N.C. Tobacco Growers to Vote on Research Assessment Nov. 18

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RALEIGH — North Carolina tobacco growers will vote November 18, 2021, on whether to continue a self-assessment of 10 cents per 100 pounds of flue-cured and burley tobacco sold to support tobacco research and education.

The check-off program started in 1991 and allocates about $200,000 annually to tobacco-related research and extension projects at NC State University. State law requires a referendum be held every six years.

“I encourage tobacco growers to vote on this important check-off,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “A two-thirds majority of votes is needed to pass the assessment, so be sure to cast your vote.”

Funds from the check-off are allocated by the N.C. Tobacco Research Commission, whose membership includes the Commissioner of Agriculture, the N.C. Farm Bureau Federation president, the N.C. State Grange president, the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina president and the chairman of the N.C. Tobacco Foundation.

“This referendum is important to the future of tobacco production in North Carolina,” said Sonia Murphy, president of the N.C. Agricultural Foundation and state check-off coordinator. “Federal funding for tobacco research ceased in 1994, and state support has declined in recent years due to state budget reductions.

These factors led to the creation and need for the continuation of this self-help program of tobacco production research and education to help tobacco growers.”

Ballots will be available for tobacco growers at county extension offices on November 18. Please contact your local N.C. Cooperative Extension office for specific information regarding polling locations and times.

If approved, the assessment would be in effect from January 2022 through December 2027.