Program Referenda

The AMS Market Development Division is responsible for conducting referenda for Research and Promotion programs. Simply put, a referendum is an event where eligible parties vote for or against a specific issue. The reasons for a referendum are dependent upon the specific regulations governing that commodity. There are typically three reasons for conducting a referendum, which are outlined in each program’s regulations:

  • Establishment of a new research and promotion program
  • Continuation of an existing research and promotion program
  • If 10% or more of eligible voters (assessment payers) request a referendum

Additionally, the Secretary of Agriculture may hold a referendum at any time.

Upcoming Referenda

Honey Promotion and Research Program – August 2022

The Secretary of Agriculture will be conducting a referendum to determine whether eligible [first handlers or importers] favor the continuation of the Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Information Order.  For the Honey Promotion and Research program to continue, it must be approved by a majority of the first handlers and importers voting in the referendum who also represent a majority of the volume of honey or honey products represented in the referendum.

Referendum Agents: Katie Cook, Marketing Specialist, and Heather Pichelman, Acting Director, Market Development Division, SCP, AMS, USDA, Stop 0244, Room 1406–S, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250, are designated as the referendum agents to conduct this referendum.  Telephone: (202) 617-4760 Electronic Mail:

Voting Period:  The voting period for the referendum is August 8, 2022 through August 26, 2022.  First handlers and importers who handled or imported 250,000 pounds or more of honey or honey products from January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021 are eligible to vote in the referendum.

Electronic Voting:  If you have received your identification number, please submit your ballot electronically. 

Need a Ballot?

Any eligible first handlers or importers who did not receive a ballot should contact the referendum agent no later than three days before the end of the voting period.  Ballots delivered via express mail or email must show proof of delivery by no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on August 26, 2022, to be counted.