According to an article from the Georgia Farm Bureau, Georgia cotton growers have less than three weeks to decide on a referendum about whether or not to continue the Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC). Voting is part of a referendum that happens every three years to determine if the commission will continue its representation of Georgia cotton growers.
Georgia cotton growers received a ballot in early February by the Georgia Department of Agriculture. In order for the GCC to continue, 66 2/3 of voters must vote to keep the commission in service. Funding of the Georgia Cotton Commission comes from a $1 per-bale assessment paid by all Georgia cotton growers; these funds are reportedly used to promote cotton crop education and research. The Farm Bureau article reported that the GCC is active in sponsoring programs such as 4-H, FFA, and Georgia Young Farmers; supporting research at the University of Georgia Extension Cotton Team; and providing education displays at agriculture industry events.
GCC Chairman Mike Lucas, also the Bleckley County Farm Bureau president, said, "I feel honored to be elected chairman of the Georgia Cotton Commission. I have learned a lot about the cotton industry since I've been on the board these past several years and I like being in a position to give back to an industry that has been good to me. I will do my best as chairman to help the commission continue fulfilling its programs to the benefit of all cotton growers and the industry.”
Once the ballots are collected on March 5, the Georgia Department of Agriculture will determine the results of the referendum and whether or not the GCC will continue its service.