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.

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