Chapter 901:4-5 Market Development Programs

901:4-5-01 Definitions.

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

(B) "Collection agent" is 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 as approved by an operating committee.

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

(D) "Marketing year" is the time period as defined by the U.S.D.A. when the affected commodity is marketed. In the absence of a marketing year defined by the U.S.D.A., the director must define the time period in the proposed program.

(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" is 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.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 02/09/2010 and 02/09/2015
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, 04/14/2004

901:4-5-02 Eligibility of producers.

(A) A producer to be eligible to vote in a referendum to amend a program established on or before 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 assessment upon the affected commodities produced in Ohio;

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

(B) 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 subject to the assessment upon the affected commodities, and

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

(C) 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.

(D) The voting volume of a producer shall be the quantity marketed during the marketing year preceding the one in which the referendum is to be held.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 04/14/2004 and 04/14/2009

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 hearings.

(A) Any public hearing held to consider agricultural marketing programs, proposed amendments to programs, and/or election of operating committee members, shall be held under provisions of sections 119.06 to 119.09 of the Revised Code.

(B) Proper notice of such hearing shall be in accordance with rule 901-3-01 of the Administrative Code.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 04/14/2004 and 04/14/2009

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 Conduct of referendum and/or election of operating committee.

After the director of agriculture has ruled favorably in an official hearing 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 and/or elections:

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

(2) Return mail ballots must be postmarked no later than midnight on the last day of the referendum.

(3) Ballots must 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 for a referendum and/or election of the operating committee.

(2) The addresses and telephone numbers of each polling place shall be published in the public notice of the referendum and/or election, 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 with other published polling places along with dates and times open as polls.

(c) Required to admit producers to the polling place, 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 as defined in the program or proposed program.

(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 producer shall certify the volume marketed for the time period indicated on the ballot for amendments to programs established before April 10, 1985.

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

(a) Name and address ofproducer;

(b) Name and address ofvoter;

(c) County of residence;

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

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

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

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

(E) Information required in the voting procedure shall be held in strict confidence and not be made public in any manner except as required in determining the results of the referendum.

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

(G) 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.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 02/09/2010 and 02/09/2015
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, 04/14/2004

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

(A) Before appointing an operating committee in section 924.07 of the Revised Code, the director shall:

(1) 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.

(2) Make a reasonable effort to determine the qualifications of nominees submitted to assure that:

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

(b) They will serve if appointed;

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

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

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 02/09/2010 and 02/09/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 924.02
Rule Amplifies: 924.07
Prior Effective Dates: 1/29/70, 6/12/86, 4/30/99, 4/14/2004

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

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

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 02/09/2010 and 02/09/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 924.02
Rule Amplifies: 924.08
Prior Effective Dates: 1/29/70, 6/12/86, 4/30/99, 4/14/2004