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Archives - State Agencies - Agricultural Products Utilization Commission

[Authorized:  NDCC Section 4-14.1-03]

In 1979 the Legislature created the agriculturally derived alcohol motor vehicle fuel tax fund and authorized the newly created Agricultural Products Utilization Commission (APUC) to administer the tax revenue.  The original Agricultural Products Utilization Commission consisted of seven members, four were actively engaged in farming, one involved in the petroleum industry, and two were actively engaged in business within the state.  The Commission, in cooperation with private industry, was to establish and open an agriculturally derived alcohol plant that would manufacture and market alcohol and methanol that resulted from biomass residue (S. L. 1979, Ch. 100).
In 1989 the Commission was authorized by the Legislature to expand the use of the funds.  The Commission was to administer the tax fund for the purpose of implementing an agricultural processing industry.  APUC would provide necessary assistance “in the construction, operation, and maintenance of any state agricultural processing plant where agriculturally derived fuel, chemicals, and other agricultural products would be manufactured and marketed”.   The tax also provided the Commission with appropriations to meet administrative, personnel, and consultant expenditures. Administrative expenses were incurred with the hiring of consultants, contracting with public or private entities for services, and all other expenditures (S. L. Ch. 81).  The Legislature required that 75% of the agricultural fuel tax funds be available for basic and applied research efforts and for processing agricultural products and byproducts.  The president of North Dakota State University was consulted before research proposals were approved by the Commission.  For each proposal the Commission had to consult with the Commissioner of Agriculture before using the remaining 25% for marketing efforts or other uses.  Also in 1989 the Commission membership increased to nine.  Of the six appointed by the Governor, four members had to be actively engaged in farming.  Legislation removed the requirement that one member had to be actively involved in the petroleum industry and it added to the membership the director of Economic Development Commission, the president of North Dakota State University, and the Commissioner of Agriculture (S. L.1989, Ch. 81).   

In 1991, the Commission was to improve the agricultural economy of the state by developing new uses for agricultural products and byproducts and to seek a more efficient system for processing and marketing agricultural products and byproducts.  It was to promote the efforts of increased productivity and to provide ways to add value to agricultural products.   A section added to the Century Code [NDCC 4-14.1-03.1] by the 1991 Legislature authorized the Commission to use appropriations, grants, and gifts, to administer and adopt rules for the two new grants which included a cooperative marketing grant program and a farm diversification grant program (S. L. 1991, Ch. 95).  

In 1993 legislation reduced the six-member Commission to five, all were appointed by the Governor.  It required that three be actively engaged in farming and two involved in business.  The Commissioner of Agriculture was authorized to appoint a member for a two year term which expired in an odd-numbered year.  This appointee had to be actively engaged in farming.  Members could be reappointed and terms were staggered.  The Commission elected one of the members as chairman (S. L. 1993, Ch. 42).

In 1997 the Legislature made APUC a division within the Department of Economic Development and Finance.  Other legislation allowed APUC to incorporate into the grant program the agricultural prototype development grant (S. L.1997, Ch. 48). This grant encouraged inventions improving operations of food processing equipment and agricultural equipment  and sought out innovative capabilities of hardware and software technologies for the project. Biotech ideas were to be considered as long as the advances improved agricultural products utilization such as biofuels in feeds, fibers, foods, and fuels. The money was to be used for the purpose of formulating, implementing, and marketing a plan that had been created either by an individual, groups of individuals, or an individual on behalf of a group organizing a cooperative. 

In 1999 the Legislature gave authority to the APUC to require partial or full repayment of a grant if, by contract, a grant recipient did not fulfill the conditions under which the grant was awarded (S. L. 1999, Ch. 19).

In 2001 the Agricultural Products Utilization Commission (APUC) became an office within the Department of Commerce, Division of Economic Development and Finance.  The director of the Economic Development and Finance division was added as a member to APUC (S. L. 2001, Ch. 488), and the Commission continued to be served by nine members.
In 2003 four new sections were added to Century Code that consisted of production incentives for ethanol production subsidies [NDCC 4-14.1]. Century Code sections relating to the distribution of motor vehicle registration fees and taxation of motor vehicle fuel for agricultural purposes were amended and reenacted and the Century Code section [NDCC 4-14.1-07] spelled out the duration and limitation of ethanol plant production incentives, the provision for continuing appropriation, and the offer of an effective date for plant production incentives.

In 2005 APUC was to include grants for agricultural technologies (S. L. 2005, Ch. 66).  Additionally the nature-based tourism program and technical assistance were set up (S. L. 2005, Ch. 57). Nature based agri-tourism grants focused on establishing visitor oriented operations where visitors could enjoy, be educated, or be involved in the experiences of a working farm, or ranch, or any type of agricultural business operation.  Other potential grants involved establishing projects that offered farm or ranch tours or trail rides.  Visitor participation with hands on activities such as harvesting of produce, fishing or hunting operations, bird watching, or visiting corn mazes were also set up.  Legislation required that the agricultural fuel tax fund cover costs of programs that enhanced agricultural research development, processing, technology, or marketing. The tax had to defray the expenses and create wealth and jobs through the development of new and expanded uses of North Dakota products.


1979       The Legislature established the agriculturally-derived alcohol motor vehicle fuel tax fund and created APUC (Agricultural Products Utilization Commission).  The Commission consisted of seven members, four needed to be actively engaged in farming, one actively engaged in petroleum industry, and two actively engaged in business in North Dakota. The Agricultural Products Utilization Commission's advisory board was also created (S. L. 1979, Ch. 100).

1983       The name of the tax, agriculturally motor vehicle fuel tax, was renamed agriculturally derived fuel tax fund (S. L. 1983, Ch. 94).

1989       The agriculturally derived fuel tax fund was renamed the agricultural fuel tax fund.  Use of the funds expanded.  The membership grew to nine members with six appointed members. There were also changes to the makeup of the Commission (S. L. 1989, Ch. 81).

1991       Another section added to the Century Code [NDCC 4-14.1-03.1] increased the responsibility of APUC (S. L. 1991, Ch. 95).

1993       Legislation allowed for APUC members to be reappointed (S. L. 1993, Ch. 42). The North American marketing grant program was added (S. L. 1993, Ch. 16). 

1997       The Legislature moved the APUC into the Department of Economic Development and Finance as a division and added the agricultural prototype development programs to the existing disbursement of grant money administered by the Commission (S. L. 1997, Ch. 48).

1999       The Legislature allowed the APUC to “apply for, accept, and expend any appropriation, grant, gift, or service that was made available from public or private sources consistent with the law” (S. L. 1999, Ch. 19).

2001       APUC was added as an office of the Department of Commerce, Division of Economic Development and Finance (S. L. 2001, Ch. 488).

2005       APUC administered new grants including agricultural technologies (S.L. 2005, Ch. 66) a nature-based tourism, and a technical assistance grant programs (S. L. 2005, Ch. 57).

2007       The Commissioner of Commerce, Division of Economics and Finance director served on APUC (S.L. 2007, Ch. 57).  A livestock loan guarantee program was established through Bank of North Dakota and was administered APUC.  No changes were made to the mission or structure (S. L. 2007 Ch. 493).


31829 Agricultural Products Utilization Commission (APUC). Files.
32070 Agricultural Products Utilization Commission (APUC).  Minutes and Correspondence.


Department of Commerce, Division of Economic Development and Finance, Agricultural Products Utilization Commission Website.
North Dakota Century Code.
North Dakota Secretary of State Blue Book.
North Dakota State Legislature Session Laws.

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