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(4) Certifications signed by dairy farmers who claim to be producers;
(5) Any other reliable sources of information which may be available to the referendum agent.
(b) Apply, as a guide, the following criteria in preparing a record of producers:
(1) When the order requires approval by an appropriate health authority before a person meets the definition of producer, only those persons having such approval and who otherwise meet the definition may be regarded as producers. When the definition of producer requires the shipment of milk to a handler or a plant as well as health authority approval, only those persons having such approval and whose milk was received by a handler or at a plant may be regarded as producers.
(2) When the order requires shipment to a handler or to a plant, without regard to health authority approval, a person may not be regarded as a producer, except as provided in subparagraph (6) of this paragraph, unless his name appears on the handler's producer records.
(3) In the case of a producer that is other than an individual, the business unit shall be regarded as the producer.
(4) No person may be included in the record more than once although he may operate more than one farm, hold more than one health authority approval, or appear on more than one handler's producer records.
(5) In the event the health authority records are not available, are inaccurate, or are incomplete, the appearance of the producer's name on a handler's records as an approved producer shall be prima facie evidence of health authority approval.
(6) In the event any handler refuses or fails to make his records available to the referendum agent, a certification signed by the producer shall be regarded by the referendum agent as prima facie evidence that such person is eligible to vote.
(c) Verify the information supplied by each cooperative association which wishes to vote on behalf of producers, as follows:
(1) Examine the records of the cooperative association for the purpose of ascertaining whether each producer claimed by the cooperative association is a member of, stockholder in, or under contract with the cooperative association.
(2) Identify the persons ascertained to be members of, stockholders in, or under contract with a cooperative association which wishes to vote on behalf of its producers with the names of producers which appear on the record compiled pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section.
(3) In determining whether a cooperative association may vote on behalf of a producer the following criteria shall be used:
(1) The cooperative association may vote for each producer who is a member of, stockholder in, or under contract with such cooperative association on the date of the order directing that the referendum be conducted.
(ii) The cooperative association may cast only one ballot for all such producers.
(iii) Whenever more than one cooperative association claims the right to vote for a producer only the cooperative association which furnished evidence satisfactory to the referendum agent that such association was in fact marketing the milk of the producer on the date of the referendum order may vote for such producer.
Notice of the referendum.
(a) The referendum agent shall at least 5 days prior to the final date for balloting: (1) Mail to each cooperative association which has elected to cast a ballot on behalf of its producers and to each of all other known producers, a notice of the referendum which will include instructions for completing the ballot, a statement as to the time within which the ballot must be mailed to, and received by, the referendum agent, a copy of the final decision, and a ballot containing a description of the terms and conditions of the order.
(2) Give public notice of the referendum: (i) By furnishing press releases and other information to available media of public information (including but not limited to press, radio, and television facilities) serving the area, announcing the time within which ballots must be completed and mailed to and received by the referendum agent, eligibility requirements, where additional information may be procured, and other pertinent information; and
(ii) By such other means as said agent may deem advisable.
§ 900.307 Time for voting.
There shall be no voting except within the time specified by the referendum agent as stated in the notice of the referendum.
§ 900.308 Tabulation of ballots.
(a) General. The referendum agent shall verify the information supplied with each ballot. If he ascertains that the person who cast the ballot was eligible to do so, that the ballot is complete and was mailed and received within the prescribed time, the ballot shall be eligible to be counted. If the referendum agent ascertains that the person who cast the ballot was not eligible to do so, or if the producer who cast the ballot was a member of, stockholder in, or under contract with a cooperative association which cast a valid ballot, or if the ballot is not completed or cast in accordance with instructions, or if the ballot was not mailed to or received by the referendum agent within the prescribed time, the ballot shall be marked "disqualified" with a notation on the ballot as to the reason for the disqualification. The total number of ballots cast, including the disqualified ballots, shall be ascertained. The number of eligible ballots cast approving and the number of eligible ballots cast disapproving the issuance of the order shall also be ascertained. The ballots marked "disqual
Cooperative marketing associations apply for qualification by the Secretary under the Federal milk order program for certain privileges and exemptions. These privileges and exemptions are expressed in the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (50 Stat. 246) as amended, and the milk marketing orders issued pursuant to its provisions.
ified" shall not be considered as approving or disapproving the issuance of the order, and the persons who cast such ballots shall not be regarded as participating in the referendum.
