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Referendum Order on Continuation of the Pennsylvania Apple Marketing Program

[46 Pa.B. 6023]
[Saturday, September 24, 2016]

 I. The Pennsylvania Apple Marketing Program was established under the provisions of the Agricultural Commodities Marketing Act. The Act requires that the Secretary of Agriculture call a referendum of affected producers every five years to determine whether or not a majority of those voting still desire the program. The program was last subjected to a review referendum conducted in 2012. It is now time for another review referendum to determine whether a majority of the apple producers desire the program to continue.

 II. Referendum Period: The referendum period shall be from October 17, 2016 until 4 p.m. on October 31, 2016. Completed ballots shall be mailed or hand-delivered to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Market Development, Room 310, 2301 North Cameron Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17110-9408. Hand-delivered ballots must be received by 4 p.m. on October 31, 2016. Ballots that are mailed must be postmarked no later than October 31, 2016, and received no later than November 4, 2016.

 III. Notice of Referendum: This referendum order and an official ballot shall be mailed no later than October 11, 2016, to all affected producers whose names appear on the list of Pennsylvania apple producers maintained in the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture. Additional copies of the same materials shall be made available at the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture.

 IV. Eligible Voters: The rules governing the eligibility of a producer for voting are as follows: The record date for determination of whether a producer is eligible to vote is October 11, 2016. All apple producers who produced, grew, or caused to be grown 500 or more apple trees for sale or marketing in the Commonwealth in calendar year 2016 and intend to produce, grow, or cause to be grown 500 or more apple trees for sale or marketing in the Commonwealth in calendar year 2017.

 V. Counting of Ballots: The ballots will be canvassed and counted by a Teller Committee appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. The counting of the ballots will begin at 10 a.m., Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, 2301 North Cameron Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17110. The Secretary will announce the results of the referendum within 30 days following the completion of the referendum period. The results will be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and the Harrisburg Patriot-News, and disseminated to the news media.

 VI. Reporting Irregularities: Any irregularities or disputes concerning the referendum procedures must be reported in written form to the Secretary of Agriculture no later than seven (7) calendar days from the end of the referendum period.

 VII. Publication: This referendum order shall be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and the Harrisburg Patriot-News.

 VIII. Effective Date: The foregoing order shall be effective immediately.

RUSSELL C. REDDING, 
Secretary

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 16-1643. Filed for public inspection September 23, 2016, 9:00 a.m.]



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