USDA Sets Referendum Dates for Proposed Amendments to the Almond Marketing Order

November 20, 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will conduct a referendum Mar. 25 to Apr. 5, 2019, on proposed amendments to the marketing order for almonds grown in the state of California that would move the nomination process later in the year to allow for more industry participation and allow the selection of the board to coincide with the beginning of the crop year.

The proposed amendments would:

  • Change the dates associated with the Almond Board of California nomination process;
  • Change the start date of the term of office for board members; and
  • Allow informal rulemaking to be used to consider future changes to the provisions related to the nomination, selection and term of office for board members. 

The proposed amendments would need to be approved by two-thirds of the almond growers voting in the referendum or be supported by almond growers representing at least two-thirds of the volume of almonds voted in the referendum. 

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will mail ballots and voting instructions to all almond growers of record in the state of California. To be eligible to vote, the growers must have handled almonds grown in the regulated area from Aug. 1, 2017, to Jul. 31, 2018.

Eligible growers who have not received a ballot by Mar. 25, 2019, may request one by calling (559) 487-5901, emailing, faxing (559) 487-5906, or mailing the request to the California Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 2202 Monterey Street, Suite 102-B, Fresno, California 93721-3129.

Notice of the referendum was published in the Federal Register Nov. 14, 2018. 

Information about the marketing order is available on AMS’ 981 Almonds web page.

Authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, marketing orders are industry-driven programs that help growers and handlers achieve marketing success by leveraging their own funds to design and execute programs that they would not be able to do individually. AMS provides oversight to 29 fruit, vegetable, and specialty crops marketing orders and agreements, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.


More information about federal marketing orders is available on the Marketing Orders and Agreements page of the AMS website or by contacting the Marketing Order and Agreement Division at (202) 720-2491.