Cattle owners may vote on referendum

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All cattle owners in North Carolina are invited to vote on the state’s Cattle Industry Assessment Referendum on Thursday, Oct. 4.
The N.C. Cattlemen’s Association requested and was granted permission from the N.C. Board of Agriculture to conduct a referendum to continue the assessment and voting will take place at the Cooperative Extension office in each county.
All cattle owners at least 18 years of age as of Oct. 4, 2012, will be eligible to vote. Brunswick County’s polling location is at the Extension office in the Brunswick County Government Center Complex, 25 Referendum Drive in Bolivia.
All eligible voters must vote within their own county. Voters can find other polling locations or request absentee ballots by contacting the Extension office at 253-2610.
This referendum will be to assess all cattle sold and marketed in North Carolina at $1 per head to advance the cattle, beef and dairy industries in the state. The funds collected will be used in five areas: youth programs, research, education, promotion and issues management.
The referendum, if approved, would continue the original state assessment program, which was first established in 1957. Since the assessment was most recently reinstated on Jan. 1, 2010, research and education projects have been funded to deal with the production issues facing North Carolina cattlemen in the areas of management, forage production, feed efficiency and general input reductions.
According to Bryan Blinson, executive director of the North Carolina Cattlemen’s Association, “The assessment will be for a period of six years with a recurring referendum if requested.
“Producers will be eligible for a full refund of their North Carolina assessment by request within 60 days of the sale of the animal with proof of sale. This is a provision that is not available in the national program, due to the federal law.”