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[PUBLIC-No. 10-718T CONGRESS]
[H. R. 1]
An Act To establish a Federal Farm Board to promote the effective merchandising of agricultural commodities in interstate and foreign commerce, and to place agriculture on a basis of economic equality with other industries.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
DECLARATION OF POLICY
SECTION 1. (a) That it is hereby declared to be the policy of Congress to promote the effective merchandising of agricultural commodities in interstate and foreign commerce, so that the industry of agriculture will be placed on a basis of economic equality with other industries, and to that end to protect, control, and stabilize the currents of interstate and foreign commerce in the marketing of agricultural commodities and their food products
(1) by minimizing speculation.
(2) by preventing inefficient and wasteful methods of distribution. (3) by encouraging the organization of producers into effective associations or corporations under their own control for greater unity of effort in marketing and by promoting the establishment and financing of a farm marketing system of producer-owned and producer-controlled cooperative associations and other agencies.
(4) by aiding in preventing and controlling surpluses in any agricultural commodity, through orderly production and distribution, so as to maintain advantageous domestic markets and prevent such surpluses from causing undue and excessive fluctuations or depressions in prices for the commodity.
There shall be considered as a surplus for the purposes of this Act any seasonal or year's total surplus, produced in the United States and either local or national in extent, that is in excess of the requirements for the orderly distribution of the agricultural commodity or is in excess of the domestic requirements for such commodity.
(c) The Federal Farm Board shall execute the powers vested in it by this Act only in such manner as will, in the judgment of the board, aid to the fullest practicable extent in carrying out the policy above declared.
FEDERAL FARM BOARD
SEC. 2. A Federal Farm Board is hereby created, which shall consist of eight members to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and of the Secretary of Agriculture, ex officio. In making the appointments the President shall give due consideration to having the major agricultural commodities produced in the United States fairly represented upon the board. The terms of office of the appointed members of the board first taking
office after the date of the approval of this Act shall expire, as designated by the President at the time of nomination, two at the end of the first year, two at the end of the second year, one at the end of the third year, one at the end of the fourth year, one at the end of the fifth year, and one at the end of the sixth year after such date. A successor to an appointed member of the board shall have term of office expiring six years from the date of the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was appointed, except that any person appointed to fill a vacancy in the board occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was appointed, shall be appointed for the remainder of such term. One of the appointed members shall be designated by the President as chairman of the board and shall be the principal executive officer thereof. The board shall select a vice chairman who shall act as chairman in case of the absence or disability of the chairman. The board may function notwithstanding vacancies, and a majority of the appointed members in office shall constitute a quorum. Each appointed member shall be a citizen of the United States and shall not actively engage in any other business, vocation, or employment than that of serving as a member of the board; nor shall any appointed member during his term of office engage in the business (except such business as is necessary to the operation of his own farm or farms) of buying and selling, or otherwise be financially interested in, any agricultural commodity or product thereof. Each appointed member shall receive a salary of $12,000 a year, together with neces sary traveling and subsistence expenses, or per diem allowance in lieu thereof, within the limitations prescribed by law, while away from his official station upon official business.
ADVISORY COMMODITY COMMITTEES
SEC. 3. (a) The board is authorized to designate, from time to time, as an agricultural commodity for the purposes of this Act (1) any regional or market classification or type of any agricultural commodity which is so different in use or marketing methods from other such classifications or types of the commodity as to require, in the judgment of the board, treatment as a separate commodity under this Act; or (2) any two or more agricultural commodities which are so closely related in use or marketing methods as to require, in the judgment of the board, joint treatment as a single commodity under this Act.
(b) The board shall invite the cooperative associations handling any agricultural commodity to establish an advisory commodity committee to consist of seven members, of whom at least two shall be experienced handlers or processors of the commodity, to represent such commodity before the board in matters relating to the commodity. Members of each advisory committee shall be selected by the cooperative associations from time to time in such manner as the board shall prescribe. No salary shall be paid to committee members, but the board shall pay each a per diem compensation not exceeding $20 for attending committee meetings called by the board and for time devoted to other business of the committee authorized by the board, and necessary traveling and subsistence expenses, or per diem allow
ance in lieu thereof, within the limitations prescribed by law for civilian employees in the Executive branch of the Government. Each advisory committee shall be designated by the name of the commodity it represents, as, for example, the “Cotton Advisory Committee.”
(c) Each advisory committee shall meet as soon as practicable after its selection, at a time and place designated by the board. Each advisory committee shall meet thereafter at least twice a year upon call of the board, and may meet at other times upon call of a majority of the members thereof. Each advisory committee shall select a chairman and secretary.
(d) Each advisory Committee may by itself or through its officers, (1) confer directly with the board, call for information from it, or make oral or written representations to it, concerning matters
within the jurisdiction of the board and relating to the agricultural commodity, and (2) cooperate with the board in advising the producers through their organizations or otherwise in the development of suitable programs of planting or breeding in order to secure the maximum benefits under this Act consistent with the policy declared in section 1.
GENERAL POWERS OF BOARD
SEC. 4. The board
(1) shall maintain its principal office in the District of Columbia, and such other offices in the United States as in its judgment are necessary.
(2) shall have an official seal which shall be judicially noticed.
(3) shall make an annual report to Congress upon the administration of this Act and any other matter relating to the better effectuation of the policy declared in section 1, including recommendations for legislation.
