What is it?
The Texas Grain Producers Indemnity Board (TGPIB) is holding a referendum (election) for eligible Texas producers of corn, sorghum, soybeans and/or wheat, including grain which is sold for seed, to decide if a refundable assessment should be collected. The assessment will range from 0.2% to a maximum of 0.6% of the final sales price of grain. The TGPIB will set the assessment rate each year.
How does it work?
If the referendum is approved, collection of the assessment at the set rate will begin on February 1, 2013, and continue until such time as the TGPIB notifies grain buyers to cease collection. Each grain buyer or grain elevator, including a purchaser, warehouseman, processor or commercial handler who buys grain from or stores unsold grain for a producer, shall collect the assessment by deducting the applicable percentage from the final sales price of the grain or from any funds advanced for that purpose. Producers who suffer losses as a result of the financial failure of a grain buyer can make a claim to the fund.
Who can vote?
Only a producer who has sold grain in the 36 months preceding December 7, 2012 is eligible to vote in the referendum. Eligible grain producers are persons, including the owner of a farm on which grain is produced or the owner’s tenant or sharecropper, engaged in the business of producing grain or causing grain to be produced for commercial purposes.
How and when do I vote?
The referendum will be held by mail balloting. Eligible producers may obtain a postage-paid ballot at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension county offices during regular business hours. If you are unable to access an AgriLife Extension Office, a ballot may be requested from TDA by calling (800) 835-5832. In order to be valid, all ballots cast must be mailed to TDA and must be postmarked no later than December 7, 2012. Ballots will be counted on December 17, 2012 and the Commissioner of Agriculture will certify results.