Walnuts Grown in California; Recommended Decision and Opportunity To File Written Exceptions to Proposed Amendments of Marketing Agreement and Order No. 984
This recommended decision invites written exceptions on proposed amendments to Marketing Order No. 984, which regulates the handling of walnuts grown in California (Order). The amendments were proposed by the Walnut Marketing Board (Board), which is responsible for local administration of the order. The amendments included in this recommended decision would: Change the marketing year; include ``pack'' as a handler function; restructure the Board and revise nomination procedures; rename the Board and add authority to change Board composition; modify Board meeting and voting procedures; add authority for marketing promotion and paid advertising; add authority to accept voluntary financial contributions and to carry over excess assessment funds; broaden the scope of the quality control provisions and add the authority to recommend different regulations for different market destinations; add authority for the Board to appoint more than one inspection service; replace outdated order language with current industry terminology; and other related amendments. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed three additional amendments: To establish tenure limitations for Board members, to require that continuance referenda be conducted on a periodic basis to ascertain producer support for the order, and to make any changes to the order as may be necessary to conform with any amendment that may result from the hearing. The proposed amendments are intended to improve the operation and functioning of the marketing order program.