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REQUIREMENT OF REFERENDUM AND CATTLE PRODUCER APPROVAL

Sec. 9. The Secretary shall conduct a referendum as soon as practicable among producers who at any time, during a consecutive twelvemonth representative period preceding the date of the referendum, as determined by the Secretary, have been engaged in the production of cattle for the purpose of ascertaining whether the issuance of an order is approved or favored by such producers. The Secretary shall establish a procedure whereby all known cattle producers are notified of the referendum and the time and place of balloting and qualified producers may register with the Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service in person or by mail to vote in such a referendum during a period ending not less than ten days prior to the date of the referendum. No order issued pursuant to this Act shall be effective unless the Secretary determines (1) that votes were cast by at least 50 per centum of the registered producers, and (2) that the issuance of such order is approved or favored by a majority of the producers voting in such referendum, The Secretary shall be reimbursed from assessments collected by the Beef Board for any expenses incurred for the conduct of the referendum. Eligible voter lists and ballots cast in the referendum shall be retained by the Secretary for a period of not less than twelve months after they are cast for audit and recount in the event the results of the referendum are challenged and either the Secretary or the Courts determine a recount and retabulation of results is appropriate. Prior to the holding of the referendum, sureties shall have posted a bond or other security, acceptable to the Secretary, in an amount which the Secretary shall determine to be sufficient to pay any expenses incurred for the conduct of the referendum. For the purpose of this section, the term "expenses incurred for the conduct of the referendum” shall include all costs incurred by the Government in connection therewith, except for salaries of Government employees.

SUSPENSION AND TERMINATION OF ORDERS

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Sec. 10. (a) The Secretary shall, whenever he finds that any order issued under this Act, or any provision (s) thereof, obstructs or does not tend to effectuate the declared policy of this Act, terminate or suspend the operation of such order or such provision (s) thereof.

(b) The Secretary may conduct a referendum at any time, and shall hold a referendum on request of 10 per centum or more of the number of producers voting in the referendum approving the order, to determine whether such producers favor the termination or suspension of the order, and he shall suspend or terminate such order six months after he determines that suspension or termination of the order is approved or favored by a majority of the producers voting in such referendum who, during a representative period determined by the Secretary, have been engaged in the production of cattle, and who produced more than 50 per centum of the volume of cattle produced by the producers voting in the referendum.

(c) The termination or suspension of any order, or any provision thereof, shall not be considered an order within the meaning of this Act.

7 U.S.C. 2908. Agricultural Credit Act of 1978, Public Law 95–334, 92 Stat. 433, sec. 302 amended the third sentence of sec. 9 by striking therefrom "not less than twothirds" and substituting in lieu thereof "a majority."

•7 U.S.C. 2909.

PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO AMENDMENTS Sec. 11.10 The provisions of this Act applicable to orders shall be applicable to amendments to orders.

PRODUCER REFUND

Sec. 12." Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Act, any producer against whose cattle any assessment is made and collected from him under authority of this Act and who is not in favor of supporting the programs as provided for herein shall have the right to demand and receive from the Beef Board a refund of such assessment: Provided, That such demand shall be made in accordance with regulations on a form and within a time period prescribed by the Board and approved by the Secretary but in no event more than sixty days after the end of the month in which the sale or slaughter of said cattle occurred and upon submission of proof satisfactory to the Board that the producer paid the assessment for which refund is sought, and any such refund shall be made within sixty days after demand is received therefor: Provided, however, That no producer shall claim or receive a refund of any portion of an assessment which he collected from other producers.

PETITION AND REVIEW Sec. 13.12 (a) Any person subject to any order may file a written petition with the Secretary, stating that any such order or any provision of such order or any obligation imposed in connection therewith is not in accordance with law and praying for a modification thereof or to be exempted therefrom. He shall thereupon be given an opportunity for a hearing upon such petition, in accordance with regulations made by the Secretary. After such hearing, the Secretary shall make a ruling upon the prayer of such petition which shall be final, if in accordance with law.

(d) [sic] The district courts of the United States in any district in which such person is an inhabitant, or has his principal place of business, are hereby vested with jurisdiction to review such ruling, provided a complaint for that purpose is filed within twenty days from the date of the entry of such ruling. Service of process in such proceedings may be had upon the Secretary by delivering to him a copy of the complaint. If the court determines that such ruling is not in accordance with law, it shall remand such proceedings to the Secretary with directions either (1) to make such ruling as the court shall determine to be in accordance with the law, or (2) to take such further proceedings as, in its opinion, the law requires. The pendency of proceedings instituted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall not impede, hinder, or delay the United States or the Secretary from obtaining relief pursuant to section 14(a) of this Act.

a

ENFORCEMENT

Sec. 14.18 (a) The several district courts of the United States are vested with jurisdiction specifically to enforce, and to prevent and restrain any person from violating any order or regulation made or 207 0.8.C. 2910. 07 U.S.C. 2911. 27 0.8.C. 2912. 17 0.8.C. 2918.

issued pursuant to this Act. Any civil action authorized to be brought under this Act shall be referred to the Attorney General for appropriate action: Provided, That nothing in this Act shall be construed as requiring the Secretary to refer to the Attorney General minor violations of this Act whenever he believes that the administration and enforcement of the program would be adequately served by suitable written notice or warning to any person committing such violation.

