Michigan apple growers have voted strongly in favor of continuing the ­Michigan Apple Committee.

In a continuation referendum conducted in March, 85 percent of the growers who voted were in favor of continuing the committee, and they represented 91 percent of the acreage of voting growers. A simple majority was needed in order for the committee to continue. The Michigan Department of Agriculture mailed out ballots to 950 growers, and 172 valid ballots were returned, said Denise Yockey, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee.

The committee, formed about 35 years ago, collects an assessment of 51 cents per hundredweight on fresh apples, 27 cents per hundredweight on processed apples, and 11 cents per hundredweight on juice apples. The funds are used for promotional and educational programs and to support research. Two cents per hundredweight of the assessment go to the U.S. Apple Association, and four cents are dedicated to research.

Yockey said results of the referendum suggest that growers like the direction that the committee is going and recognize the importance of supporting USApple’s efforts on legislative issues, such as labor.