Tomato growers are being asked to weigh in on the $20 per acre assessment
By Diego Flammini
Farmers in North Carolina will be participating in a referendum next month.
The North Carolina Tomato Growers Association will be asking producers whether or not the organization should continue collecting the $20 per acre assessment on harvested commercial tomatoes.
The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services collects the assessment on behalf of the organization.
The Tomato Growers Association uses these funds to support industry research, education and programs to promote local tomatoes.
The industry generated more than $34.7 million in cash receipts in 2018.
Farmers in the state harvested 3,000 acres of tomatoes that year, USDA data shows.
So that means the organization would’ve received around $60,000 to use for its research and outreach initiatives.
The vote needs a two-thirds majority to pass.
If it does, the department of ag will continue to collect the assessment on behalf of the Tomato Growers and hand the funds over the organization’s board of directors.
This would be in place for the next six years beginning with the 2023 crop.
The Tomato Growers Association will mail ballots to farmers on Aug. 21. Farmers who don’t receive a ballot by Aug. 29 must contact Ellen Moss, the organization’s executive secretary, to receive one.
The ballots should be postmarked by 5pm on Sept. 26 and mailed to:
Executive Secretary, N.C. Tomato Growers Association
2491 St. Paul’s Road
Farmers can also email Moss for more information.
Farms.com has contacted Moss for more details about the referendum and what happens if producers vote against the assessment.