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e-CFR data is current as of December 2, 2020

Title 7Subtitle BChapter XIPart 1220Subpart F → Subject Group


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 1220—SOYBEAN PROMOTION, RESEARCH, AND CONSUMER INFORMATION
Subpart F—Procedures To Request a Referendum


Definitions

§1220.600   Act.

Act means the Soybean, Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act set forth in title XIX, subtitle E, of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-624), and any amendments thereto.

§1220.601   Administrator, AMS.

Administrator, AMS, means the Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service, or any officer or employee of USDA to whom there has been delegated or may be delegated the authority to act in the Administrator's stead.

§1220.602   Administrator, FSA.

Administrator, FSA, means the Administrator, of the Farm Service Agency, or any officer or employee of USDA to whom there has been delegated or may be delegated the authority to act in the Administrator's stead.

§1220.603   Farm Service Agency.

Farm Service Agency also referred to as “FSA” means the Farm Service Agency of USDA.

§1220.604   Farm Service Agency County Committee.

Farm Service Agency County Committee, also referred to as “FSA County Committee or COC,” means the group of persons within a county who are elected to act as the Farm Service Agency County Committee.

§1220.605   Farm Service Agency County Executive Director.

Farm Service Agency County Executive Director, also referred to as “CED,” means the person employed by the FSA County Committee to execute the policies of the FSA County Committee and to be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the FSA county office, or the person acting in such capacity.

§1220.606   Farm Service Agency State Committee.

Farm Service Agency State Committee, also referred to as “FSA State Committee,” means the group of persons within a State who are appointed by the Secretary to act as the Farm Service Agency State Committee.

§1220.607   Farm Service Agency State Executive Director.

Farm Service Agency State Executive Director, also referred to as “SED,” means the person employed by the FSA State Committee to execute the policies of the FSA State Committee and to be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the FSA State office, or the person acting in such capacity.

§1220.608   Order.

Order means the Soybean Promotion and Research Order.

§1220.609   Person.

Person means any individual, group of individuals, partnership, corporation, association, cooperative, or any other legal entity.

§1220.610   Producer.

Producer means any person engaged in the growing of soybeans in the United States who owns or who shares the ownership and risk of loss of such soybeans.

§1220.611   Public notice.

Public notice means a notice published in the Federal Register, not later than 60 days prior to the last day of the Request for Referendum period, that provides information regarding the Request for Referendum period. Such notification shall include, but not be limited to explanation of producers' rights, procedures to request a referendum, the purpose, dates of the Request for Referendum period, location for conducting the Request for Referendum, and eligibility requirements. Additionally, the United Soybean Board is required to provide producers, in writing, this same information during the same time period. Other pertinent information shall also be provided, without advertising expense, through press releases by State and county FSA offices and other appropriate Government offices, by means of newspapers, electronic media, county newsletters, and the like.

§1220.612   Representative period.

Representative period means the period designated by the Secretary pursuant to section 1970 of the Act.

§1220.613   Secretary.

Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or any other officer or employee of USDA to whom there has been delegated or to whom there may be delegated the authority to act in the Secretary's stead.

§1220.614   Soybeans.

Soybeans means all varieties of glycine max or glycine soja.

§1220.615   State and United States.

State and United States include the 50 States of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Procedures

§1220.616   General.

An opportunity to request a referendum shall be provided to U.S. soybean producers to determine whether eligible producers favor the conduct of a referendum and the Request for Referendum shall be carried out in accordance with this subpart.

(a) The opportunity to request a referendum shall be provided at the county FSA offices.

(b) If the Secretary determines, based on results of the Request for Referendum that no less than 10 percent (not in excess of one-fifth of which may be producers in any one State) of all producers have requested a referendum on the Order, a referendum will be held within 1 year of that determination.

(c) If the Secretary determines, based on the results of the Request for Referendum, that the requirements in paragraph (b) of this section are not met, a referendum will not be conducted.

(d) For purposes of paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, the number of soybean producers in the United States will be determined by the Secretary using data provided by USDA.

[69 FR 13461, Mar. 23, 2004, as amended at 74 FR 9049, Mar. 2, 2009; 79 FR 12039, Mar. 4, 2014]

§1220.617   Supervision of the process for requesting a referendum.

The Administrator, AMS, shall be responsible for supervising the process of permitting producers to request a referendum in accordance with this subpart.

§1220.618   Eligibility.

(a) Eligible producers. Each person who was a producer and provides evidence that they or the producer entity they represent has paid an assessment on soybeans during the representative period is provided the opportunity to request a referendum. Each producer entity is entitled to only one request.

(b) Proxy Registration. Proxy registration is not authorized, except that an officer or employee of a corporate producer, or any guardian, administrator, executor, or trustee of a producer's estate, or an authorized representative of any eligible producer entity (other than an individual producer), such as a corporation or partnership, may request a referendum on behalf of that entity. Any individual who requests a referendum on behalf of any producer entity, shall certify that he or she is authorized by such entity to take such action.

(c) Joint and group interest. A group of individuals, such as members of a family, joint tenants, tenants in common, a partnership, owners of community property, or a corporation engaged in the production of soybeans as a producer entity shall be entitled to make only one request for a referendum; provided, however, that any individual member of a group who is an eligible producer separate from the group may request a referendum separately.

