Two amendments were proposed, one to revise the definition of "cotton-producing state," and one to revise the definition of "cotton-producing region to conform with the change of "cotton-producing state."
The referendum was held between Oct. 13 and Nov. 10, 2009. Four hundred forty five valid ballots were cast with 401 approving the amendments. There were 40, or nine percent, ballots opposing the motions.
The AMS proposed to amend the Order to implement the 2008 farm bill that provided the states of Virginia, Kansas and Florida be separate states in the definition of "cotton-producing state."
In order to be eligible to vote, a producer or importer must have produced or imported upland cotton during the representative period of Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2008.
"One of the steps implementing the results of the referendum is for the USDA to certify any interested orgaizations as certified producer organizations from each of the new cotton-producing states. Once those new organizations are in place, they will then nominate members and alternates to the Cotton Board to represent those newly recognized states. Those nominees will go through the same process for nomination and approval by the Secretary of Agriculture as all other Cotton Board nominees and alternates," said Larkin Martin, Alabama cotton producer and chairman of the Cotton Board.
TALKIN' COTTON is produced by NTOK Cotton, a group of farmer cooperatives, companies and Land Grant universities dedicated to encouraging and increasing cotton production in North Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. For more information on the cotton scene, see ntokcotton.org and okiecotton.org. For comments or questions about Talkin' Cotton, contact email@example.com.