(b) Individual-handler pool provisions. Whenever separate approval of the pooling provisions of the order is required by section 608c (5) (B) (i) of the act, any ballot which approves the issuance of the order and disapproves the pooling provisions, or approves the pooling provisions and disapproves the issuance of the order, shall be disqualified; and the referendum agent shall mark the ballot accordingly.
(c) Record of results of the referendum. The referendum agent shall notify the Administrator of the number of eligible ballots cast, the count of the votes, the number of disqualified ballots and the number of producers who were eligible to cast ballots. The referendum agent shall seal the ballots, including those marked "disqualified", the list of eligible voters and tabulation of ballots, and shall transmit to the Administrator a complete detailed report of all action taken in connection with the referendum together with all the ballots cast and all other information furnished to or compiled by the referendum agent.
(d) Announcement of the results of the referendum. Announcement of the results of the referendum will be made only at the direction of the Secretary. The referendum agent, or others who assist in the referendum, shall not disclose the results of the referendum or the total number of ballots cast.
The ballots cast, the identity of any person who voted, or the manner in which any person voted and all information furnished to, compiled by, or in the possession of the referendum agent, shall be regarded confidential.
§ 900.310 Supplementary instructions.
The Administrator is authorized to issue instructions and to prescribe forms and ballots, not inconsistent with the provisions of this subpart, to govern the conduct of referenda by referendum agents.
Submittals or requests.
Interested persons may secure information or make submittals or requests to the Administrator with respect to the provisions contained in this subpart.
Subpart-Procedure for Determining the Qualification of Cooperative Milk Marketing Associations
AUTHORITY: §§ 900.350 to 900.357 issued under secs. 1-19, 48 Stat. 31, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 601-674.
SOURCE: $ 900.350 to 900.357 appear at 32 F.R. 9821, July 6, 1967, unless otherwise noted.
§ 900.351 Applications for qualification.
Any association of producers may apply for determinations as to whether it is a qualified cooperative association with authority to represent producers in order referendums; has authorization to collect payment from handlers for members' milk; and is rendering specified marketing services to producers. Applicant associations should supply information for these determinations, using as a guide Application Form DA-25. The application form may be obtained from the Dairy Division, Consumer and Marketing Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250. Determinations required of the Secretary of Agriculture, or the Administrator of the Consumer and Marketing Service, by delegation are made by the Director of the Dairy Division. Once issued they are valid until amended, suspended or terminated.
The documents and other information submitted by an applicant association and otherwise obtained by investigation, examination of books, documents, papers, records, files and facilities, and in reports filed subsequent to initial determinations of qualification, shall be regarded as confidential and shall be governed by § 900.210.
Statutory requirements for qualification of cooperative associations are provided in subsections (5) and (12) of section 608c of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). The association must: (a) Be a cooperative marketing association of producers, qualified under the provisions of the Act of Congress of February 18, 1922, as amended, known as the "Capper-Volstead Act," (7 U.S.C. 291, 292); (b) have its entire organization and all of its activities under the control of its members; (c) have full authority in the sale of its members' milk; and (d) be engaged in making collective sales or marketing of milk or milk products for the producers thereof. Qualification for exemption from deductions for marketing service payments under specific marketing orders and payment for milk of members under specific orders shall be determined in accordance with the terms of the respective marketing orders.
§ 900.354 Inspection and investigation.
The Secretary of Agriculture, or his duly authorized representative, shall have the right, at any time after an application is re
ceived, to examine all books, documents, papers, records, files and facilities of the association, to verify any of the information submitted and to procure such other information as may be required to determine whether the association is qualified in accordance with its application. § 900.355 Annual reporting.
