Vegetable marketing order approved

The Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Vegetables, which was established in 2006, has approved a proposed marketing order for vegetables that would fund research, education, promotion and marketing programs for the commission.

The proposed marketing order will affect vegetable producers who annually produce 50 acres or more of beans, bell peppers, cabbage, cucumbers, greens (collards, turnip greens, mustard and kale), squash (yellow, zucchini and winter squash), sweet corn and tomatoes. Producers with less than 50 acres of total annual production of the affected vegetables will not be assessed.

The proposed assessment is 1 cent per marketing unit. Marketing units are defined as one-bushel unit for beans, bell pepper, cabbage, cucumber and squash. Greens will be assessed on a 24-count unit. Sweet corn will be assessed on a 46 to 52-ear unit. Tomatoes will be assessed on a 25-pound unit.

Collections from the check-off will be spent on: 1) Research to enhance Georgia's vegetable production and packaging practices; 2) Education programs to inform growers on the latest techniques for Georgia vegetables and to assist growers with industry and government issues; and 3) The promotion/marketing of Georgia vegetables to consumers, retailers and food service.

The commission consists of two ex-officio members — Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin and Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall and five producer members: Chairman Bo Herndon of Lyons, Vice-Chairman Felton Coggins of Lake Park, Jim Gillespie of Rabun Gap, Richard (Dick) Minor of Andersonville and Greg Murray of Bainbridge. All members have voting privileges.

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