Chapter 924: AGRICULTURAL COMMODITY MARKETING PROGRAMS

924.01 Agricultural commodity marketing program definitions.

As used in sections 924.01 to 924.16 and 924.40 to 924.55 of the Revised Code:

(A) "Agricultural commodity" means any food, fiber, feed, animal, or plant, or 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 a processed state. "Agricultural commodity" does not include grain as defined in section 924.20 of the Revised Code.

(B) "Distributor" means any person who sells, offers for sale, markets, or distributes an agricultural commodity that the person has purchased or acquired directly from a producer, or that the person markets on behalf of a producer.

(C) "Handler" means any person who is in the business of packing, grading, selling, offering for sale, or marketing any agricultural commodity in commercial quantities as defined in a marketing program.

(D) "Marketing program" means a program that is established by order of the director pursuant to this chapter, to improve or expand the market for an agricultural commodity.

(E) "Operating committee" means a committee established to administer a marketing program for an agricultural commodity.

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

(G) "Processor" means any person who is in the business of grading, packaging, packing, canning, freezing, dehydrating, fermenting, distilling, extracting, preserving, grinding, crushing, juicing, or in any other way preserving or changing the form of any agricultural commodity.

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

Cite as R.C. § 924.01

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.144, SB 309, §1, eff. 12/26/2012.

Effective Date: 04-10-1985; 2007 HB217 03-24-2008

924.02 Director to establish marketing programs for agricultural commodities.

The director of agriculture, subject to sections 924.01 to 924.16 and Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, shall do all of the following:

(A) Establish procedures by which producers of Ohio agricultural commodities may propose, develop, and operate marketing programs to:

(1) Promote the sale and use of their products;

(2) Develop new uses and markets for such products;

(3) Improve the methods of distributing such products to consumers;

(4) Standardize the quality of such products for specific uses.

(B) Adopt and enforce rules to put into effect the intent of sections 924.01 to 924.16 of the Revised Code;

(C) Except as provided in section 924.06 of the Revised Code, determine the eligibility of producers to participate in referendums and other procedures that may be required to establish marketing programs for agricultural commodities.

Cite as R.C. § 924.02

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.

Effective Date: 06-20-1994; 2007 HB217 03-24-2008

924.03 Authority of marketing programs for agricultural commodities.

(A) Any marketing program which is established in compliance with procedures established in sections 924.04 to 924.07 of the Revised Code, may include, but shall not be limited to, authority to:

(1) Develop markets for the agricultural commodity for which the marketing program was established;

(2) Advertise and otherwise promote the sale of such agricultural commodity;

(3) Assemble and distribute market information for such agricultural commodity;

(4) Research and survey markets for and the marketing of such agricultural commodity;

(5) Conduct research to improve production of and develop new uses for such agricultural commodity;

(6) Contract with qualified organizations, agencies, or individuals to carry out any of the above activities;

(7) Contribute to a national or regional marketing program for such agricultural commodity if the national or regional program is exclusively for the promotion, research, marketing, and sale of the commodity; and

(8) Engage in educational programs directed toward better and more efficient utilization of agricultural commodities.

(B) If the proposed program provided for in division (B) of section 924.04 of the Revised Code recommends that the operating committee for the marketing program be elected by the producers of the commodity instead of appointed by the director under section 924.07 of the Revised Code, the marketing program shall include nomination and election procedures.

Cite as R.C. § 924.03

Effective Date: 07-27-1990

924.04 Petition for referendum to establish or amend marketing program.

(A) Producers of an Ohio agricultural commodity may present the director of agriculture with a petition signed by the lesser of one thousand or twenty per cent of all such producers requesting that the director hold a referendum in accordance with section 924.06 of the Revised Code to establish a marketing program for that commodity or to amend an existing program.

(B) At the time of presentation of the petition to the director under division (A) of this section, the petitioners also shall present the proposed amendment or a proposed program, which shall include all of the following:

(1) The rate of assessment to be made on the marketable agricultural commodity, which shall not exceed two per cent of the average market price of that agricultural commodity during the preceding marketing year as defined by the United States department of agriculture or, if there is no such definition, by the director;

(2) Terms, conditions, limitations, and other qualifications for assessment;

(3) Procedures to refund the assessment;

(4) Requirements for appointed or elected committees.

(C) Before making a decision under this division to approve or disapprove a proposed program, the director shall publish in at least two appropriate periodicals designated by him a notice that the program or amendment has been proposed and informing interested persons of the procedures for submitting comments regarding the proposal. After publishing the notice, the director shall provide interested persons with a copy of the proposed program or proposed amendment to an existing program and an opportunity to comment on the proposed program or amendment for thirty days after the publication of the notice. The petitioners may make changes to the proposed program or amendment based upon the comments received. The director may make technical changes to the proposal to ensure compliance with sections 924.01 to 924.16 of the Revised Code. Subsequent to any changes made by the petitioners or any technical changes made by the director to a proposed program or amendment to an existing program, the director may approve or disapprove the proposed program or amendment to an existing program.

(D) If the director approves the proposed program or amendment, with any changes made under division (C) of this section, he shall hold a referendum in accordance with section 924.06 of the Revised Code to establish a marketing program for that commodity or to amend an existing program.

Cite as R.C. § 924.04

Effective Date: 06-20-1994

924.05 Filing properly certified report by handler, distributor or processor.

(A) The director of agriculture may require each handler, distributor, or processor of any Ohio agricultural commodity for which a marketing program is proposed to file with him within thirty days, a properly certified report which shows:

(1) The correct name and address of each producer of such agricultural commodity from whom such handler, distributor, or processor received such agricultural commodity in the marketing season preceding the filing of such report;

(2) The volume marketed by each such producer during the preceding marketing season.

(B) The director shall not make public, or available to anyone for private use, the information contained in the individual reports of producers, handlers, or processors which are filed with him pursuant to this section.

