By law, this referendum is held every five years, and the 2010 referendum will be the sixth one, said Greg Lutz, LSU AgCenter crawfish specialist.
The first assessment is a quarter cent per pound on all manufactured crawfish bait sold in the state. The second assessment is two cents for each crawfish sack with a capacity of 25 pounds or more and one cent for each crawfish sack capable of holding less than 25 pounds.
The board administers the funds generated from the assessments, which usually range from $80,000 to $100,000 per year. Board members represent producers of farmed crawfish, wild crawfish fishermen, crawfish processors, crawfish bait suppliers, retail outlet and restaurant owners, the Louisiana Farm Bureau, and landowners engaged in crawfish production, Lutz said.
The funds are spent to promote Louisiana crawfish, for research on crawfish production, and to provide educational information about crawfish nutritional value.
The LSU AgCenter facilitates the voting by allowing producers to cast ballots at parish extension offices.
“Every parish office will have ballots,” Lutz said. “But most people will vote in the parish where they live. And those parish offices will have sufficient ballots.”
To vote, producers must show recent proof of purchase of the materials or supplies from which check-off funds are collected. They will have to provide proof of purchase of a minimum of 100 pounds of bait or 100 crawfish sacks during the preceding 12 months, Lutz said.
The votes will be collected at the close of business on Nov. 10 and shipped to Lutz, who will make the results known as quickly as possible.
For more information about the referendum, please contact Lutz at 225-765-2848 or firstname.lastname@example.org.