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Voting underway on California commission

by John S. Niblock | February 14, 2010
Ballots are being mailed Feb. 15 to decide whether the California Cut Flower Commission will continue to operate.

The referendum is required every five years by legislation establishing the commission in 1990. California growers who sell flowers and grossed at least $500,000 in sales in 2009 are eligible to vote.

In an interview earlier this month with The Produce News, Kasey Cronquist, executive director and ambassador of the commission, estimated that about 60 of the state's 250 growers are eligible to vote. Ballots will be counted by the California Department of Food & Agriculture, which oversees the commission. Commission operating funds come from grower assessments.

The last referendum in 2005 saw 31 growers vote to continue the commission, with 24 voting to oppose -- a margin of 56 percent to 44 percent.

In January, the commission presented its annual business and progress report to growers at meetings hosted by local commissioners in four flower- growing regions of the state.