As Reported by the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee

124th General Assembly
Regular Session
Am. H. B. No. 455

REPRESENTATIVES Aslanides, Seitz, Hollister, Schaffer, Carmichael, Redfern, Niehaus, Kearns, Boccieri, Krupinski, Core, Distel, Collier, Barrett, Faber, Metzger, Wolpert, Rhine

To amend sections 901.04, 924.07, 924.09, and 924.121
of the Revised Code to revise certain provisions of2
the law governing agricultural commodity marketing3
programs and to authorize the Director of4
Agriculture to award grants for the purpose of5
promoting agriculture.6


       Section 1. That sections 901.04, 924.07, 924.09, and 924.127
of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:8

       Sec. 901.04.  (A) The department of agriculture may solicit9
or accept from any public or private source and shall deposit in10
the state treasury to the credit of the agro Ohio fund any grant,11
gift, devise, or bequest of money made to or for the use of the12
department in fulfilling its statutory duties or for promoting any13
part of the public welfare that is under the supervision and14
control of the department. The department of agriculture may also15
accept and hold on behalf of Ohiothis state any grant, gift,16
devise, or bequest of other property made to or for the use of the17
department or for promoting any part of the public welfare that is18
under the supervision and control of the department. The19
department may contract for and carry out the terms and conditions20
of any devise, grant, gift, or donation that may be so made.21

       (B) There is hereby created in the state treasury the agro22
Ohio fund, to which shall be credited all sums received under23
division (A) of this section and divisions (A)(2) and (C) of24
section 2105.09 of the Revised Code. All money received under25
divisions (A)(2) and (C) of section 2105.09 of the Revised Code26
shall be used for the benefit of agriculture.27

       (C) The director may use all or any portion of the moneys in28
the agro Ohio fund to award grants for the purpose of promoting29
agriculture in this state. With respect to such grants that30
consist of moneys other than federal moneys, the director shall31
adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code32
establishing all of the following:33

        (1) Specific purposes for which grants may be awarded;34

        (2) Procedures for soliciting grant applications, applying35
for grants, awarding grants, and otherwise administering grants;36

        (3) Eligibility criteria for receiving grants that must be37
satisfied by applicants for the grants;38

       (4) Any other procedures and requirements that are necessary39
to administer a grant program.40

       (D) Federal moneys deposited into the agro Ohio fund shall41
be used in accordance with any terms that federal law prescribes42
for their use.43

       Sec. 924.07.  (A) When the producers of an agricultural44
commodity who vote in a referendum favor a proposed marketing45
program, the director of agriculture shall order the program46
established and, if the marketing program does not provide for the47
election of an operating committee, appoint an operating committee48
consisting of an odd number of producers of saidthe commodity to49
administer the program. Each operating committee shall consist of50
not less than fivethree nor more than fifteen membersproducers.51

       (B) Of the members first appointed to an operating52
committee, the director shall appoint approximately one-third for53
one-year terms, approximately one-third for two-year terms, and54
the remainder for three-year terms. Thereafter, hethe director55
shall appoint each member for a three-year term unless the56
appointee is to fill a vacancy in which case hethe appointee57
shall be appointed for the unexpired term. Each such subsequent58
appointment shall be made prior to the expiration date of the59
preceding or vacant term.60

       (C) The director shall not appoint any member of an61
operating committee to serve more than three successive full62
three-year terms.63

       (D) The director shall appoint members of each operating64
committee from a list of candidates recommended by the producers65
of the agricultural commodity for which the marketing program is66
established. Insofar as possible the members shall be equitably67
distributed by geographic and production areas. Any list of68
candidates recommended to the director by producers shall include69
not less than twice as many candidates as the number of members70
which are to be appointed, but in no case shall a list include71
fewer than three names.72

       (E) The director, or histhe director's designee, is an ex73
officio member of each operating committee, with the right to74

       (F) Each member of an operating committee, except the76
director or histhe director's designee, is entitled to actual and77
necessary travel and incidental expenses while attending meetings78
of the committee or while engaged in the performance of official79
responsibilities delegated to the committee. No member of such a80
committee shall receive in excess of thirty dollars per day, in81
addition to such travel and incidental expenses, or for more than82
twenty-four days per year for duties performed as a member of such83
the committee.84

