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WHEAT COMMISSION
[Authorized: NDCC Chapter 4-28 and 4.1-13]

The North Dakota State Wheat Commission was created in 1959 (S. L. 1959, Ch. 95), with seven "wheat farmers" serving four-year terms directing the activities of the Commission.  Peers elected six members to represent the six wheat districts established by statute.  The Governor appointed a seventh member-at-large from names submitted by a nominating committee made up of the Commissioner of Agriculture and Labor, President of the North Dakota Crop Improvement Association, the Director of the State Agricultural Experiment Station, Director of the State Extension Service, President of the North Dakota Farm Bureau, President of the North Dakota Farmers Union, and the President of the North Dakota Grain Growers.   Added in 2005 to the nominating committee was the President of the North Dakota Grain Dealers Association, and a selected representative of the U.S. Durum Growers Association.  

For at least five years prior to a Commission appointment, an elected member needed to have a substantial portion of income coming from wheat production, however, there were changes to the qualification process in 2005 when the elected members were to be a resident of the district represented, a voting member, and a wheat producer (S. L. 2005, Ch. 69).  The member at large had to be a resident of the state, an eligible voter, and wheat producer in the state.

A Commission position was considered vacant when a member had not planted wheat for more than one growing season or failed to attend two consecutive meetings (S. L. 2005, Ch. 69).   An unexpired term in a district was filled by an appointment or election conducted by the County Agriculture Agent.  The original term of office was six years with no producer serving more than three terms, but in 1981 (S. L. 1981, Ch. 97) legislation changed the term to four years.  
 
In 1959 the levy per bushel by weight was two mills on all wheat grown in the state and sold to the first purchaser. Assessment increases were approved in 1979, 1983, 1999, and 2005 with Commission funds generated from assessments deposited into the State Treasury.  Requests by the Commission for appropriations were submitted to the Legislature (S. L. 1993, Ch. 51).  Since 1999 two mills were designated for the support of the Commission’s involvement in worldwide trade issues (S. L. 1999, Ch. 61) and for adding and sponsoring other programs (S. L. 2003, Ch. 70).

The Commission functions to develop and expand markets for North Dakota produced wheat through promotion, technical assistance, and market information.
    
CHRONOLOGY

1959       Creation of the North Dakota Wheat Commission to develop, utilize, and market North Dakota wheat (S.L. 1959, Ch. 95).

1965       The combination office of the Department of Agriculture and Labor was separated into two departments (S. L. 1965, Ch. 236).

1971       First purchaser of wheat explained, defined, and time of assessments clarified (S. L. 1971, Ch. 95).

1979       Tax levy on wheat raised to three mills per-bushel by weight on all wheat grown and sold in the state (S. L. 1979, Ch. 103).

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

1981       Changes relating to elections and appointments of Commission members. Term of office decreased to four years (S. L. 1981, Ch. 97).

1983       Wheat tax increased to five mills per bushel (S. L. 1983, Ch. 100).

1991       County Agricultural Agents in cooperation with the County Extension Service conduct all elections of Commission members ( S. L. 1991, Ch. 69).

1999       Wheat levy increased to ten-mills on all wheat grown in or delivered to this state and  
sold to first purchaser (S. L. 1999, Ch. 61).

2003       Use of wheat levy defined and expanded (S. L. 2003, Ch. 59).

2005       Wheat levy increased to fifteen mills per bushel by weight (S. L. 2005, Ch. 70).

2005       Changes in Commission membership requirements. A Legislative Council study conducted (S. L. 2005, Ch. 69).

 

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