A survey of 582 corn growers, from 17 states, showed overwhelming support for making all checkoff programs voluntary.

Agri Business Group, Inc., an internationally known agricultural marketing research and consulting firm, conducted the survey. The scientific, randomly selected, statistically valid survey has a 4.1% margin of error.

On the question of whether farmers believe that all commodity checkoff programs should be voluntary or not, 77.7% said voluntary, 19.2% said not voluntary and 3.1% said they didn't know.

"In light of this tremendous support for voluntary checkoff programs, the secretary of agriculture is responding to the wishes and desires of this nation's agricultural producers. We compliment him on calling for the pork checkoff referendum," said Gary Goldberg, chief executive officer of the American Corn Growers Association (ACGA).

"For too long now, many checkoff programs have operated as if the money belongs to them, instead of to the hard working farmers who produce the commodity and pay the tax. The results of the ACGA survey clearly show that checkoff boards must be more responsive to the wishes of the producer and open their programs up to voluntary payments. Anything less will demand referendums just like the pork checkoff program," concluded Goldberg.

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