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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, FEB. 14, 2012

CONTACT: Tommy Fleetwood, marketing specialist
NCDA&CS Marketing Division
252-331-4773; email: tommy.fleetwood@ncagr.gov

Commercial Irish potato growers to vote
on assessment program

ELIZABETH CITY -- Commercial Irish potato growers in a nine-county area in the northeastern part of the state will vote in March on the renewal of an assessment program that supports promotional and research work of the N.C. Potato Association Inc. Official ballots will be mailed March 15 to all potato growers eligible to vote on the assessment.

Potato growers in Beaufort, Camden, Carteret, Currituck, Hyde, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Tyrrell and Washington counties will vote on whether to approve a new six-year assessment program. The plan must be approved by two-thirds of those voting in order to continue the program.

Under the Enabling Act legislation passed by the N.C. General Assembly, a referendum on the assessment program must be held every three to six years. Potato growers currently pay 1 cent per 100 weight of potatoes sold to help support research and promotion. This vote is to continue the same 1-cent assessment of potatoes sold.

“The effective period of the assessment would be from 2012 through 2017,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “I support the passage of this referendum because promotion and research are absolutely necessary to continue market development for our growers.”

Funds are collected by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and turned over to the N.C. Potato Association’s Board of Directors.The monies are then administered by the Potato Board, which is composed of growers representing counties in the assessment program area.

Growers should mail the ballots to the Northeast Marketing Center at P.O. Box 2066, Elizabeth City, NC 27906. They must be received by March 28, 2012.

For more information, contact Tommy Fleetwood at the NCDA&CS Northeast Marketing Center at 252-331-4773.

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NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3005; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Agriculture

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