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Hog Farmers Win the Right to Vote to
Terminate Mandatory Pork Checkoff

USDA Secretary Glickman Accepts Petitions:
Makes Decision to Hold Vote

Campaign for Family Farms
Columbia, Missouri

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman announced today that USDA will conduct a referendum of the nation’s hog farmers to determine whether the mandatory pork checkoff will continue.

"This is a huge victory for family farmers, and for democracy in our nation," said Missouri hog farmer and Missouri Rural Crisis Center member Rhonda Perry. "Hog farmers organized and got more than 15% of us to sign the petition demanding the referendum. The mandatory pork checkoff tax does not work for us, and we are exercising our democratic right to repeal it."

The USDA has had the signatures of 20 % of America’s hog farmers (19,043 signatures) since May 24, 1999 on officially approved petitions calling for a referendum to end the mandatory pork checkoff. By law, signatures of 15 % of American hog farmers require the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a nationwide referendum of hog farmers on whether to continue the mandatory pork checkoff.

"We knew we had the signatures from bona fide hog farmers all across the country," said Minnesota hog farmer and Land Stewardship Project member Monica Kahout. "Now we want the vote--no more delays. We don’t want money going out of our pockets for factory farms and corporate control anymore."

"Secretary Glickman cleared the way today for hog farmers to vote down the checkoff," said Iowa hog farmer and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement member Mark McDowell. "Let’s get on with the vote."

The Campaign for Family Farms is a coalition of seven farm and rural groups that includes the Land Stewardship Project (Minnesota), Missouri Rural Crisis Center, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Wisconsin Rural Development Center, Indiana Campaign for Family Farms, and Community Farm Alliance (Kentucky).

Published in In Motion Magazine - March 5, 2000

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