begin Black History Month we think of how far we have come and yet how far we have to go.
No matter what your politics, religion or walk in life, we are all a part of this moment in time that defines our great democracy. We will continue to look at these things as Black History Month goes on.
That’s all for now,