Referendum to Support Agricultural Research to Be Held in November

The NC Cooperative Extension – Wake County Center is one of the many locations in North Carolina where people who buy feed or fertilizer can vote on an agricultural referendum called the Nickels for Know-How.

The vote will take place on Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Wake County Center, located at 4001 Carya Drive in Raleigh.

Nickels for Know-How is a voluntary assessment on feed and fertilizer produced and purchased in North Carolina. Farmers in our state started Nickels for Know-How in a referendum in 1951 and the General Assembly authorized a vote on this self-help program. Manufacturers originally added a nickel – five cents – to the price of their feed and fertilizers to support the referendum. Over time, the amount collected has increased to 15 cents.

“The referendum is being held to let users and producers of feed or fertilizer decide if they wish to continue this self-assessment program,” said Wake County Referendum Chairman Zachary Parker. “The program has been in place since 1948, and the law requires that a new referendum be held every six years.”

A two-thirds favorable vote will mean that growers are willing to continue to support agricultural research and education. The assessment is 15 cents per hundred pounds on feed and fertilizer produced in North Carolina.

“The Nickels for Know-How program has been a rich part of Wake County’s farming history for the last 62 years,” said Wake County Commissioner Vickie Adamson. “It’s vital that those who these dollars impact voice their opinion on if it should continue.”

The funds, about $1.4 million annually, are collected by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and then allocated by the NC Carolina Agricultural Foundation, Inc.'s Board of Directors to support agricultural research and extension projects at North Carolina State University benefitting agriculture in North Carolina.

For more information on the referendum, please call the Wake County Extension Office at 919-250-1100.

Press Release