§1220.619   Time and Place for Requesting a Referendum.

(a) The opportunity to request a referendum shall be provided during a 4-week period beginning and ending on a date determined by the Secretary. Eligible persons shall have the opportunity to request a referendum by following the procedures in §1220.622 during the normal business hours of each county FSA office.

(b) Producers can determine the location of county FSA offices by contacting the nearest county FSA office in their State or by an online search of FSA Web sites.

(c) Each eligible person shall request a referendum in the county FSA office where FSA maintains and processes the producer's, corporation's, or other entities administrative farm records. For the producer, corporation, or other entity not participating in FSA programs, the opportunity to request a referendum would be provided at the county FSA office serving the county where the producer, corporation, or other legal entity owns or rents land. An individual or authorized representative of a corporation who grows soybeans in more than one county would request a referendum in the county FSA office where the individual or corporation or other entity does most of its business.

[69 FR 13461, Mar. 23, 2004, as amended at 79 FR 12039, Mar. 4, 2014]

§1220.620   Facilities.

Each county FSA office will provide:

(a) A polling place that is well known and readily accessible to producers in the county and that is equipped and arranged so that each person can complete and submit their request in secret without coercion, duress, or interference of any sort whatsoever, and

(b) A holding container of sufficient size so arranged that no request can be read or removed without breaking seals on the container.

§1220.621   Certification and request form.

Form LS-51-1 shall be used to request a referendum and certify producer eligibility. The form does not require a “yes” or “no” vote. Individual producers and representatives of other producer entities should read the form carefully. By completing and signing the form, the individual simultaneously certifies eligibility and requests that a referendum be conducted.

§1220.622   Certification and request procedures.

(a) To request that a referendum be conducted, each eligible producer shall, during the Request for Referendum period, be provided the opportunity to request a referendum during a specified period announced by the Secretary.

(1) Each eligible producer shall be required to complete form LS-51-1 in its entirety and sign it. The producer must legibly print his/her name and, if applicable, the producer entity represented, address, county, and telephone number. The producer must read the certification statement on form LS-51-1 and sign it certifying that:

(i) The person or the producer entity they represent was a producer of soybeans during the representative period;

(ii) The individual requesting a referendum on behalf of a corporation or other entity is authorized to do so; and

(iii) The individual has submitted only one request for a referendum unless they are also an authorized representative for another eligible corporation or other entity.

(2) The producer, corporation, or other entity must also provide documentation, such as a sales receipt, showing that the producer, corporation, or other entity has paid an assessment on soybeans during the representative period.

(3) Only a completed and signed form LS-51-1 accompanied by documentation showing that soybean assessments were paid during the representative period shall be considered a valid request for a referendum.

(b) To request a referendum, eligible producers may obtain form LS-51-1 in person, by mail, or by facsimile during the request for referendum period from the county FSA office where FSA maintains and processes the producer's, corporation's, or other entity's administrative farm records. For the producer, corporation, or other entity not participating in FSA programs, the opportunity to request a referendum would be provided at the county FSA office serving the county where the producer, corporation, or other entity owns or rents land. Eligible producers may also obtain form LS-51-1 via the Internet at a Web site provided by the Secretary. For those persons who chose to obtain form LS-51-1 via the Internet, the completed form and required documentation must be submitted to the county FSA office where FSA maintains and processes the producer's, corporation's, or other entity's administrative farm records. For producers, corporations, or other entities not participating in FSA programs, the opportunity to request a referendum would be provided at the county FSA office serving the county where the producer, corporation, or other entity owns or rents land.

(c) Producers or producer entities may return form LS-51-1 and the accompanying documentation in-person, by mail, or facsimile to the appropriate county FSA office. Form LS-51-1 returned in-person or by facsimile, must be received in the appropriate county FSA office prior to the close of the work day on the final day of the Request for Referendum period to be considered a valid request. Form LS-51-1 and the accompanying documentation returned by mail must be postmarked no later than midnight of the final day of the Request for Referendum period and must be received in the county FSA office prior to the start of canvassing Form LS 51-1.

(d) Producers who obtain form LS-51-1 in-person at the appropriate FSA county office may complete and return the form the same day, accompanied by documentation, such as a sales receipt, showing that soybean assessments were paid during the representative period.

[69 FR 13461, Mar. 23, 2004, as amended at 74 FR 9049, Mar. 2, 2009; 79 FR 12039, Mar. 4, 2014]

§1220.623   Canvassing requests.

(a) Canvassing of Form LS-51-1 shall take place at the opening of county FSA offices on the 5th business day following the Request for Referendum period. Such canvassing, acting on behalf of the Administrator, AMS, shall be in the presence of at least two members of the county committee. If two or more of the counties have been combined and are served by one county office, the canvassing of the requests shall be conducted by at least one member of the county committee from each county served by the county office. The FSA State committee or the State Executive Director if authorized by the State Committee, may designate the County Executive Director (CED) and a county or State FSA office employee to canvass the requests and report the results instead of two members of the county committee when it is determined that the number of eligible voters is so limited that having two members of the county committee present for this function is impractical, and designate the CED and/or another county or State FSA office employee to canvass requests in any emergency situation precluding at least two members of the county committee from being present to carry out the functions required in this section.