Determinations of qualification for privileges and exemptions are subject to amendment, termination or suspension if the association does not currently meet the qualification standards. An association found to be qualified pursuant to the Act is required to file an annual report after its annual meeting has been held following the close of its fiscal year. Form DA-24 is used for this purpose. The report form is available at the Dairy Division, Consumer and Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250. The association is required to file a copy of its report with the Dairy Division at Washington and with the market administrator of each order under which it operates.
§ 900.356 Listing of qualified associations.
A copy of each determination of qualification is furnished to the respective association. Copies are also filed in the Dairy Division, Consumer and Marketing Service, and with the Hearing Clerk, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250, where they are availaple for public inspection. A list of qualified associations engaged in marketing milk under a particular milk marketing order is maintained at the office of the market administrator of the order.
§ 900.357 Denial of application; suspension or revocation of determination of qualification.
Any cooperative association whose application has been wholly or partially denied, or whose determination of qualification has been wholly or partly revoked or suspended, may petition the Secretary for a review of such action. Such petition shall state facts relevant to the matter for which review is sought. After due notice to such cooperative association, the Director of the Dairy Division, or in his absence the Acting Director, shall hold, in the manner hereinafter specified, an informal hearing.
tives of the association and of the Government, and such other persons as either the association or the Government desires to have appear for purposes of submitting information or as counsel.
(a) Notice. Notice shall be given in writing and shall be mailed to the last known address of the association, or of an officer thereof, at least 3 days before the date set for a hearing. Such notice shall contain: a statement of the time and place of the hearing, said place to be as convenient to the association as can reasonably be arranged, and may contain a statement of the reason for calling the hearing and the nature of the questions upon which evidence is desired or upon which argument may be presented.
(b) Parties. Hearings are not to be public and are to be attended only by representa
(c) Conduct of hearing. The Director or Acting Director of the Dairy Division, or a person designated by him, shall preside at the hearing. The hearing shall be conducted in such manner as will be most conducive to the proper disposition of the matter. Written statements or briefs may be filed by the association within the time specified by the presiding officer.
(d) Preliminary report. The presiding officer shall prepare a preliminary report setting forth a recommendation as to what action shall be taken and the basis for such action. A copy of said report shall be served upon the association by mail or in person. The association may file exceptions to said report within 10 days after service thereof.
(e) Final report. After due consideration of all the facts and the exceptions, if any, the Director of the Dairy Division shall issue a final report setting forth the action to be taken and the basis for such action.. Subpart-Procedure for the Conduct of Referenda
in Connection With Marketing Orders for Fruits, Vegetables, and Nuts Pursuant to the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as Amended
Referenda for the purpose of ascertaining whether the issuance by the Secretary of Agriculture of a marketing order to regulate the handling of any fruit, vegetable, or nut, or product thereof, or the continuance or termination of such an order, is approved or favored by producers or processors shall, unless supplemented or modified by the Secretary, be conducted in accordance with this subpart.
(a) "Act" means Public Act No. 10, 73d Congress (48 Stat. 31), as amended, and as reenacted and amended by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (50 Stat. 246), as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674).
(b) "Secretary" means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, or any officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has heretofore been delegated, or to whom authority may hereafter be delegated, to act in his stead; and "Department" means the United States Department of Agriculture.
(c) "Administrator" means the Administrator of the Consumer and Marketing Service, with power to redelegate, or any officer or employee of the Department to whom au
AUTHORITY: §§ 900.400 to 900.407 issued under secs. 1-19, 48 Stat. 31, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 601-674.
SOURCE: $ 900.400 to 900.407 appear at 30 F.R. 15414, Dec. 15, 1965, unless otherwise noted.
thority has been delegated or may hereafter be delegated to act in his stead.
(d) "Order" means the marketing order (including an amendatory order) with respect to which the Secretary has directed that a referendum be conducted.