Cite as R.C. § 924.05

Effective Date: 11-21-1969

924.06 Referendum to establish or amend marketing program.

(A) Within ninety days after approving an agricultural commodity marketing program proposed on or after the effective date of this amendment, or a proposed amendment to an agricultural commodity marketing program, the director of agriculture shall determine by a referendum whether the eligible producers favor the proposed marketing program or amendment. Any such marketing program or amendment to a marketing program is favored by the producers of the agricultural commodity that would be affected by the proposed program or amendment if a majority of the producers who vote in the referendum vote in favor of the program or amendment.

(B) If the producers who vote in any referendum held pursuant to this section do not favor a proposed marketing program, or proposed amendment to a program, the director shall hold no additional referendum on that proposed program or proposed amendment during the ten months following the close of the referendum at which the producers did not favor that proposed program or amendment.

(C) In any referendum held pursuant to this section, each eligible producer of the agricultural commodity that would be affected by the proposed marketing program, or amendment to a program, is entitled to one vote.

(D) In any referendum held on an agricultural commodity marketing program, or a proposed amendment to such a program, votes may be cast in person or by mailing a ballot to a polling place designated by the director. The director shall establish a three-day period during which eligible producers may vote in person during normal business hours at polling places designated by the director. The director or other appropriate person shall send a mail-in ballot by ordinary first-class mail to any eligible producer who requests one by calling the toll-free telephone number or sending in the ballot request form provided for in division (E) of this section, by calling one of the polling places designated by the director, or by any additional method that the director or operating committee may provide. No ballot returned by mail shall be valid if it is postmarked later than the third day of the election period established by the director.

(E) For any referendum held on an agricultural commodity marketing program, or a proposed amendment to such a program, the director or operating committee shall cause a ballot request form to be published at least thirty days before the beginning of the election period established under division (D) of this section in at least two appropriate periodicals designated by the director, and shall make the form available for reproduction to any interested group or association. The director shall provide a toll-free telephone number that producers may call to request a ballot.

(F) For the purposes of a referendum held on an egg marketing program or a proposed amendment to such a program under this section, an eligible producer is a person who is in the business of producing and marketing, or causing to be produced and marketed, eggs from a flock of more than seventy-five thousand domesticated chickens and, if the referendum is held on a proposed amendment to an egg marketing program, is subject to an assessment under the program.

Cite as R.C. § 924.06

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.

Effective Date: 06-20-1994

924.07 Establishing marketing program - operating committee.

(A) When the producers of an agricultural commodity who vote in a referendum favor a proposed marketing program, the director of agriculture shall order the program established and, if the marketing program does not provide for the election of an operating committee, appoint an operating committee consisting of producers of the commodity to administer the program. Each operating committee shall consist of not less than three nor more than fifteen producers.

(B) Of the members first appointed to an operating committee, the director shall appoint approximately one-third for one-year terms, approximately one-third for two-year terms, and the remainder for three-year terms. Thereafter, the director shall appoint each member for a three-year term unless the appointee is to fill a vacancy in which case the appointee shall be appointed for the unexpired term. Each such subsequent appointment shall be made prior to the expiration date of the preceding or vacant term.

(C) The director shall not appoint any member of an operating committee to serve more than three successive full three-year terms.

(D) The director shall appoint members of each operating committee from a list of candidates recommended by the producers of the agricultural commodity for which the marketing program is established. Insofar as possible the members shall be equitably distributed by geographic and production areas. Any list of candidates recommended to the director by producers shall include not less than twice as many candidates as the number of members which are to be appointed, but in no case shall a list include fewer than three names.

(E) The director, or the director's designee, is an ex officio member of each operating committee, with the right to vote.

(F) Each member of an operating committee, except the director or the director's designee, is entitled to actual and necessary travel and incidental expenses while attending meetings of the committee or while engaged in the performance of official responsibilities delegated to the committee. No member of such a committee shall receive in excess of thirty dollars per day, in addition to such travel and incidental expenses, or for more than twenty-four days per year for duties performed as a member of the committee.

(G) No person is civilly liable for any actions taken in good faith as a member of an operating committee.

Cite as R.C. § 924.07

Effective Date: 07-05-2002

924.08 Monitoring actions of operating committee.

The director of agriculture shall monitor the actions of each operating committee to assure that:

(A) Each marketing program is self-supporting.

(B) Each such committee keeps all records that are required for agencies of the state.

(C) All program operations are in accord with:

(1) The provisions of the marketing program;

(2) Rules adopted by the director;

(3) Sections 924.01 to 924.16 of the Revised Code.

(D) Administrative activities of each committee are coordinated with those of the department of agriculture.

Cite as R.C. § 924.08

Effective Date: 11-21-1969; 2007 HB217 03-24-2008

924.09 Levying assessments.

(A) Each operating committee may make assessments upon the marketable agricultural commodity for which the marketing program was established.

(B) No operating committee shall levy any assessment:

(1) That was not approved by the producers affected by the program;

(2) That exceeds two cents per bushel of corn or soybeans or two per cent of the average market price of any other agricultural commodity during the preceding marketing year as defined for the commodity by the United States department of agriculture or, if there is no such definition, by the director of agriculture;

(3) Against any producer who is not eligible to vote in a referendum for the marketing program that the operating committee administers.

(C) The director may require a producer, processor, distributor, or handler of an agricultural commodity for which a marketing program has been established under sections 924.01 to 924.16 of the Revised Code to withhold assessments from any amounts that the producer, processor, distributor, or handler owes to producers of the commodity and, notwithstanding division (B)(3) of this section, to remit them to the director. Any processor, distributor, or handler who pays for any producer any assessment that is levied under authority of this section may deduct the amount of the assessment from any moneys that the processor, distributor, or handler owes to the producer.

