USDA Announces Results of the South Texas Onion Marketing Order Referendum

November 8, 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that onion growers in South Texas have voted to amend their federal marketing order.

The committee is made up of 10 producer members and seven handler members, each with an alternate, to represent two districts. The amendment reduces the size of the committee by removing one producer and one handler member and their respective alternates from each of the districts. The amendment also makes conforming changes to the selection process and to the procedures for meetings and voting to reflect the reduction in committee members.

In a referendum conducted August 6-27, 2018, the amendment was favored by 100 percent of voting growers, representing 100 percent of the total volume of onions produced by those voting.

In order for the amendment to pass, it must be favored either by at least two-thirds of the growers voting in the referendum or at least two-thirds of the volume represented in the referendum. Both requirements were met.

To be eligible to vote in this referendum, a grower must have produced onions in the designated area between Aug. 1, 2016, and July 31, 2017. A notice of the referendum was published in the Federal Register July 30, 2018. USDA also announced the referendum in a notice to trade July 30, 2018, which was available to news organizations, wire services, radio stations and other information media.

A final rule implementing the amendment will be published in the Federal Register and the industry will be notified when it is published.

More information about the marketing order is available on AMS’ 959 South Texas Onions web page.

Authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, marketing orders are industry-driven programs that help producers and handlers achieve marketing success by leveraging their own funds to design and execute programs that they would not be able to do individually. The Agricultural Marketing Service provides oversight of marketing orders and agreements, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.

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