(b) The request for referendum should be canvassed as follows:

(1) Number of eligible requests for a referendum. Each person who was a producer during the representative period and provides documentation to prove that they paid an assessment will be considered eligible to request a referendum.

(2) Number of ineligible requests for a referendum. If FSA cannot determine that a producer is eligible based on the submitted documentation or if the producer fails to submit the required documentation, the producer shall be determined to be ineligible. FSA shall notify ineligible producers in writing as soon as practicable but no later than the 8th business day following the final day of the Request for Referendum period.

(c) Appeal. A person declared to be ineligible by FSA can appeal such decision and provide additional documentation to the FSA county office within 5 business days after the postmark date of the letter of notification of ineligibility. FSA will then make a final decision on the producer's eligibility and notify the producer of the decision.

(d) Number of valid requests for referendum. A person has been declared eligible and has provided and completed all of the required information on form LS-51-1.

(e) Number of invalid requests for a referendum. An invalid request for referendum includes, but is not limited to the following:

(1) Form LS-51-1 is not signed or all required information has not been provided;

(2) Form LS-51-1 and supporting documentation returned in-person or by facsimile was not received by the last business day of the Request for Referendum period;

(3) Form LS-51-1 and supporting documentation returned by mail was not postmarked by midnight of the final day of the Request for Referendum period;

(4) Form LS-51-1 and supporting documentation returned by mail was not received in the county FSA office prior to canvassing of the ballots;

(5) Form LS-51-1 or supporting documentation is mutilated or marked in such a way that any required information on the form is illegible; or

(6) Form LS-51-1 and supporting documentation not returned to the appropriate county FSA office.

§1220.624   Confidentiality.

The names of persons requesting a referendum shall be confidential and may not be divulged except as the Secretary may direct.

§1220.625   Counting requests.

(a) The requests for a referendum shall be counted by county FSA offices on the same day as the requests are canvassed if there are no ineligibility determinations to resolve. For those county FSA offices that do have ineligibility determinations, the requests shall be counted no later than the 14th business day following the final day of the Request for Referendum period.

(b) Requests for a referendum shall be counted as follows:

(1) Total number of producers who returned a Request for Referendum form LS-51-1;

(2) Number of ineligible producers requesting a referendum;

(3) Number of eligible producers requesting a referendum;

(4) Number of valid requests for a referendum; and

(5) Number of invalid requests for a referendum.

§1220.626   FSA county office report.

The county FSA office report shall be certified as accurate and complete by the CED or designee, acting on behalf of the Administrator, AMS, as soon as may be reasonably possible, but in no event later than 18th business day following the final day of the specified period, have prepared and certified the county summary of requests on a form provided by the Administrator, FSA. Each county FSA office shall transmit the results in its county to the FSA State office. The results in each county may be made available to the public upon notification by the Administrator, FSA, that the final results have been released by the Secretary. A copy of the report shall be posted for 30 days following the date of notification by the Administrator, FSA, in the county FSA office in a conspicuous place accessible to the public. One copy shall be kept on file in the county FSA office for a period of at least 12 months after notification by FSA that the final results have been released by the Secretary.

§1220.627   FSA State office report.

Each FSA State office shall transmit to the Administrator, FSA, as soon as possible, but in no event later than the 20th business day following the final day of the Request for Referendum period, a report summarizing the data contained in each of the reports from the county FSA offices. One copy of the State summary shall be filed for a period of not less than 12 months after the results have been released and available for public inspection after the results have been released.

§1220.628   Results of the request for referendum.

(a) The Administrator, FSA, shall submit to the Administrator, AMS, the reports from all State FSA offices. The Administrator, AMS, shall tabulate the results of the Request for Referendum. USDA will issue an official press release announcing the results of the Request for Referendum and publish the same results in the Federal Register. In addition, USDA will post the official results at a Web site address provided by the Secretary. Subsequently, State reports and related papers shall be available for public inspection upon request during normal business hours at an address provided by the Secretary.

(b) If the Secretary deems necessary, a State report or county report shall be reexamined and checked by such persons who may be designated by the Secretary.

[69 FR 13461, Mar. 23, 2004, as amended at 74 FR 9049, Mar. 2, 2009; 79 FR 12040, Mar. 4, 2014]

§1220.629   Disposition of records.

Each FSA CED will place in sealed containers marked with the identification of the “Request for Soybean Referendum,” all of the form LS-51-1's along with the accompanying documentation and county summaries. Such records will be placed in a secure location under the custody of the FSA CED for a period of not less than 12 months after the date of notification by the Administrator, FSA, that the final results have been announced by the Secretary. If the county FSA office receives no notice to the contrary from the Administrator, FSA, by the end of the 12 month period as described above, the CED or designee shall destroy the records.

§1220.630   Instructions and forms.

The Administrator, AMS, is authorized to prescribe additional instructions and forms not inconsistent with the provisions of this subpart.

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