       (G) No person is civilly liable for any actions taken in85
good faith as a member of an operating committee.86

       Sec. 924.09.  (A) Each operating committee may make87
assessments upon the marketable agricultural commodity for which88
the marketing program was established.89

       (B) No operating committee shall levy any assessment:90

       (1) WhichThat was not approved by the producers affected by91
the program;92

       (2) WhichThat exceeds two cents per bushel of corn,93
soybeans, or wheat, or two per cent of the average market price of94
any other agricultural commodity during the preceding marketing95
year as defined for the commodity by the United States department96
of agriculture or, if there is no such definition, by the97

       (3) Against any producer who is not eligible to vote in a99
referendum for the marketing program whichthat the operating100
committee administers.101

       (C) The director of agriculture may require a producer,102
processor, distributor, or handler of an agricultural commodity103
for which a marketing program has been established under sections104
924.01 to 924.16 of the Revised Code to withhold assessments from105
any amounts that hethe producer, processor, distributor, or106
handler owes to producers of the commodity and, notwithstanding107
division (B)(3) of this section, to remit them to the director.108
Any processor, distributor, or handler who pays for any producer109
any assessment whichthat is levied under authority of this110
section, may deduct the amount of suchthe assessment from any111
moneys which hethat the processor, distributor, or handler owes112
to the producer.113

       (D) No operating committee shall use any assessments which114
that it levies for any political or legislative purpose, or for115
preferential treatment of one person to the detriment of any other116
person affected by the marketing program.117

       (E) EachThe operating committee of each marketing program118
shall require a refund ofto a producer the assessments collected119
by its operating committee under this sectionthat it collects120
from the producer not later than thirtysixty days after receipt121
of ana valid application by athe producer for a refund, provided122
that the producer complies with the procedures for a refund that123
were included in the program under division (B)(3) of section124
924.04 of the Revised Code.125

       In the case of the state beef marketing program, in lieu of126
giving a refund to a producer, the director of the program's127
operating committee may forward the refund to the cattlemen's beef128
promotion and research board pursuant to the "Beef Promotion and129
Research Act," 99 Stat. 1597 (1985), 7 U.S.C.A. 2901, and130
amendments thereto, and shall credit that amount to the total131
amount owed by the producer to the federal beef program. Each132
application for a refund of assessments levied for a program133
established after April 10, 1985 shall be made on a form provided134
by the director of agriculture. Each operating committee for such135
a program shall ensure that refund forms are available where136
assessments for its program are withheld.137

       Sec. 924.12.  (A) The director of agriculture may138
temporarily suspend the operation of a marketing program, or any139
part thereof, for any reason, upon recommendation by the operating140
committee for the program, for a period of not more than twelve141
consecutive months.142

       (B) At least once in each five years of operation, or at any143
time upon written petition by the lesser of twenty per cent or one144
thousand of the producers affected by a marketing program, the145
director shall hold a hearing as prescribed in Chapter 119. of the146
Revised Code to consider the continuation of the program.147

       (C) Within thirty days after the close of any hearing to148
consider the continuation of a marketing program, the director149
shall recommend continuation or termination of the program, and150
shall give public notice, and notify each producer of record, all151
parties appearing at the hearing, and other interested parties, of152
histhe recommendation by publication in the applicable trade153
journal and in the register of Ohio. The director also shall154
provide notice of the recommendation to any other person who, in155
writing, has requested notification.156

       (D) When the director recommends termination of a marketing157
program established before April 10, 1985, he shall, within158
forty-five days, conduct a referendum to determine whether the159
affected producers favor the proposed termination. The affected160
producers favor the termination of the program if fifty-one per161
cent or more, by number, of the producers who vote in the162
referendum, vote in favor of termination of the program and163
represent fifty-one per cent or more of the volume of the affected164
agricultural commodity which was produced in the preceding165
marketing year by all producers who voted in the referendum.166

       (E) When the director recommends termination of a marketing167
program established on or after April 10, 1985, hethe director168
shall, within forty-five days, conduct a referendum to determine169
whether the affected producers favor the proposed termination. The170
affected producers favor the termination of the program if a171
majority of the producers who vote in the referendum vote in favor172
of termination of the program.173

       Section 2. That existing sections 901.04, 924.07, 924.09, and174
924.12 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.175