(D) No operating committee shall use any assessments that it levies for any political or legislative purpose, or for preferential treatment of one person to the detriment of any other person affected by the marketing program.

(E) The operating committee of each marketing program shall refund to a producer the assessments that it collects from the producer not later than sixty days after receipt of a valid application by the producer for a refund, provided that the producer complies with the procedures for a refund that were included in the program under division (B)(3) of section 924.04 of the Revised Code.

In the case of the state beef marketing program, in lieu of giving a refund to a producer, the director of the program's operating committee may forward the refund to the cattlemen's beef promotion and research board pursuant to the "Beef Promotion and Research Act," 99 Stat. 1597 (1985), 7 U.S.C.A. 2901 , and amendments thereto, and shall credit that amount to the total amount owed by the producer to the federal beef program. Each application for a refund of assessments levied for a program established after April 10, 1985 shall be made on a form provided by the director of agriculture. Each operating committee for such a program shall ensure that refund forms are available where assessments for its program are withheld.

Cite as R.C. § 924.09

Effective Date: 07-05-2002; 2007 HB217 03-24-2008

924.10 Marketing program funds - fiscal year - financial statements.

(A) There is hereby established in the state treasury a fund for each marketing program that is established by the director of agriculture pursuant to this chapter. Except as authorized in division (B) of this section, all moneys collected by the department of agriculture from each marketing program pursuant to section 924.09 of the Revised Code shall be paid into the fund for the marketing program and shall be disbursed only pursuant to a voucher approved by the director for use in defraying the costs of administration of the marketing program and for carrying out sections 924.02 , 924.03 , and 924.13 of the Revised Code.

(B) In lieu of deposits in the fund established pursuant to division (A) of this section, the operating committee of any marketing program established pursuant to this chapter may deposit all moneys collected pursuant to section 924.09 of the Revised Code with a bank or a savings and loan association as defined in sections 1101.01 and 1151.01 of the Revised Code. All moneys collected pursuant to section 924.09 of the Revised Code and deposited pursuant to this division also shall be used only in defraying the costs of administration of the marketing program and for carrying out sections 924.02 , 924.03 , and 924.13 of the Revised Code.

(C) Each operating committee shall establish a fiscal year for its marketing program and shall publish within sixty days of the end of each fiscal year an activity and financial report and make such report available to each producer who pays an assessment or otherwise contributes to the marketing program which the committee administers, and to other interested persons.

(D) In addition to the reports required by division (C) of this section, any marketing program that deposits moneys in accordance with division (B) of this section shall submit to the director both of the following:

(1) Annually, a financial statement prepared by a certified public accountant holding a live permit from the accountancy board issued pursuant to Chapter 4701. of the Revised Code. The marketing program shall file the financial statement with the director not more than sixty days after the end of each fiscal year.

(2) Monthly, an unaudited financial statement.

Cite as R.C. § 924.10

Effective Date: 09-29-1997

924.11 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 924.11

Effective Date: 04-10-1985

924.12 Suspending operation of marketing program.

(A) The director of agriculture may temporarily suspend the operation of a marketing program, or any part thereof, for any reason, upon recommendation by the operating committee for the program, for a period of not more than twelve consecutive months.

(B) At least once in each five years of operation, or at any time upon written petition by the lesser of twenty per cent or one thousand of the producers affected by a marketing program, the director shall give public notice by analogy to division (A) of and conduct a hearing under division (C) of section 119.03 of the Revised Code to consider the continuation of the program. The director shall file a copy of the public notice with the director of the legislative service commission for purposes of publishing the public notice in the register of Ohio.

(C) Within thirty days after the close of any hearing to consider the continuation of a marketing program, the director of agriculture shall recommend continuation or termination of the program, and shall give public notice of the recommendation by publication in the register of Ohio. The director also shall provide notice of the recommendation to any person who, in writing, has requested notification and may give whatever other notice the director reasonably considers necessary to ensure that notice is constructively given to all persons who are affected by the program.

(D) When the director recommends termination of a marketing program, the director shall, within forty-five days, conduct a referendum to determine whether the affected producers favor the proposed termination. The affected producers favor the termination of the program if a majority of the producers who vote in the referendum vote in favor of termination of the program.

Cite as R.C. § 924.12

Effective Date: 07-05-2002

924.13 Termination of marketing program.

(A) When affected producers of an agricultural commodity favor termination of a marketing program for the commodity the operating committee and the director of agriculture shall terminate all operations of the program.

(B) Upon the termination of any marketing program, the director may spend any remaining unobligated funds for any lawful purpose of the department of agriculture.

Cite as R.C. § 924.13

Effective Date: 04-10-1985

924.14 Coordinating committee.

The director of agriculture may appoint a coordinating committee consisting of one representative from each operating committee administering a marketing program, to coordinate the efforts of all marketing programs established under this chapter.

Cite as R.C. § 924.14

Effective Date: 11-21-1969

924.15 Enforcing compliance.

The director of agriculture may institute such action at law or in equity as appears necessary to enforce compliance with this chapter, any regulation adopted by the director under authority granted by this chapter, or any marketing program which is established in compliance with this chapter.

Cite as R.C. § 924.15

Effective Date: 11-21-1969

924.16 Failing to withhold or remit assessment.

(A) No person shall knowingly fail or refuse to withhold or remit any assessment adopted under section 924.09 of the Revised Code.

(B) Before the director of agriculture institutes any criminal proceedings under this section, he shall give the alleged violator an opportunity to present his views to the director as to why such proceedings should not be instituted.

Cite as R.C. § 924.16

Effective Date: 05-15-1989

924.20 Grain marketing program definitions.

As used in sections 924.20 to 924.30 of the Revised Code:

(A) "Grain" means wheat, barley, rye, or oats.

(B) "Handler" means a person who is in the business of agricultural commodity handling, as defined in section 926.01 of the Revised Code, of grain.

