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e-CFR data is current as of February 23, 2021

Title 7Subtitle BChapter IXPart 955Subpart A → Subject Group

Title 7: Agriculture
Subpart A—Order Regulating Handling


§955.20   Establishment and membership.

(a) There is hereby established a Vidalia Onion Committee, consisting of nine members, to administer the terms and provisions of this part. Eight members shall be producers, and one shall be a public member. At least four of the producer members shall be producer-handlers. Each member shall have an alternate who shall have the same qualifications as the member.

(b) Each member, other than the public member, shall be an individual who is, prior to selection and during such member's term of office, a resident of the production area and a grower or an officer or employee of a grower.

(c) The public member shall be a resident of the production area and shall have no direct financial interest in the commercial production, financing, buying, packing or marketing of Vidalia onions, except as a consumer, nor shall such person be a director, officer or employee of any firm so engaged.

§955.21   Term of office.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this section, the term of office of committee members and their respective alternates shall be for two years and shall begin as of September 16 or for such other period as the committee may recommend and the Secretary approve. The terms shall be determined so that approximately one-half of the total committee membership shall terminate each year. Members and alternates shall serve in such capacity during the term of office or portion thereof for which they are selected and until their respective successors are selected.

(b) The term of office of the initial members and alternates shall begin as soon as possible after effective date of this part. As determined by lot drawn at the initial nomination meeting, one-fourth of the initial grower members and alternates shall serve for a one-year term, one-fourth shall serve for a two-year term, one-fourth shall serve for a three-year term, and one-fourth shall serve for a four-year term. The term of office for the initial public member and alternate shall be for two years.

(c) The consecutive terms of office of members shall be limited to three 2-year terms.

§955.22   Nominations.

(a) Initial members. For nominations to the initial committee, a meeting of producers shall be held by the Secretary.

(b) Successor members. (1) The committee shall hold or cause to be held not later than August 1 of each year, or such other date as may be specified by the Secretary, a meeting or meetings of growers for the purpose of designating one nominee for each position as member and for each position as alternate member of the committee which is vacant, or which is about to become vacant.

(2) Nominations for members and alternates shall be supplied to the Secretary in such manner and form as the Secretary may prescribe, not later than August 15 of each year, or by such other date as may be specified by the Secretary.

(3) The Secretary may, upon recommendation of the committee, divide the production area into districts for the purpose of nominating committee members and their alternates.

(c) Only producers may participate in designating nominees to serve as committee members. Each producer is entitled to cast only one vote on behalf of such producer and such producer's agents, subsidiaries, affiliates, and representatives in designating nominees for committee members and alternates. An eligible voter's privilege of casting only one vote shall be construed to permit a voter to cast one vote for each position to be filled.

(d) The producer members shall nominate the public member and alternate member at the first meeting following the selection of members for a new term of office. Nominations for the public member and alternate member shall be supplied to the Secretary in such manner and form as the Secretary may prescribe, not later than November 1, or such other date as may be specified by the Secretary.

§955.23   Selection.

From the nominations made pursuant to §955.22 or from other qualified persons, the Secretary shall select members and alternate members of the committee.

§955.24   Acceptance.

Any person nominated to serve as a member or alternate member of the committee shall, prior to selection by the Secretary, qualify by filing a written acceptance indicating such person's willingness to serve in the position for which nominated.

§955.25   Alternates.

An alternate member of the committee shall act in the place and stead of the member for whom such person is an alternate during such member's absence or when designated to do so by such member. In the event both a member of the committee and that member's alternate are unable to attend a committee meeting, the member, the alternate, or the committee, in that order, may designate another alternate from the same district (if applicable) and the same group (producer or producer-handler) to serve in such member's stead. Only the public member's alternate is authorized to serve in the place and stead of the public member. In the event of the death, removal, resignation or disqualification of a member, that member's alternate shall serve until a successor to such member is selected.

§955.26   Vacancies.

To fill any vacancy occasioned by the failure of any person nominated as a member or as an alternate to qualify, or in the event of the death, removal, resignation, or disqualification of a member or alternate, a successor for the unexpired term may be selected by the Secretary from nominations made pursuant to §955.22, or from other eligible persons.

§955.27   Failure to nominate.

If nominations are not made within the time and manner prescribed in §955.22, the Secretary may, without regard to nominations, select members and alternates on the basis of the representation provided for in §955.20.

§955.28   Procedure.

(a) Five members of the committee shall constitute a quorum, and five concurring votes shall be required to pass any motion or approve any committee action.

(b) The committee may provide for meetings by telephone, telegraph, or other means of communication, and any vote cast orally at such meetings shall be confirmed promptly in writing: Provided, That if an assembled meeting is held, all votes shall be cast in person.

§955.29   Expenses.

Members and alternates shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for such expenses authorized by the committee and necessarily incurred by them in attending committee meetings and in the performance of their duties under this part.

§955.30   Powers.

The committee shall have the following powers:

(a) To administer the provisions of this part in accordance with its terms;

(b) To make rules and regulations to effectuate the terms and provisions of this part;

(c) To receive, investigate, and report to the Secretary complaints of violation of the provisions of this part; and

(d) To recommend to the Secretary amendments to this part.

§955.31   Duties.

The committee shall have, among others, the following duties:

(a) As soon as practicable after the beginning of each term of office, to meet and organize, to select a chairman and such other officers as may be necessary, to select subcommittees of committee members or alternates, and to adopt such rules and regulations for the conduct of its business as it deems necessary;

(b) To act as intermediary between the Secretary and any producer or handler;

(c) To furnish to the Secretary such available information as may be requested;

(d) To appoint such employees, agents, and representatives as it may deem necessary, to determine the compensation and define the duties of each such person, and to protect the handling of committee funds;

(e) To investigate from time to time and to assemble data on the growing, harvesting, shipping, and marketing conditions with respect to Vidalia onions;

(f) To keep minutes, books, and records which clearly reflect all of the acts and transactions of the committee. Such minutes, books, and records shall be subject to examination at any time by the Secretary or the Secretary's authorized agent or representative. Minutes of each committee meeting shall be furnished promptly to the Secretary;

(g) Prior to the beginning of each fiscal period, to prepare and submit to the Secretary a budget of its projected income and expenses for such fiscal period, together with a report thereon and a recommendation as to the rate of assessment for such period;

(h) To cause its books to be audited by a Certified Public Accountant at least once each fiscal period, and at such other time as the committee may deem necessary or as the Secretary may request. The report of such audit shall show the receipt and expenditure of funds collected pursuant to this part. A copy of each report shall be furnished to the Secretary. A copy shall also be made available at the principal office of the committee for inspection by producers and handlers provided that confidential information shall be removed;

(i) To give the Secretary the same notice of meetings of the committee and its subcommittees as is given to its members.

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