Earlier this month peanut farmers should have received a ballot in the mail asking them to vote on the re-authorization of the National Peanut Board (NPB). The NPB will be continued if it is favored by a simple majority of the current producers voting in the referendum who are certified as having paid assessments during Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2008.

Now, more than ever, America’s peanut farmers and their families need the National Peanut Board. As fellow peanut farmers, the United Peanut Alliance asks that you vote “YES” for its re-authorization and to please return ballots now as they must be received in Washington by April 30, 2009.

Any eligible producer, who has not received a ballot, should contact Jeanette Palmer at USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. Call toll free (888) 720-9917; fax (202) 205-2800; or e-mail: Jeanette.Palmer@usda.gov.

The National Peanut Board is the research and promotion board that works on behalf of all USA peanut farmers. Their goal is to support and expand existing markets, develop new markets, and facilitate the economical production of high-quality, USA peanuts for consumers worldwide.

The NPB supports development and implementation of domestic and export advertising and promotion programs. It also funds research to reduce production costs, improve quality and yield, improve shelf life and flavor, explore nutrition research and investigate potential ways to lessen peanut allergy.

Since its inception in 2000 – in good times and in challenging times – the National Peanut Board has been at work to support and increase consumption and to maintain a receptive market for the product we grow. With the large number of challenges the industry is facing today, the United Peanut Alliance believes continuing this board is necessary.

The United Peanut Alliance represents growers in the states of New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.