In accordance with the amended provisions of the Texas Agriculture Code, Chapter 41, Subchapter I, by the enactment of House Bill 1840 (HB1840), 82nd Legislature, 2011, Chapter 17, Subchapter A, Division 1, the Commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) will conduct a referendum on the proposition of whether or not grain producers shall establish a grain indemnity fund for the state of Texas and pay an assessment rate set by the Texas Grain Producers Indemnity Board (TGPIB) of two tenths percent of the gross sales price of the grain. TGPIB will set the assessment rate each year. If approved, the assessment will begin on Feb. 1, 2017, and continue until such time as the board gives notice otherwise, each grain buyer shall collect the assessment by deducting the applicable percentage from the final sales price of the grain or from any funds advanced for that purpose.

Voters may cast a ballot in their local Texas AgriLife Extension County Office between December 5 — 9, 2016. A voter may request a mail ballot by calling TDA at (512) 463-3285. All ballots cast must be deposited in the ballot box or postmarked no later than Dec. 9, 2016, in order to be valid. Eligible grain producers are persons including the owner of a farm on which grain (corn, sorghum, soybeans and/or wheat) is produced or the owner’s tenant or sharecropper engaged in the business of producing grain or causing grain to be produced for commercial purposes.  Only a producer who has sold grain in the 36 months preceding the close of the voting, is eligible to vote in the referendum.

For more information regarding the referendum, please contact Stuart Strnad, Texas Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 12847, Austin, Texas, 78711, or call (512) 463-3285.