(e) "Referendum agent" means the individual or individuals designated by the Secretary to conduct the referendum.
(f) "Representative period" means the period designated by the Secretary pursuant to section 8c of the act (7 U.S.C. 608c).
(g) "Person" means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other business unit. For the purpose of this definition, the term "partnership" includes (1) a husband and wife who have title to, or leasehold interest in, land as tenants in common, joint tenants, tenants by the entirety, or, under community property laws, as community property, and (2) so-called "joint ventures," wherein one or more parties to the agreement, informal or otherwise, contributed capital and others contribute labor, management, equipment, or other services, or any variation of such contributions by two or more parties, so that it results in the growing of the commodity for market and the authority to transfer title to the commodity so produced.
(h) "Producer" means any person defined as a producer in the order who: (1) Owns and farms land, resulting in his ownership of the commodity produced thereon; (2) rents and farms land, resulting in his ownership of all or a portion of the commodity produced thereon; or (3) owns land which he does not farm and, as rental for such land, obtains the ownership of a portion of the commodity produced thereon. Ownership of, or leasehold interest in, land and the acquisition, in any manner other than as hereinbefore set forth, of legal title to the commodity grown thereon shall not be deemed to result in such owners or lessees becoming producers.
the commodity covered by the order shall be entitled to vote in the referendum the quantity of such commodity canned or frozen within the production area for market by him during the representative period determined by the Secretary.
(c) Proxy voting is not authorized but an officer or employee of a corporate producer, processor or cooperative association, or an administrator, executor or trustee of a producing estate may cast a ballot on behalf of such producer, processor, estate, or cooperative association. Any individual so voting in a referendum shall certify that he is an officer or employee of the producer, processor, or cooperative association, or an administrator, executor, or trustee of a producing estate, and that he has the authority to take such action. Upon request of the referendum agent, the individual shall submit adequate evidence of such authority.
(d) Each producer, cooperative association of producers, and processor entitled to vote in a referendum shall be entitled to cast one ballot in the referendum. Each producer, cooperative association of producers, and processor casting more than one ballot with conflicting votes shall thereby invalidate all ballots cast by such producer, cooperative association of producers, or processor in such referendum.
The referendum agent shall conduct the referendum, in the manner herein provided, under supervision of the Administrator. The Administrator may prescribe additional instructions, not inconsistent with the provisions hereof, to govern the procedure to be followed by the referendum agent. Such agent shall:
(a) Determine the time of commencement and termination of the period of the referendum, and the time prior to which all ballots must be cast.
(a) Each person who is a producer, as defined in this subpart, at the time of the referendum and who also was a producer during the representative period, shall be entitled to only one vote in the referendum, except that: (1) In a landlord-tenant relationship, wherein each of the parties is a producer, each such producer shall be entitled to one vote in the referendum; and (2) a cooperative association of producers, bona fide engaged in marketing the commodity or product thereof proposed to be regulated, or in rendering services for or advancing the interest of the producers of such commodity or product, may, if it elects to do so, vote, both by number and total volume, for the producers who are members of, stockholders in, or under contract with such association.
(b) Determine whether ballots may be cast by mail, at polling places, at meetings of producers or processors, or by any combination of the foregoing.
(c) Provide ballots and related material to be used in the referendum. Ballot material shall provide for recording essential information for ascertaining (1) whether the person voting, or on whose behalf the vote is cast, is an eligible voter, and (2) the total volume (i) produced for market during the representative period, or (ii) canned or frozen for market during the representative period.
(d) Give reasonable advance notice of the referendum (1) by utilizing without advertising expense available media of public information (including, but not being limited to, press and radio facilities) serving the production area, announcing the dates, places, or methods of voting, eligibility requirements, and other pertinent information, and (2) by such other means as said agent may deem advisable.
