Spencer, IA: (May 29, 2012) - Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has signed legislation allowing sheep producers the opportunity to increase the state sheep checkoff assessment rate.
A special referendum will be held this summer in which producers will be asked to vote on two items.
The first item will be whether or not to increase the per head checkoff from the current 10 cents to 25 cents per head. If that item fails, the current checkoff rate of 10 cents per head will remain in effect.
If the 25 cent rate is approved, the second question will be whether or not to empower the Iowa Sheep & Wool Promotion Board to change the assessment within specific guidelines.
Due to a decrease in the number of sheep produced in the state, collections have declined to about $50,000 a year, about half what the checkoff generated in the 1980’s. Based on current production numbers, the increased checkoff, if approved, would generate an additional $30,000.
Micky Burch, Executive Director of the Iowa Sheep Industry Association, says they are not currently able to fund all of the requests received for education and promotion of lamb and wool.