USDA Names Members to the National Potato Promotion Board [February 11, 2011, News Release]
Potato Research and Promotion Plan; Assessment Increase, Final Rule. Docket Number: AMS-FV-09-0024; FV-09-706FR. EFFECTIVE: December 4, 2009. [Notice
Potato Research and Promotion Plan; Assessment Increase, Proposed Rule. Docket Number: AMS-FV-09-0024; FV-09-706. EFFECTIVE: July 27, 2009. Comment Period: July 27, 2009 through September 25, 2009.
The Potato Research and Promotion Plan (Plan) [7 CFR Part 1207] is authorized by the Potato Research and Promotion Act (Act) [7 U.S.C. 2611-2627], which was signed into law on January 11, 1971. The Plan became effective on March 9, 1972, after public hearings, notice and comment rulemaking, and potato producers voted in favor of the program in a national referendum. Implementing rules and regulations became effective on September 15, 1972.
The Act has been amended three times. The first amendment, in August 1982, provided for: public representation on the U.S. Potato Board (Board); a change in the assessment rate; the Board to reimburse USDA for referendum and administrative costs; and civil penalties for program violations and the issuance of cease and desist orders in administrative proceedings. After a public hearing and a proposed rule on these amendments, a referendum was held in December 1982. In the referendum, producers did not approve the amendments.
The second amendment, in November 1983, provided that the Plan was not invalidated by producers' failure to approve the amendments and stated that public representation on the Board and reimbursement to USDA was not subject to voter approval in a referendum. A public hearing was held in November 1983, and a proposed rule was issued on the assessment issue. In a March 1984 referendum, producers approved the amendment to increase the maximum assessment rate from 1 cent per hundredweight to 0.5 percent of the past 10-year average price received by growers as reported by USDA. Therefore, the Plan was amended in May 1984.
The third Act amendment in November 1990 authorized: assessing imported potatoes, potato products, and seed products; adding importers to the Board; eliminating refunds of assessments; and covering Alaska and Hawaii. After notice and comment rulemaking, the Plan was amended in August 1991 to reflect the amendments to the Act. In a referendum conducted in August and September 1991, producers and importers approved the amendments.
The Board conducts market research and development projects, promotion, and related activities under AMS supervision. The activities are funded by an assessment of 3 cents per hundredweight (cwt.) on potatoes produced in and imported into the United States. Producers of less than 5 acres of potatoes are exempt from assessment. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service collects assessments on imported tablestock and seed potatoes and potato products.
The Board's approved budget for the period from July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012, is estimated at $18.8 million. The Board’s income during that period is projected to be: Assessment income of $12.4 million; interest income of $16,021; and $6.4 million from the Foreign Agricultural Service to promote United States potatoes in foreign markets. The Board reimburses the federal government for costs incurred in administering the program.
The 96-member Board is composed of 93 producers, 2 importers, and 1 public member. Each state is entitled to at least one member. States are entitled to additional members if annual state production exceeds 5 million cwt. of potatoes. Up to five importer members may be on the Board, one member for each 5 million cwt. of imported tablestock and seed potatoes and potato products. The public member is nominated by the Board. The Board’s Administrative Committee manages the Board's activities on a day-to-day basis. It consists of 32 Board members: the 7 Executive Committee members, 1 importer, the public member, and 23 members from each of six districts according to each district's production share.
The Board has 18 full-time employees located in Denver, Colorado.