(b) Whenever, as required by the act, processors vote on the issuance of an order, each processor who is engaged in canning or freezing within the production area of
(e) Make available to producers and the aforesaid cooperative associations which in
The referendum agent and his appointees shall accept all ballots cast; but, should they, or any of them, deem that a ballot should be challenged for any reason, said agent or appointee shall endorse above his signature, on said ballot, a statement to the effect that such ballot was challenged, by whom challenged, the reasons therefor, the results of any investigations made with respect thereto, and the disposition thereof. Invalid ballots shall not be counted.
dicate to the agent their intentions to vote, and to processors when required, instructions on voting, appropriate ballot and certification forms, and, except in the case of a referendum on the termination or continuance of an order, the text of the proposed order and a summary of its terms and conditions: Provided, That no person who claims to be qualified to vote shall he refused a ballot.
(f) If ballots are to be cast by mail, cause all the material specified in paragraph (e) of this section to be mailed to each producer (and processor when required) whose name and address is known to the referendum agent.
(g) If ballots are to be cast at polling places or meetings, determine the necessary number of polling or meeting places, designate them, announce the time of each meeting or the hours during which each polling place will be open, provide the material specified in paragraph (e) of this section, and provide for appropriate custody of ballot forms and delivery to the referendum agent of ballots cast.
(h) At the conclusion of the referendum, canvass the ballots, tabulate the results, and, except as otherwise directed, report the outcome to the Administrator and promptly thereafter submit the following:
(1) All ballots received by the agent and appointees, together with a certificate to the effect that the ballots forwarded are all of the ballots cast and received by such persons during the referendum period;
(2) A list of all challenged ballots deemed to be invalid; and
(3) A tabulation of the results of the referendum and a report thereon, including a detailed statement explaining the method used in giving publicity to the referendum and showing other information pertinent to the manner in which the referendum was conducted.
The referendum agent may appoint any person or persons deemed necessary or desirable to assist said agent in performing his functions hereunder. Each person so appointed may be authorized by said agent to perform, in accordance with the requirements herein set forth, any or all of the following functions (which, in the absence of such appointment, shall be performed by said agent):
(a) Give public notice of the referendum in the manner specified herein;
(b) Preside at a meeting where ballots are to be cast or as poll officer at a polling place;
(c) Distribute ballots and the aforesaid texts to producers (and to processors when required) and receive any ballots which are cast; and
(d) Record the name and address of each person receiving a ballot from, or casting a ballot with, said subagent and inquire into the eligibility of such person to vote in the referendum.
Except as otherwise directed, the Administrator shall prepare and submit to the Secretary a report on results of the referendum, the manner in which it was conducted, the extent and kind of public notice given, and other information pertinent to analysis of the referendum and its results.
§ 900.407 Confidential information.
All ballots cast and the contents thereof (whether or not relating to the identity of any person who voted or the manner in which any person voted) and all information furnished to, compiled by, or in possession of, the referendum agent shall be treated as confidential.
AUTHORITY: §§ 900.500 to 900.516 issued under 5 U.S.C. 552, 559.
SOURCE: $ 900.500 to 900.516 appear at 32 F.R. 9610, July 4, 1967, unless otherwise noted.
AVAILABILITY OF PROGRAM INFORMATION, STAFF MANUALS AND INSTRUCTIONS, AND RELATED MATERIAL
§ 900.500 Sources of program information.
A description of the central and field organization of the Consumer and Marketing Service is published in 32 F.R. 11741, August 15, 1967. Any revision or amendment will be published in the FEDERAL REGISTER as will any revision or amendment of this subpart. [32 F.R. 9610, July 4, 1967, as amended at 32 F.R. 12992, Sept. 13, 1967]
§ 900.501 Availability of program infor
(a) Certain program information such as handbooks, forms, instructions, and FEDERAL REGISTER reprints (if copies are available and it has been customary to distribute such documents) will be made available free to Federal or Federal-State cooperative employees; licensed inspectors, graders, and samplers; cooperators under signed cooperative agreements; plants under inspection or grading contracts; and others with whom the Consumer and Marketing Service is doing business and who may be involved in carrying out assigned program functions. Such program information will also be indexed