(4) may make such regulations as are necessary to execute the functions vested in it by this Act.
(5) may appoint and fix the salaries of a secretary and such experts, and, in accordance with the Classification Act of 1923, as amended, and subject to the provisions of the civil service laws, such other officers and employees, as are necessary to execute such functions.
(6) may make such expenditures (including expenditures for rent and personal services at the seat of government and elsewhere, for law books, periodicals, and books of reference, and for printing and binding) as are necessary to execute such functions. Expenditures by the board shall be allowed and paid upon the presentation of itemized vouchers therefor approved by the chairman of the board.
(7) shall meet at the call of the chairman, the Secretary of Agriculture, or a majority of its members.
SPECIAL POWERS OF BOARD
SEC. 5. The board is authorized and directed
(1) to promote education in the principles and practices of cooperative marketing of agricultural commodities and food products thereof.
(2) to encourage the organization, improvement in methods, and development of effective cooperative associations.
(3) to keep advised from any available sources and make reports as to crop prices, experiences, prospects, supply, and demand, at home and abroad.
(4) to investigate conditions of overproduction of agricultural commodities and advise as to the prevention of such overproduction.
(5) to make investigations and reports and publish the same, including investigations and reports upon the following: Land utilization for agricultural purposes; reduction of the acreage of unprofitable marginal lands in cultivation; methods of expanding markets at home and abroad for agricultural commodities and food products thereof; methods of developing by-products of and new uses for agricultural commodities; and transportation conditions and their effect upon the marketing of agricultural commodities.
SEC. 6. There is hereby authorized to be appropriated the sum of $500,000,000 which shall be made available by the Congress as soon as practicable after the approval of this Act and shall constitute a revolving fund to be administered by the board as provided in this Act.
LOANS TO COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATIONS
Sec. 7. (a) Upon application by any cooperative association the board is authorized to make loans to it from the revolving fund to assist in
(1) the effective merchandising of agricultural commodities and food products thereof;
(2) the construction or acquisition by purchase or lease of physical marketing facilities for preparing, handling, storing, processing, or merchandising agricultural commodities or their food products;
(3) the formation of clearing house associations;
(4) extending membership of the cooperative association applying for the loan by educating the producers of the commodity handled by the association in the advantages of cooperative marketing of that commodity; and
(5) enabling the cooperative association applying for the loan to advance to its members a greater share of the market price of the commodity delivered to the association than is practicable under other credit facilities.
(b) No loan shall be made to any cooperative association unless, in the judgment of the board, the loan is in furtherance of the policy declared in section 1 and the cooperative association applying for the loan has an organization and management, and business policies, of such character as to insure the reasonable safety of the loan and the furtherance of such policy.
(c) Loans for the construction or acquisition by purchase or lease of physical facilities shall be subject to the following limitations:
(1) No such loan for the construction or purchase of such facilities shall be made in an amount in excess of 80 per centum of the value of the facilities to be constructed or purchased.
(2) No loan for the purchase or lease of such facilities shall be made unless the board finds that the purchase price or rent to be paid is reasonable.
(3) No loan for the construction, purchase, or lease of such facili. ties shall be made unless the board finds that there are not available suitable existing facilities that will furnish their services to the cooperative association at reasonable rates; and in addition to the preceding limitation, no loan for the construction of facilities shall be made unless the board finds that suitable existing facilities are not available for purchase or lease at a reasonable price or rent.
(d) Loans for the construction or purchase of physical facilities, together with interest on the loans, shall be repaid upon an amortization plan over a period not in excess of twenty years.
MISCELLANEOUS LOAN PROVISIONS
SEC. 8. (a) Loans to any cooperative association or stabilization corporation and advances for insurance purposes shall bear interest at a rate of interest per annum equal to the lowest rate of yield (to the nearest one-eighth of 1 per centum) of any Government obligation bearing a date of issue subsequent to April 6, 1917 (except postal-savings bonds), and outstanding at the time the loan agreement is entered into or the advance is made by the board, as certified by the Secretary of the Treasury to the board upon its request: Provided, That in no case shall the rate exceed 4 per centum per annum on the unpaid principal.
(b) Payments of principal or interest upon any such loan or advance shall be covered into the revolving fund.
(c) Loans to any cooperative association or stabilization corporation shall be made upon the terms specified in this Act and upon such other terms not inconsistent therewith and upon such security as the board deems necessary.
(d) No loan or insurance agreement shall be made by the board if in its judgment the agreement is likely to increase unduly the production of any agricultural commodity of which there is commonly produced a surplus in excess of the annual marketing requirements.
SEC. 9. (a) The board may, upon application of the advisory commodity committee for any commodity, recognize as a stabilization corporation for the commodity any corporation if
(1) The board finds that the marketing situation with respect to the agricultural commodity requires or may require the establishment of a stabilization corporation in order effectively to carry out the policy declared in section 1; and
(2) The board finds that the corporation is duly organized under the laws of a State or Territory; and
(3) The board finds that all the outstanding voting stock or membership interests in the corporation are and may be owned only by cooperative associations handling the commodity; and
(4) The corporation agrees with the board to adopt such by-laws as the board may from time to time require, which by-laws, among other matters, shall permit cooperative associations not stockholders or members of the corporation to become stockholders or members therein upon equitable terms.