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[Authorized: NDCC 4-10.2-03 and 4.1-9]

The North Dakota Sunflower Council was created in 1977 under the Sunflower Industry Promotion Act and the state was divided into six sunflower producing districts with one representative from each district serving on the Council (S. L. 1977, Ch. 52). In 1985 (S. L. 1985, Ch. 52) a seventh district was added increasing the Council to seven members with the Agriculture Commissioner as an ex-officio member assuming responsibility for overseeing district elections. 

The objective of the Council was to promote better methods of production, marketing, and processing for sunflowers.  A tax assessment on sunflowers grown or sold in the state was used by the Council for activities including research and advertising.    A chairman was elected from within the Council.  Council members served three-year terms and could serve only two consecutive terms. 

In 1981, the Legislature required several agricultural commodity groups including the Sunflower Council, Beef Commission, Dairy Products Promotion Commission, and the Wheat Commission to share office space and administrative responsibilities (S. L. 1981, Ch. 96).  This was repealed in 2005 (S. L. 2005, Ch. 68).

In 1989, the Sunflower Council integrated growers of all oilseed crops including canola (or rapeseed), safflower, crambe, and flax and the name was changed to the North Dakota Oilseed Council (S. L. 1989, Ch. 76). Membership to the Council increased to ten: one elected from each of the seven sunflower districts; one member each from canola and safflower growers who were appointed by the Governor; and a member appointed by the Director of the Agriculture Experiment Station. 

Membership to the Council increased in 1997 (S. L. 1997, Ch. 62) when a participating grower of crambe was appointed to the Council by the Governor, and in 2001 the Legislature established three canola producing districts (S. L. 2001, Ch. 66) which increased the membership to  fourteen oilseed producing representatives.  The term of office was three years and a member could serve no more than three consecutive terms, until 2009 (S. L. 2009, Ch. 80) when this changed to four consecutive terms. Qualifications included being a citizen of the state and a bona fide resident of and participating grower in the district represented.  If the qualifications of any member should change while serving on the Council the seat is considered vacant, and a qualified member is appointed or the Commissioner of Agriculture conducts an election in that district.

Assessment is made on all oilseeds grown in the state and sold to the first handler.  The Sunflower Growers Association and the Canola Growers Association support the promotion of the oilseed industry.

The North Dakota Oilseed Council is part of the Agricultural Commodity Council.  At the request of the Commissioner of Agriculture, the Legislature amended the Century Code so that the Commissioner or designee became a non-voting member of the Council.  Other commodity group members are the Barley Council, Beef Commission, Beekeepers Association, Corn Utilization Council, Dairy Promotion Commission,  Dry Bean Council,  Dry Pea and Lentil Council, Potato Council, and the Soybean Council (S. L. 2009, Ch. 70, Ch. 80).     


1977       The North Dakota Sunflower Council was created, and one member from each of the six  districts selected to serve on the Council (S. L. 1977, Ch. 52).

1979       County Agriculture Extension Agents authorized by the Commissioner of Agriculture to  
conduct elections for Council members in sunflower producing districts (S. L. 1979, Ch. 96).

1981       State law required several agricultural commodity groups including the Sunflower  
Council, Beef Commission, Dairy Products Promotion Commission, and the Wheat                Commission to share offices and administrative responsibilities (S. L.1981, Ch. 96) Repealed in 2005 (S. L. 2005, Ch. 68).

1985       Sunflower producing districts increase to seven (S. L. 1985, Ch. 92).

1989       Sunflower Council becomes the North Dakota Oilseed Council and includes safflower,
canola (rapeseed), crambe, and flax. Numerous changes concerning Council membership (S. L. 1989, Ch. 76).

1991       Stricter penalties on first handlers who violate the usage of assessments (S.L. 1991, Ch. 61).

1997       Governor appoints one crambe grower as member of Oilseed Council (S.L. 1997, Ch. 62).

1999       Canola seed must meet certification standards as set by the Commissioner of  
Agriculture (S. L. 1999, Ch. 56).

2001       Legislature establishes three canola seed districts.  One representative from each  
district serves on the Council (S. L. 2001, Ch. 66).

2009       Legislature makes changes in the membership nomination and qualification  process. 
Oilseed Council joins the Agricultural Commodity Council.  Chapter amended in North Dakota Century Code (S. L. 2009, Ch.70, Ch. 80).

2009       Increases in per-bushel assessments on sunflower, canola, and flax.  Safflower and  
crambe assessments remain unchanged (S. L. 2009, Ch. 83).


31993   Records.


North Dakota Century Code, Chapter 4 and 4.1.
North Dakota Secretary of State Blue Book.
North Dakota State Legislature Session Laws.

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