Illinois Corn Marketing Board Chairman Bill Christ, a family farmer from Metamora, released the following statement upon hearing the certified results of the corn checkoff referendum:
“Corn farmers put a great deal of time, money, and energy into their crop every year. With that comes a checkoff contribution. We understand that it is important that we continue to invest these checkoff dollars with integrity to achieve the goals and meet the needs of corn farmers in Illinois. The ICMB has determined four major areas of investment for the increased checkoff proceeds. They are infrastructure development, supporting science based research and data that can be used to fight regulations, public education and outreach, and ethanol market development for E-15. These focus areas were determined after much thought and analysis. We surveyed corn farmers and considered the input provided by the members of the Illinois Corn Growers Association. We feel a sense of obligation and duty to be sure that corn checkoff dollars are wisely invested to enhance the profitability of corn farmers in Illinois.”
The Department of Agriculture’s news release is as follows:
Illinois corn farmers overwhelmingly have approved an increase in the check-off rate they pay when marketing their grain. By a vote of 1,137 to 317, they passed a referendum March 28 to raise the rate by 1/4 cent per bushel.
The referendum result was announced today after the Illinois Department of Agriculture completed its review of the ballots and certified the statewide vote total.
The Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB) requested the referendum. The measure won approval in 71 of Illinois’ 102 counties and was supported on 78 percent of the ballots cast. That means effective Oct. 1, 2012, the current 3/8 cent check-off rate will increase to 5/8 of a cent per bushel. If they choose, however, corn farmers still have the right to receive a full refund.
The ICMB, a volunteer board of corn farmers elected by their peers, administers the check-off fund. Members invest the proceeds in market development, research, education and promotion programs designed to enhance the profitability of Illinois corn farmers.