(C) "Producer" means a person who is in the business of producing, or causing to be produced, grain for commercial sale.

(D) "Rule" means a rule adopted under section 924.25 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 924.20

Effective Date: 2007 HB217 03-24-2008

924.21 Grain marketing program - administration.

There is hereby established a grain marketing program. The program shall be administered in accordance with sections 924.20 to 924.30 of the Revised Code and rules.

Cite as R.C. § 924.21

Effective Date: 2007 HB217 03-24-2008

924.22 Grain marketing program operating committee.

(A) For the purposes of sections 924.20 to 924.30 of the Revised Code, the director of agriculture shall hold an election to determine the membership of a grain marketing program operating committee in accordance with rules. The election shall be for nine members of the operating committee.

(B) Not later than one hundred twenty days after the effective date of this section, the director shall accept the names of persons as nominees to serve on the operating committee. In accepting nominations and placing names on the ballot, the director shall follow the procedures established in rules.

(C) Not later than one hundred eighty days after the effective date of this section, the director shall hold an election to determine the membership of the operating committee. In the election, eligible producers may cast votes in person at or mail ballots to polling places designated by the director. The director shall establish a three-day period during which eligible producers may vote in person during normal business hours at the designated polling places. The director or another appropriate person shall send a ballot by ordinary first-class mail to an eligible producer who requests one by calling the toll-free telephone number or submitting the ballot request form provided for in division (D) of this section, by calling one of the designated polling places, or by any additional method that the director may provide. A ballot returned by mail is not valid if it is postmarked later than the third day of the election period established by the director.

(D) For the purposes of an election of members of the grain marketing program operating committee, the director shall cause a ballot request form to be published at least thirty days before the beginning of the election period established in accordance with division (C) of this section in at least two appropriate periodicals designated by the director and shall make the form available for reproduction to any interested group or association. The director also shall provide a toll-free telephone number that producers may call to request a ballot.

(E) Following the election of the initial members of the operating committee, the director shall hold subsequent elections in order to maintain the membership of the operating committee as provided in rules. The elections shall be held in the manner established in this section and rules for the election of initial members.

(F) Persons elected to the grain marketing program operating committee shall hold office in accordance with rules.

Cite as R.C. § 924.22

Effective Date: 2007 HB217 03-24-2008

924.23 Operating committee meetings - immunity.

(A) The grain marketing program operating committee shall hold at least one meeting per quarter each year. The members of the operating committee annually shall select officers, including a chairperson and a vice-chairperson.

(B) A majority of the members of the operating committee constitutes a quorum. A majority of concurring votes is required to pass a motion or approve any operating committee action.

(C) The director of agriculture, or the director's designee, is an ex-officio voting member of the operating committee.

(D) Each member of the operating committee, except the director or the director's designee, is entitled to actual and necessary travel and incidental expenses while attending meetings of the committee or while engaged in the performance of official responsibilities as a member of the committee.

(E) A member or employee of the operating committee is not civilly liable for any actions taken in good faith as a member or employee, as applicable, of the committee.

Cite as R.C. § 924.23

Effective Date: 2007 HB217 03-24-2008

924.24 Duties and powers of operating committee.

(A) The grain marketing program operating committee shall do all of the following:

(1) Hire personnel and contract for services that are necessary for the operation of the grain marketing program;

(2) Promote the sale of grain for the purpose of maintaining and expanding present markets and creating new and larger intrastate, interstate, and foreign markets for grain, and inform the public of the uses and benefits of grain;

(3) Establish requirements and procedures for the collection of assessments that the operating committee is required to levy under section 924.26 of the Revised Code, including the method and frequency of collection;

(4) Establish procedures to be used by a person who wishes to file for a refund of the person's assessment that is levied under section 924.26 of the Revised Code;

(5) Perform all acts and exercise all powers incidental to, in connection with, or considered reasonably necessary, proper, or advisable to effectuate the purposes of sections 924.20 to 924.30 of the Revised Code.

(B) The operating committee may do any or all of the following:

(1) Conduct, and contract with others to conduct, research, including the study, analysis, dissemination, and accumulation of information obtained from the research or elsewhere, concerning the marketing and distribution of grain, the storage, processing, and transportation of grain, and the production and product development of grain;

(2) Provide the wholesale and retail grain trade with information relative to proper methods of handling and selling grain;

(3) Conduct, and contract with others to conduct, market surveys and analyses, undertake any other similar activities that it determines are appropriate for the maintenance and expansion of present markets and the creation of new and larger markets for grain, and enter into contracts, in the name of the committee, to render service in formulating and conducting plans and programs and other contracts or agreements that the committee considers necessary for the promotion of the sale of grain;

(4) Publish and distribute to producers and others information relating to the grain industry;

(5) Propose to the director of agriculture rules that are necessary for the exercise of its powers and the performance of its duties;

(6) Establish priorities and prepare and approve a budget consistent with estimated resources and the scope of the grain marketing program;

(7) Receive and investigate, or cause to be investigated, complaints concerning and violations of the grain marketing program. The operating committee shall refer any violations to the director for action under section 924.29 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 924.24

Effective Date: 2007 HB217 03-24-2008

924.25 Director to monitor committee - rules.

(A) The director of agriculture shall monitor the activities of the grain marketing program operating committee to ensure all of the following:

(1) The grain marketing program is self-supporting.

(2) The operating committee keeps all records that are required for agencies of the state.

(3) The program's operations comply with all of the following:

(a) The provisions of the program;

(b) Rules;

(c) Sections 924.20 to 924.30 of the Revised Code.

(4) Administrative activities of the committee are coordinated with those of the department of agriculture.

