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Michigan Apple Committee reduces US Apple assessment rate

Contact: Denise Yockey
(800) 456-2753

The Michigan Apple Committee has reduced its US Apple assessment rate for 2005-harvested apples.

In 2003, Michigan became the only state to levy a special grower-approved assessment on apple production to support the activities of the US Apple Association. The resolution allowed an assessment up to 3 cents per hundredweight for all apples.

The full 3-cent assessment has been collected since August 2003, in order to pay current dues and retire a large past-due amount from the very short crop of 2002.

“The Michigan Apple Committee board and I believe sufficient progress has been made on the past-due amount, that we no longer need to collect at the 3-cent level,” said Denise Yockey, MAC's Executive Director.

“Communications are going out now to all growers notifying them that effective with 2005 crop apples, the US Apple assessment will be reduced to 2 cents per hundredweight,” Yockey said.

“Michigan Apple Committee remains very supportive of the activities and programs of US Apple,” comment Bryan Bixby, a Berrien Springs grower who serves as MAC chairman and a Trustee to US Apple.

“Two good growing seasons have put our revenues right on target, both for the state program and the US Apple program. To continue collecting 3 cents is more than we need, and we believe the grower wants these funds back in his or her pocket,” Bixby said.

The US Apple assessment for Michigan is remitted by growers, shippers and processors to the Michigan Apple Committee, which in turn makes regular payments to US Apple. Michigan's dues owed to US Apple in 2005 was $147,665, which is based on a 5-year USDA production average.

The US Apple assessment in Michigan also pays for travel by Michigan appointees to attend and represent Michigan at US Apple committee meetings, which are held in Washington, DC, and Chicago, a few times each year.

“Michigan growers benefit significantly from our relationship with US Apple, a nonprofit trade association that represents our interests on issues before Congress or in branches of the federal government,” Yockey said.

“US Apple does things MAC cannot do, including representing the industry on international issues, acting as a national apple information center with preparedness on emergency communications, coordinating the nationwide National Apple Month display contest, and many other activities,” Yockey concluded.

The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded nonprofit organization devoted to market development, consumer education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption in Michigan and around the world. For more information, visit www.MichiganApples.com.