Chapter 901:4-5 Market Development Programs

901:4-5-01 Definitions.

(A) "Affected commodity" means the agricultural commodity for which a marketing program is under consideration and upon which assessments would be made.

(B) "Collection agent" means a person or agency designated by an operating committee to have the authority to solicit and collect, and forward to the treasurer of state, assessments from producers .

(C) "Director" means the director of agriculture of the state of Ohio.

(D) "Marketing year" means the time period, defined by the U.S.D.A. athttp://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome, when the affected commodity is marketed. In the absence of a marketing year defined by the U.S.D.A., the director shall define the marketing year.

(E) "Producer" means any person who is in the business of producing, or causing to be produced, any agricultural commodity for commercial sale during the current or preceding marketing year, except that when used in reference to nursery stock, "producer" also means a distributor, processor, handler, or retailer of nursery stock.

(F) "Agricultural commodity" means any food, fiber, feed, animal, or plant, group of foods, fibers, feeds, animals, or plants that the director of agriculture determines to be of the same nature, in either a natural or processed state.

(G) "Person" means any natural person, partnership, corporation, society, association, or fiduciary.

(H) "Commercial quantity" means quantities subject to assessments as defined in the proposed marketing program.

(I) "Marketed" means any quantities, as defined in the proposed marketing program, that are sold, bartered, or for which other items of value are exchanged.

(J) "Nursery stock" means any winter hardy, perennial plant.

(K) "Commercial sales" means any commercial quantity marketed.

(L) "District" means a geographic area of Ohio, except if the proposed program includes out-of-state geographic areas. All Ohio districts must be composed of contiguous counties, and counties shall not be subdivided.

(M) "Category" means a classification of production, ownership, or other characteristics to qualify persons for marketing committee membership.

(N) "Continuance hearing" means a hearing held once in every five-year period to determine whether or not a marketing program should continue in existence for another five-year period.

(O) "Teller's committee" means a committee appointed by the director to certify the results of the referendum and/or election.

(P) "Producing" means the process that begins at that point in time in which the animal is born or the seed or plant is placed in the growing media. If a commodity cannot be defined as described above, the director may define that point in time where production begins.

Effective: 10/12/2015
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 07/28/2015 and 10/12/2020
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 924.02
Rule Amplifies: 924.01
Prior Effective Dates: 1/29/70, 9/24/81, 6/12/86, 4/30/99

901:4-5-02 Eligibility of producers.

(A) A producer, to be eligible to vote in a referendum and/or election of an operating committee after April 10, 1986, conducted under authority of Chapter 924. of the Revised Code shall:

(1) Be a producer of an Ohio commodity,

(2) Be subject to the assessment upon the affected commodities, and

(3) Have produced or caused to be produced the affected commodity in the producer's own name during current or preceding marketing year in which the referendum is to be held.

(B) There shall be only one vote for each producer. In determining the eligibility of a producer, the director shall recognize the vote of the individual holding the largest financial interest in the production unit, or designee.

Effective: 10/12/2015
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 07/28/2015 and 10/12/2020
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 924.02
Rule Amplifies: 924.04
Prior Effective Dates: 1/29/70, 9/24/81, 6/12/86, 4/30/99

901:4-5-03 Public notice.

(A) Pursuant to section 924.04 of the Revised Code, the director shall publish in at least two periodicals a notice informing interested persons of the proposed marketing program or amendment. The public shall have an opportunity to comment on the proposed program or amendment for thirty days after the publication of the notice.

(B) In addition to paragraph (A ) of this rule, the director may hold a public hearing. Notice of such hearings will be posted on the Ohio department of agriculture's website at http://www.agri.ohio.gov/.

(C) Pursuant to division (E) of section 924.06(E) of the Revised Code, the director or operating committee shall publish a ballot request form, at least thirty days before the beginning of a referendum, in at least two periodicals designated by the director. The director shall publish a toll-free telephone number that producers may call to request a ballot.

