Louisiana crawfish and catfish producers' votes cast on Oct. 12 will decide whether voluntary funding will continue to support that state's crawfish and catfish promotion and research boards.
Under the current system, producers pay what are commonly known as “checkoff” funds based on the number of crawfish sacks used, the amount of crawfish bait they buy or the tons of catfish feed they purchase.
Although the votes are scheduled on the same date, the referendums involve two separate boards and two different funding systems — the Louisiana Crawfish Promotion and Research Board and the Louisiana Catfish Promotion and Research Board, organizations whose checkoff funds must be renewed by producers every five years. Both are set to expire this year.
Promotional activities funded by the assessments have focused on statewide food service programs, radio promotions, food service and hospitality industries across the country, as well as research conducted at Louisiana universities ranging from crawfish production and harvesting problems to genetic improvement and health management in catfish.
Voting on the renewals will be held at each parish LSU AgCenter Extension Service office in the state. A complete list of those offices can be found under the “Parish Offices” listing at www.lsuagcenter.com.
To cast a ballot, a crawfish producer must show proof of purchase of at least 100 pounds of bait or sales of 100 sacks during the previous 12 months. Catfish producers must show proof of purchase of at least 5 tons of catfish feed during the previous 12 months.