(B) Not later than ninety days after the effective date of this section, the director shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code that are necessary to carry out the purposes of sections 924.20 to 924.30 of the Revised Code. The rules shall include all of the following:

(1) Deadlines and nomination procedures for the placement of persons on the ballot for election to the grain marketing program operating committee;

(2) The terms of office of members of the operating committee, including the staggering of terms for the initial members;

(3) Insofar as possible, requirements providing for the equitable distribution of members on the operating committee by geographic and production areas of the state.

Cite as R.C. § 924.25

Effective Date: 2007 HB217 03-24-2008

924.26 Levy of assessments on producers and handlers.

(A) The grain marketing program operating committee shall levy on producers and, as provided in division (B) of this section, handlers the following assessments, as applicable:

(1) One-half of one per cent of the per-bushel price of wheat at the first point of sale;

(2) One-half of one per cent of the per-bushel price of barley at the first point of sale;

(3) One-half of one per cent of the per-bushel price of rye at the first point of sale;

(4) One-half of one per cent of the per-bushel price of oats at the first point of sale.

(B) The director may require a handler to withhold assessments from any amounts that the handler owes to producers and to remit them to the director. A handler who pays for a producer an assessment that is levied under this section may deduct the amount of the assessment from any money that the handler owes to the producer.

(C) The operating committee shall deposit all money collected under this section with a bank or savings and loan association as defined in sections 1101.01 and 1151.01 of the Revised Code. All money so collected and deposited shall be used only for defraying the costs of administration of the marketing program and for carrying out sections 924.20 to 924.30 of the Revised Code. The operating committee shall not use any assessments that it levies for any political or legislative purpose or for preferential treatment of one person to the detriment of any other person affected by the grain marketing program.

(D) The operating committee shall refund to a producer the assessments that it collects from the producer not later than thirty days after receipt of a valid application by the producer for a refund, provided that the producer complies with the procedures for a refund established by the committee under section 924.24 of the Revised Code.

An application for a refund shall be made on a form provided by the director. The operating committee shall ensure that refund forms are available where assessments for the grain marketing program are collected.

Cite as R.C. § 924.26

Effective Date: 2007 HB217 03-24-2008

924.27 Program fiscal year - reports - financial statements.

(A) The grain marketing program operating committee shall establish a fiscal year for the grain marketing program. Within sixty days of the end of each fiscal year, the operating committee shall publish an activity and financial report and make the report available to each producer who pays the assessment levied under section 924.26 of the Revised Code or otherwise contributes to the program and to other interested persons.

(B) In addition to the reports required by division (A) of this section, the operating committee shall submit to the director of agriculture both of the following:

(1) An annual financial statement prepared by a certified public accountant holding a permit issued by the accountancy board under Chapter 4701. of the Revised Code. The operating committee shall file the financial statement with the director not more than sixty days after the end of each fiscal year.

(2) A monthly unaudited financial statement.

Cite as R.C. § 924.27

Effective Date: 2007 HB217 03-24-2008

924.28 Suspension or termination of program.

The grain marketing program may be suspended or terminated in the same manner in which other marketing programs are suspended or terminated under sections 924.12 and 924.13 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 924.28

Effective Date: 2007 HB217 03-24-2008

924.29 Civil action to enforce compliance.

The director of agriculture may institute an action at law or in equity that appears necessary to enforce compliance with sections 924.20 to 924.30 of the Revised Code, rules, or the grain marketing program that is established in compliance with those sections and rules.

Cite as R.C. § 924.29

Effective Date: 2007 HB217 03-24-2008

924.30 Failure to withhold or remit assessment.

(A) No person shall knowingly fail or refuse to withhold or remit an assessment levied under section 924.26 of the Revised Code.

(B) Before instituting an enforcement action for a violation of this section, the director of agriculture shall give the alleged violator an opportunity to present the alleged violator's views to the director as to why the action should not be instituted.

Cite as R.C. § 924.30

Effective Date: 2007 HB217 03-24-2008

924.40 Rules and authority regarding marketing agreements for agricultural commodities.

(A) For purposes of sections 924.40 to 924.46 of the Revised Code, the director of agriculture shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code that establish procedures and requirements that are necessary to administer and implement a marketing agreement executed under those sections for an agricultural commodity or a region of the state concerning an agricultural commodity that is the subject of the marketing agreement.

(B) For purposes of sections 924.40 to 924.45 of the Revised Code, the director may do all of the following:

(1) Approve a marketing agreement;

(2) Terminate a marketing agreement executed under those sections if any of the following applies:

(a) The director finds that the agreement or any terms of the agreement violate state or federal law.

(b) A producer is engaging in malfeasance, disparagement, or unfair trade practices.

(c) The number of producers that signed the marketing agreement becomes fewer than the minimum number of producers that are necessary for the administration of the marketing agreement to be financially self-supporting.

(3) Enter and inspect a facility of a producer that signed a marketing agreement to ensure compliance with the marketing agreement. The director may delegate that authority to another person or contract with another person to exercise that authority.

(4) Adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code that establish civil penalties that the director may assess against a person that signed a marketing agreement who violates its terms or who violates sections 924.40 to 924.45 of the Revised Code and rules adopted under those sections;

(5) Enforce rules under sections 924.40 to 924.45 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 924.40

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.144, SB 309, §1, eff. 12/26/2012.

924.41 Scope of agricultural marketing agreements.

A marketing agreement that is executed in compliance with and pursuant to sections 924.40 to 924.45 of the Revised Code for the purpose of the voluntary participation of persons who are signatories to the agreement may provide for the establishment and regulation of one or more of the following:

(A) Standards of production for an agricultural commodity, including growing and handling practices, provided that the standards are equivalent to or more stringent than standards of production for that agricultural commodity that are established in the laws of this state or federal law;

(B) Standards for the establishment and use of a logo, trademark, or brand associated with an agricultural commodity, provided that the standards do not violate the laws of this state or federal law;

(C) Collection of fees for services provided pursuant to the marketing agreement;

(D) Any other topic that the director of agriculture may allow by rule.