(b) Any person who willfully violates any provision of any order issued by the Secretary under this Act, or who willfully fails or refuses to collect or remit any assessment duly required of him thereunder, shall be liable to a penalty of not more than $1,000 for each such violation which shall accrue to the United States and may be recovered in a civil suit brought by the United States: Provided, That subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall be in addition to, and not exclusive of, the remedies provided now or hereafter existing at law or in equity.

CERTIFICATION OF ORGANIZATIONS

Sec. 15.14 The eligibility of any organization to represent producers of any designated geographic area of the United States to request the issuance of an order under section 5, and to participate in the making of nominations under section 8(b) shall be certified by the Secretary. Certification shall be based, in addition to other available information, upon a factual report submitted by the organization which shall contain information deemed relevant and specified by the Secretary for the making of such determination, including, but not limited to, the following:

(a) geographic territory covered by the organization's active membership,

(b) nature and size of the organization's active membership, proportion of total of such active membership accounted for by producers of cattle, and the volume of cattle produced by the organization's active membership in each such State,

(c) the extent to which the cattle producer membership of such organization is represented in setting the organization's policies,

(d) evidence of stability and permanency of the organization,

(e) sources from which the organization's operating funds are derived,

(f) functions of the organization, and

(g) the organization's ability and willingness to further the aims

and objectives of this Act: Provided, however, That the primary consideration in determining the eligibility of an organization shall be whether its producer membership consists of a substantial number of producers who produce a substantial volume of cattle subject to the provisions of this Act. The Secretary shall certify any organization which he finds to be eligible under this section and his determination as to eligibility shall be final. Where more than one organization is certified in any geographic area, such organizations may caucus to determine the area's nominations under section 8(b).

14 7 U.S.C. 2914.

STATE BEEF BOARDS

Sec. 16.15 Nothing in this Act shall be construed to preempt or interfere with the workings of any beef board, beef council, or other beef promotion entity organized and operating within and by authority of any of the several States.

REGULATIONS

Sec. 17.16 The Secretary is authorized to issue regulations with the force and effect of law as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act and the powers vested in him by this Act.

INVESTIGATIONS: POWER TO SUBPENA AND TAKE OATHS AND

AFFIRMATIONS: AID OF COURTS

Sec. 18.17 The Secretary may make such investigation as he deems necessary for the effective carrying out of his responsibilities under this Act or to determine whether a producer or slaughterer of cattle or any other person has engaged or is about to engage in any acts or practice which constitute or will constitute a violation of any provisions of this Act, or of any order, or rule or regulation issued under this Act. For the purpose of such investigation, the Secretary is empowered to administer oaths and affirmations, subpena witnesses, compel their attendance, take evidence, and require the production of any books, papers, and documents which are relevant to the inquiry. Such attendance of witnesses and the production of any such records may be required from any place in the United States. In case of contumacy by, or refusal to obey a subpena to, any person, including a producer, the Secretary may invoke the aid of any court of the United States within the jurisdiction of which such investigation or proceeding is carried on, or where such person resides or carries on business, in requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books, papers, and documents; and such court may issue an order requiring such person to appear before the Secretary, there to produce records, if so ordered. or to give testimony touching the matter under investigation. Any failure to obey such order of the court may be punished by such court as a contempt thereof. All process in any such case may be served in the judicial district whereof such person is an inhabitant or wherever he may be found.

SEPARABILITY

Sec. 19.18 If any provision of this Act or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of the Act and of the application of such provision to other persons and circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

* 7 U.S.C. 2915. *7 0.8.C. 2915. *70.8.C. 2917. *7 U.S.C. 2901 note.

AUTHORIZATION

Sec. 20. 19 There is hereby authorized to be appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated such funds as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act. The funds so appropriated shall not be available for payment of the expenses or expenditures of the Beef Board in administering any provisions of any order issued pursuant to the terms of this Act.

EFFECTIVE DATE

Sec. 21.20 This Act shall take effect upon enactment.

19 7 U.S.C. 2918. 20 7 U.S.C. 2901 note.

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