The deadline for Kansas commodity producers to register to vote in the first-ever election of Commissioners to the four Kansas commodity commissions is December 31, 2001. The Kansas Wheat Commission, the Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission, the Kansas Corn Commission, and the Kansas Soybean Commission will each, for the first time, be having Commissioners elected by producers of the various commodities.

This first election will be selecting commissioners in District IV, District V and District VI, generally covering northcentral, central, and southcentral Kansas areas.

Registration forms are available from each of the Commission offices, County Extension offices, the Kansas Department of Agriculture, and the Department's internet website at http://www.ks-agr.org/commod/elections.htm, or you may register online at that same Web address. In any case, the completed registration must be received by the Department no later than December 31, 2001.

Producers may register to vote if they have a residence in Kansas, are eighteen years of age or older and have produced the particular commodity in the last three years. A producer may register to vote in as many of the Commissioner elections as he meets the qualifications for.

Ballots will be mailed approximately January 15, 2002 to registered producer-voters, with the deadline of March 1st for having the completed ballots back to the Kansas Department of Agriculture. The winners then will be announced April 1, 2002.

This election follows action by the Kansas legislature in 2000 reorganizing the commodity commissions to allow them to more closely follow the desires of their producers and to provide for faster reaction to specific issues involving their various commodities. Historically, the Commissions had functioned as state government agencies, with funding controlled by the state and Commissioners appointed by the Governor of Kansas.

The deadline for certifying as a candidate for a Commissioner position was October 31, and those candidates should be announced soon.

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