Cite as R.C. § 924.41

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.144, SB 309, §1, eff. 12/26/2012.

924.42 Petition for approval of marketing agreement.

(A) Producers of an agricultural commodity in this state may present to the director of agriculture a petition signed by at least two hundred or twenty-five per cent of all the producers of that agricultural commodity in this state, whichever is less, requesting the director to approve a marketing agreement for that agricultural commodity.

(B) A petition submitted under division (A) of this section shall include all of the following:

(1) A document that creates and identifies a provisional board of directors for the purpose of facilitating the execution of the proposed marketing agreement, which shall consist of at least three, but not more than five producers of the agricultural commodity that is the subject of the proposed marketing agreement;

(2) A proposed marketing agreement that at a minimum contains a description of all of the following:

(a) The affected agricultural commodity or the region of the state concerning the agricultural commodity that is the subject of the proposed marketing agreement;

(b) Any standards that will be adopted under the proposed marketing agreement;

(c) Procedures by which the proposed marketing agreement may be amended;

(d) The length of time that the proposed marketing agreement will be in effect;

(e) The size and composition of a board of directors that will be established under the marketing agreement for the purpose of administering the agreement;

(f) The method by which the members of the board of directors that will be established under the marketing agreement will be elected;

(g) The estimated costs to and rate of assessment to be made on each person who is a signatory to the marketing agreement for purposes of membership, inspections, or other services provided by the board of directors under the marketing agreement in conjunction with the person's participation in the marketing agreement;

(h) The minimum number of producers that are necessary for the marketing agreement to be financially self-supporting;

(i) Any other information that the director may require by rule.

(3) An unbiased and accurate summary of the proposed marketing agreement.

(C) The petitioners shall include with the petition submitted under division (A) of this section all of the following:

(1) A current list of producers of the agricultural commodity or in the region of the state concerning the agricultural commodity that is the subject of the proposed marketing agreement. The list may be created from existing records or records that are available from any reliable source.

(2) An administration fee of five hundred dollars or another amount that the director determines is necessary to pay the costs of the director of notifying all known producers of the affected agricultural commodity or in the region of the state concerning the agricultural commodity that is the subject of the proposed marketing agreement and the costs of conducting the public meeting that is required in section 924.43 of the Revised Code concerning the proposed marketing agreement;

(3) Information that demonstrates that the producers of the agricultural commodity or in the region of the state concerning the agricultural commodity that is the subject of the proposed marketing agreement have sufficient money to pay the costs of a board of directors to administer the marketing agreement and to pay the costs of administration and enforcement of the marketing agreement.

Cite as R.C. § 924.42

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.144, SB 309, §1, eff. 12/26/2012.

924.43 Notification to producers.

(A) After receipt of a petition submitted under division (A) of section 924.42 of the Revised Code, the director of agriculture shall notify all producers included in the list provided to the director under division (C)(1) of that section. The notification shall contain a description of the purpose of the proposed marketing agreement and provide the date, time, and location of a public meeting that will be conducted by the director as required by division (B) of this section. The notification shall be sent through regular mail and published in at least one publication specific to the agricultural commodity that is the subject of the proposed marketing agreement. In addition, the director may post the notification on the department of agriculture's web site.

(B) Not later than thirty days after receipt of a petition submitted under division (A) of section 924.42 of the Revised Code, the director shall conduct a public meeting concerning the proposed marketing agreement for an agricultural commodity or for the region of the state concerning an agricultural commodity. At the meeting, the director shall allow any interested person to present information concerning the proposed marketing agreement.

(C) At least a majority of the members of the provisional board of directors created pursuant to division (B)(1) of section 924.42 of the Revised Code shall attend the public meeting conducted by the director pursuant to division (B) of this section. The provisional board shall consider all of the information presented at the public meeting before drafting a marketing agreement that will be submitted to the director for approval. Not later than thirty days after the public meeting, the provisional board shall submit to the director for approval a marketing agreement that complies with section 924.44 of the Revised Code for an agricultural commodity or for a region of the state concerning an agricultural commodity.

(D)

(1) Not later than thirty days after receipt of a marketing agreement, the director shall consider all of the information presented at the public meeting conducted under division (B) of this section before approving or denying the marketing agreement. The director may approve a marketing agreement only if all of the following apply:

(a) The director is unable to discover a substantially similar marketing agreement existing for the agricultural commodity or for the region of the state concerning the agricultural commodity that is the subject of the marketing agreement.

(b) The marketing agreement complies with section 924.44 of the Revised Code.

(c) The marketing agreement complies with the laws of this state and federal law.

(d) The director determines that the producers of the agricultural commodity or the region of the state concerning the agricultural commodity that is the subject of the marketing agreement have sufficient money to pay the costs of a board of directors to administer the marketing agreement and to pay the costs of administration and enforcement of the marketing agreement pursuant to the information submitted under division (C)(3) of section 924.42 of the Revised Code.

(2) The director shall send notice to the provisional board of directors created pursuant to division (B)(1) of section 924.42 of the Revised Code of the director's decision to approve or deny the marketing agreement. If the director approves the marketing agreement, the notice shall indicate the date by which producers will be required to sign the marketing agreement, which shall be sixty days after the date on which the director approved the marketing agreement.

(3) If the provisional board of directors created pursuant to division (B)(1) of section 924.42 of the Revised Code receives notice from the director approving the marketing agreement, the board shall notify all known producers of the agricultural commodity or all known producers in the region in which the agricultural commodity is produced that is the subject of the approved marketing agreement. The notice shall include the date by which producers must sign the marketing agreement.

