California milk bottle cap.
December 6, 2017

California Quota Vote Still Short of Qualifying Ballots

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

As of yesterday, California was still 22 votes short of the number of ballots needed to make the referendum on the new Dairy Quota Implementation Plan a valid vote. 

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has extended the deadline to Dec. 22. Originally, the voting was to have ended this past Monday, Dec. 4. But CDFA extended the deadline 18 days, citing concerns over disruptions caused by wildfires in the northern part of the state last month.

In order for the referendum to pass, two thresholds must be met. The first one is that 51% of all ballots must be returned to CDFA. Specifically, this means that 538 ballots must be returned. As yesterday, ballots from 516 producers have been received. The second threshold is that at least 65% of producers voting representing 51% of the milk voting or 51% of producers voting representing 65% of the milk voting must vote yes.

The new plan must be approved for the quota program to continue if California dairy farmers also vote to implement a Federal Milk Marketing Order for the state. The United States Department of Agriculture has yet to issue a final rule on the new California Federal Order, and no date for a referendum has been set.