Effective: 10/12/2015
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 07/28/2015 and 10/12/2020
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 924.02
Rule Amplifies: 924.04
Prior Effective Dates: 1/29/70, 9/24/81, 6/12/86

901:4-5-05 Referendum.

After the director has ruled favorably for a proposed marketing program or amendment to a program, he shall hold a referendum in accordance with division (A) of section 924.06 of the Revised Code.

(A) Referendum :

(1) The director shall designate three consecutive business days to conduct in person voting at polling places.

(2) If opting to vote via mail, return mail ballots must be postmarked no later than midnight on the last day of the referendum and be received by the teller's committee within ten days from the closing date of the referendum.

(B) Polling places:

(1) The director shall designate at least two polling places .

(2) The addresses and telephone numbers of each polling place shall be published in the public notice of the referendum , as well as the dates and times each polling place is to be open.

(3) The director may designate, in addition to the polling place in paragraph (B)(1) of this rule, polling places at meetings of producer associations or general farm organizations. These polling places shall be:

(a) Exempt from telephone request for ballots as specified in division (E) of section 924.06 of the Revised Code;

(b) Published in the public notice, along with the dates and times each polling place is to be open; and

(c) Required to admit producers , without fee, for the purpose of voting.

(C) Impartial observer:

(1) The director shall appoint an impartial observer at each polling place who will be ineligible to vote in the referendum.

(2) The impartial observer shall determine the eligibility of each voter and upon finding issues with eligibility, shall report such issues of eligibility to the director.

(D) Petition forms, ballot applications, and ballots:

(1) The question(s) to be voted upon shall be presented to voters in common, understandable terms.

(2) The director may determine information required on all petitions, ballot applications, ballots and refund forms. These may include:

(a) Name and address of producer;

(b) Name and address of voter;

(c) County of residence;

(d) Certification statement signed by voter as to eligibility to vote ; or

(e) Social security or tax identification number on refund forms.

(3) The director shall approve all ballots, ballot application forms, petitions, and refund forms.

(4) Signatures on petition forms shall be within twelve consecutive months from date of presentation to the director.

(E) The director shall appoint a teller's committee to count the ballots and determine the results of the referendum in accordance with section 924.06 of the Revised Code.

(F) In situations where a national or regional marketing program is in conflict with a state marketing program, the director, subject to the approval of the operating committee, may make minor technical changes in the state program so long as the intent of the program does not change.

Effective: 10/12/2015
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 07/28/2015 and 10/12/2020
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 924.02
Rule Amplifies: 924.06
Prior Effective Dates: 1/29/70, 9/24/81, 6/12/86, 4/30/99

901:4-5-06 Appointment of operating committees.

(A) Before appointing an operating committee pursuant to section 924.07 of the Revised Code, the director shall notify producers through producer associations of the affected commodity and general farm organizations, by first class mail at least thirty days before appointments are made, that the director is receiving such nominations.

(B) The director shall make a reasonable effort to determine the qualifications of nominees submitted to assure that:

(1) They are qualified producers subject to the assessment;

(2) They will serve if appointed;

(3) They are knowledgeable on production and marketing of the affected commodity; and

(4) They are deemed to represent an equitable part of the production and geographic area of the state.

Effective: 10/12/2015
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 07/28/2015 and 10/12/2020
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 924.02
Rule Amplifies: 924.07
Prior Effective Dates: 1/29/70, 6/12/86, 4/30/99

901:4-5-08 Receipt and expenditure of funds.

Pursuant to section 924.10 of the Revised Code, a commodity marketing program's operation committee shall keep accurate records of the date and amount of money received from each producer . For the purpose of Chapter 924. of the Revised Code, such records shall be maintained for a period of not less than five years.

Effective: 10/12/2015
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 07/28/2015 and 10/12/2020
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 924.02
Rule Amplifies: 924.08
Prior Effective Dates: 1/29/70, 6/12/86, 4/30/99