(4) Following the date by which producers desiring to be signatories to the marketing agreement are required to sign the agreement, the director shall determine if there is a sufficient number of producers that signed the marketing agreement for the administration of the marketing agreement to be financially self-supporting plus an additional twenty per cent of that number. If the director determines that at least the minimum number of required producers have signed the marketing agreement, the director shall sign the marketing agreement and the marketing agreement shall be effective on the date on which the director signs it.

Cite as R.C. § 924.43

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.144, SB 309, §1, eff. 12/26/2012.

924.44 Mandatory terms.

A marketing agreement submitted by a provisional board of directors under section 924.43 of the Revised Code at a minimum shall contain terms that establish all of the following:

(A) The identification of the agricultural commodity or of the region of the state concerning the agricultural commodity that is the subject of the marketing agreement;

(B) Standards, if any, of production for the agricultural commodity or of marketing that will apply to each producer that signs the marketing agreement;

(C) Standards for the use of a logo, trademark, or brand associated with the agricultural commodity;

(D) The length of time that the marketing agreement will be in effect, whether the marketing agreement may be renewed, and, if so, procedures for renewal;

(E) Procedures by which the marketing agreement may be amended. The procedures shall require the approval of the director of agriculture and of at least a majority of the producers that are signatories to the marketing agreement in order for an amendment to be effective.

(F) The size and composition of a board of directors that will administer the marketing agreement;

(G) Procedures for the election of members of the board of directors;

(H) The lengths of terms of members of the board of directors and conditions, if any, for reelection;

(I) Procedures for the removal of a member of the board of directors for misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance;

(J) The costs to and rate of assessment to be made on each person who is a signatory to the marketing agreement for purposes of membership, inspections, or other services provided by the board of directors under the marketing agreement in conjunction with the person's participation in the marketing agreement;

(K) Procedures by which producers of the agricultural commodity may become signatories to the marketing agreement after the agreement takes effect;

(L) Procedures by which producers who are signatories to the marketing agreement may be removed from the marketing agreement;

(M) Procedures by which producers that are signatories to the marketing agreement may terminate the marketing agreement;

(N) Any other procedures or requirements that the director of agriculture requires by rule.

Cite as R.C. § 924.44

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.144, SB 309, §1, eff. 12/26/2012.

924.45 Administration of agreement.

(A)

(1) After a marketing agreement takes effect, a board of directors that will administer the marketing agreement shall be established in accordance with the terms of the marketing agreement. Except for the director of agriculture or the director's designee who shall serve as an ex officio member of the board of directors, members of the board shall be selected only from individuals who are producers that signed the marketing agreement.

(2) The provisional board of directors created pursuant to division (B)(1) of section 924.42 of the Revised Code shall verify that the board of directors is established in accordance with the terms of the marketing agreement. If the provisional board of directors determines that the board of directors was not established in accordance with the terms of the marketing agreement, the provisional board shall notify the director who shall take appropriate actions to ensure that the board of directors is established in accordance with the terms of the marketing agreement. If the provisional board of directors determines that the board of directors was established in accordance with the terms of the marketing agreement, the provisional board shall cease to exist.

(B) A board of directors that is established to administer a marketing agreement shall do all of the following:

(1) Establish priorities of the board that are consistent with the estimated financial resources that will be generated under the terms of the marketing agreement and with the scope of the marketing agreement;

(2) Prepare a budget that is consistent with the estimated financial resources that will be generated under the terms of the marketing agreement and with the scope of the marketing agreement;

(3) Deposit all money collected pursuant to the marketing agreement with a bank as defined in section 1101.01 of the Revised Code or with a savings and loan association as defined in section 1151.01 of the Revised Code. The board shall use the money only to pay the costs of the board in administering the marketing agreement and of the activities authorized under the marketing agreement and under sections 924.40 to 924.45 of the Revised Code.

(4) Establish a fiscal year for purposes of marketing activities performed under the terms of the marketing agreement;

(5) Publish an activity and financial report not later than sixty days after the end of a fiscal year. The board shall make the report available to each producer that signed the marketing agreement and to other interested parties.

(6) Provide annually to the director of agriculture and to each producer that signed the marketing agreement a financial statement that is prepared by a person who holds a current certificate as a certified public accountant issued under Chapter 4701. of the Revised Code. The board shall provide the financial statement to the director not later than sixty days after the end of a fiscal year.

(7) Reimburse the department of agriculture for actual administrative costs incurred by the department in the administration of sections 924.40 to 924.45 of the Revised Code. However, the amount reimbursed in a fiscal year shall not exceed ten per cent of the total amount of money collected in that fiscal year by the board of directors under the authority of the marketing agreement.

(8) Perform all other acts and exercise all other powers that are reasonably necessary, proper, or advisable to effectuate the purposes of sections 924.40 to 924.45 of the Revised Code.

(C) A board of directors that is established to administer a marketing agreement may do all of the following:

(1) Propose to the director rules that are necessary for the board to perform its duties under the requirements of the marketing agreement and under sections 924.40 to 924.45 of the Revised Code;

(2) Hire personnel and contract for services that are necessary for the implementation and administration of the marketing agreement;

(3) Receive and investigate, or cause to be investigated, a complaint concerning an alleged violation of a term of the marketing agreement. If the board determines that such a violation has occurred, the board shall refer the matter to the director for enforcement.

(4) Amend the marketing agreement in accordance with the terms of the marketing agreement and with sections 924.40 to 924.45 of the Revised Code;

(5) Terminate the marketing agreement with the approval of a majority of the participating producers that are signatories to the marketing agreement. If the marketing agreement is terminated, the board shall distribute any remaining unobligated money collected under the authority of the marketing agreement to each participating producer in the same proportion that the producer paid assessments under the marketing agreement.

Cite as R.C. § 924.45

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.144, SB 309, §1, eff. 12/26/2012.

