(a) Upon certification by the board, an association may hold and conduct on the part of the Alabama ratite producers a referendum on the question of whether to levy upon themselves an assessment. The referendum shall be conducted on a statewide or area basis as determined by the certified association.
(b) The certified association shall, not less than 30 days before the date of any referendum, publicly announce the date, hours, polling places, and rules for voting in the referendum, the geographic areas covered by the referendum, the amount and basis of the assessment proposed to be collected, the means by which the assessment shall be collected, and the general purposes for which the amount collected shall be expended and applied. The notice shall be published by the certified association in its trade publication and written notice shall be given to each county agent in the geographic area covered by the referendum.
(c) Arrangements for, and the management of, any referendum conducted shall be under the direction of the association certified by the board to conduct the referendum, and the association shall furnish all necessary ballots and arrange for the necessary poll holders. All expenses and costs necessary to conduct a referendum shall be borne by the association.
(d) Any referendum conducted shall be held on a statewide or area basis, as determined by the certified association, pursuant to rules and regulations adopted for the holding of a referendum. All ratite producers in the geographic area covered by the referendum, who shall be subject to any assessments levied, shall be entitled to vote in the referendum. In the referendum, individuals eligible to participate shall vote on the question of whether there shall be levied an assessment for a period of five years in an amount set forth in the call for the referendum. The amount of the assessment levied shall be determined by the certified association.