924.51 Ohio grape industries committee.

(A) There is hereby created the Ohio grape industries committee consisting of nine members. The members shall be the director of agriculture or the director's designee, who shall chair the committee, the superintendent of liquor control or the superintendent's designee, the chief of the division of markets of the department of agriculture, the viticulture extension specialist of the Ohio agricultural research and development center, who shall be a nonvoting member, and five members who shall be residents of this state and appointed by the director of agriculture in accordance with division (B) of this section. At no time shall the director appoint more than five members to the committee.

(B) Of the five members of the committee appointed by the director of agriculture, not less than two, but not more than three shall be persons who receive income from the production of grapes or grape products. Not less than two, but not more than three members shall be persons who receive income from the production of wine from raw grape or fruit products in either raw fruit or fresh juice form. The terms for each appointed member of the committee shall be for three years, commencing on the first day of January and ending on the thirty-first day of December. No appointed member shall serve more than two consecutive terms. The director may remove any appointed member for cause.

(C) Members shall be appointed to fill vacancies caused by death, resignation, or removal in the same manner prescribed for regular appointment to the committee. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which the member's predecessor was appointed shall hold office for the remainder of the term. Any member shall continue in office subsequent to the expiration date of that member's term until that member's successor takes office, or until a period of one hundred eighty days has elapsed, whichever occurs first.

(D) All members of the committee are entitled to their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as members, payable from moneys received from the Ohio grape industries fund created under section 924.54 of the Revised Code.

(E) A majority of the committee constitutes a quorum.

Cite as R.C. § 924.51

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 9/10/2012.

Effective Date: 07-23-2004

924.52 Powers and duties of Ohio grape industries committee.

(A) The Ohio grape industries committee may:

(1) Conduct, and contract with others to conduct, research, including the study, analysis, dissemination, and accumulation of information obtained from the research or elsewhere, concerning the marketing and distribution of grapes and grape products, the storage, refrigeration, processing, and transportation of them, and the production and product development of grapes and grape products. The committee shall expend for these activities no more than seventy per cent of all money it receives from the Ohio grape industries fund created under section 924.54 of the Revised Code.

(2) Provide the wholesale and retail trade with information relative to proper methods of handling and selling grapes and grape products;

(3) Make or contract for market surveys and analyses, undertake any other similar activities that it determines are appropriate for the maintenance and expansion of present markets and the creation of new and larger markets for grapes and grape products, and make, in the name of the committee, contracts to render service in formulating and conducting plans and programs and such other contracts or agreements as the committee considers necessary for the promotion of the sale of grapes and grape products. The committee shall expend for these activities no more than seventy per cent of all money it receives from the fund.

(4) Publish and distribute to producers and others information relating to the grape and grape product industries;

(5) Propose to the director of agriculture for adoption, rescission, or amendment, pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, rules necessary for the exercise of its powers and the performance of its duties;

(6) Advertise for, post notices seeking, or otherwise solicit applicants to serve in administrative positions in the department of agriculture as employees who support the administrative functions of the committee. Applications shall be submitted to the committee. The committee shall select applicants that it wishes to recommend for employment and shall submit a list of the recommended applicants to the director.

(7) For the purpose of promoting the grape industry, provide to producers and persons that grow grapes in this state grape plants, grape vines, equipment, and material to assist in the production of grapes and grape products.

(B) The committee shall:

(1) Promote the sale of grapes and grape products for the purpose of maintaining and expanding present markets and creating new and larger intrastate, interstate, and foreign markets for grapes and grape products, and inform the public of the uses and benefits of grapes and grape products;

(2) Perform all acts and exercise all powers incidental to, in connection with, or considered reasonably necessary, proper, or advisable to effectuate the purposes of this section.

Cite as R.C. § 924.52

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.42, HB 229, §1, eff. 10/17/2011.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 6/30/2011.

Effective Date: 03-22-2001

924.521 Employees of committee.

The director of agriculture shall hire all employees of the Ohio grape industries committee. The director shall select the employees from the list of recommended applicants submitted by the committee under section 924.52 of the Revised Code. Employees of the committee shall be paid with moneys from the Ohio grape industries fund.

Cite as R.C. § 924.521

Effective Date: 03-22-2001

924.53 Monitoring actions of Ohio grape industries committee.

(A) The director of agriculture shall monitor the conduct of the Ohio grape industries committee to ensure that:

(1) The committee is operating within the requirements of sections 924.51 to 924.55 of the Revised Code;

(2) The committee's program is self-supporting;

(3) The committee keeps all records that are required by agencies of the state.

(B) The director may, in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, adopt, rescind, or amend rules necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.

(C) The director shall accomplish an audit of the books and records of the committee prior to the thirtieth day of September each year.

Cite as R.C. § 924.53

Effective Date: 11-15-1981

924.54 Ohio grape industries fund - annual activity and financial report.

(A) All moneys collected by the treasurer of state under sections 4301.43 and 4301.432 of the Revised Code shall be deposited in the state treasury to the credit of the Ohio grape industries fund, which is hereby created. Moneys in the fund shall be disbursed to carry out the purposes of sections 924.51 to 924.55 of the Revised Code pursuant to vouchers approved by the director of agriculture.

(B) The Ohio grape industries committee shall publish annually an activity and financial report of the preceding fiscal year and shall submit the report to the director on or before the thirty-first day of July following the end of the fiscal year being reported.

Cite as R.C. § 924.54

Effective Date: 07-01-1985

924.55 Reimbursement for actual administrative and overhead costs.

The department of agriculture shall be reimbursed for actual administrative and overhead costs incurred in the administration of sections 924.51 to 924.55 of the Revised Code in an amount not to exceed ten per cent per year of the amount received in that year in the Ohio grape industries fund created under section 924.54 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 924.55

Effective Date: 07-01-1985

924.99 Penalty.

Whoever violates division (A) of section 924.16 or of section 924.30 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

Cite as R.C. § 924.99

Effective Date: 06-20-1994; 2007 HB217 03-24-2008