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Archives - State Agencies - Potato Council

POTATO COUNCIL
[Authorized: NDCC Section 4-10.1-04]

In 1929, the first Potato Grade Inspector was appointed by the State Seed Commission to craft rules and regulations and to promote the potato industry (S. L. 1929, Ch. 186). Legislation in 1931, required a license for selling seed potatoes (S. L. 1931, Ch. 215).

Created in 1951 (S. L. 1951, Ch.94), the North Dakota Potato Development Commission consisted of the president of the North Dakota Certified Seed Growers Association, president of the Red River Valley Potato Growers Association, and one member appointed at large by the Governor for a one-year term. The Board of Control was appointed by the Commission from nominations submitted by potato growers in each of the regions. It consisted of seven members plus the Commissioner of Agriculture and Labor, State Seed Commission, and the Director of the Experiment Stations as ex-officio members.

The North Dakota Potato Council was created in 1967 (S. L. 1967, Ch. 75) to promote advertising, research, development, and cultivation of North Dakota Irish potatoes, and was known as the “Potato Improvement, Marketing, and Advertising Act”. The North Dakota Potato Council included the Commissioner of Agriculture who served as chairman and one potato grower elected for three-year terms from each of the state’s five potato districts which are made up of nearly equal potato growing acres. 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. Potato Council headquarters are located in Grand Forks.

Legislation in 1993 (S. L. 1993, Ch. 54) gave more power and responsibility to the Potato Council [NDCC4-10.1-08]. Administrative funds came from an assessment on all potatoes grown in the state or sold to a designated handler. The levy might increase annually one-half-cent per hundredweight per year until the maximum assessment of four-cents per hundredweight is reached. Legislation is required to change the amount levied. (S. L. 1999, Ch.54)[NDCC4-01.10-9]. In 2005, state law (S. L. 2005, Ch. 62) required that all potatoes imported into the state for planting be certified.

With the Commissioner of Agriculture as chair, the North Dakota State Potato Council members consist of one potato grower from each of the five potato districts. Members serve a three-year term. The Council promotes North Dakota-grown Irish potatoes by endorsing better methods of production, processing, marketing, and advertising.

The North Dakota Potato 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. The Council consists of one individual elected from each of the five districts. Other commodity groups members are the Barley Council, Beef Commission, Beekeepers Association, Corn Utilization Council, Dairy Promotion Commission, Dry Bean Council, Dry Pea and Lentil Council, Oilseed Council, and the Soybean Council (S. L. 2009, Ch. 70, Ch 80).

CHRONOLOGY

1929 State Seed Commission appoints the first Potato Grade Inspector to craft rules and regulations to promote industry (S. L. 1929, Ch.186).

1931 Legislation required a license for selling seed potatoes (S. L. 1931, Ch. 215).

1951 The North Dakota Potato Development Commission was created to promote and market the state potato industry. Board of Control operated under the Commission (S. L. 1951, Ch. 94).

1967 Potato Council established by law and named the “ Potato Industry Promotion Act of North Dakota” (S. L. 1967, Ch. 75).

1993 Legislature gives more power and responsibility to Council.

1999 Appropriation on hundredweight of potatoes increased to three cents (S. L. 1999 Ch 54)

2005 Legislation required all imported potatoes to be certified (S. L. 2005 Ch.62).

2007 Fair practices act for potato production passes (S. L. 2007, Ch. 2117).

2009 Agriculture Commodity Group laws revised. The Council consists of one elected member from each of the five districts. The Commissioner of Agriculture or his designee serves as a non-voting member S. L. 2009, Ch. 70, Ch 80).

2011 Legislation required the Seed Department be located in Fargo at NDSU (S. L. 2011, Ch. 69). Requirements for labeling and phytosanitary certification were addressed and changes in laws relating to wholesale potato dealers. Legislation also covered reports, complaints, prosecution, or any violations pertaining to the sale of potatoes (S. L. 2011, Ch. 70). The Century Code amended [NDCC 4-24-09] relating to investments of the agricultural commodity funds as established by the State Treasurer [NDCC 21-10-07]. The Potato Council was included in this legislation (S.L. 2011, Ch. 61).   Legislation added a new section to the Century Code with rewrites for laws relating to the Seed Commission, Seed Commissioner,  labeling,certification, and the sale of agricultural seed [NDCC 4.1 - 53 - 01].   An individual from the Potato Council served as a member [NDCC 4.1 - 53 - 04]  on the Seed Commission (S.L. 2011, Ch. 69).  Additionally legislation amended and reenacted sections of the Century Code relating to label requirements of phytosanitary certificates, and wholesale potato dealers certification (S.L.2011, Ch. 70). "Potato" means any variety of Irish potatoes harvested within this state.

2013       Legislation related to the Seed Commission and regulations for seed potatoes and seed potato control areas as provided by the North Dakota Seed Department. According to the Century Code [NDCC 4.1 - 55 – 02] the duties of the Seed Commissioner include establishing a system for the certification of seed potatoes, providing for grade inspections of commercial potatoes in accordance with standards established by the US Department of Agriculture or by contract.  Additionally the Code [NDCC 4.1 - 55 – 03] defines and grades seed potatoes as follows: Seed potatoes may be graded: (1) US No. 1 seed potatoes, (2) US No. 2 seed potatoes, or (3) North Dakota Certified Seed or other designations authorized by the Seed Commissioner. The US grades must meet all of the requirements and standards established by the US Department of Agriculture, however, the Seed Commissioner may authorize an exception based on potato size. (S.L. 2013, Ch. 71).

2017       Legislation made changes to the Century Code [NDCC 4.1- 01 – 12] concerning all commodity groups including the Potato Council. Other changes related to the role of the Commissioner of Agriculture.   Legislation also addressed the Agricultural Commodity Assessments Funds [NDCC 4.1- 54 – 03] and the investment income allocation established by the State Treasurer. A credit of twenty percent of the investment income derived from the Potato Council Fund goes into the general fund for accounting, printing, data processing, legal, and other services [NDCC 21 - 10 – 07] with the remaining eighty percent allotted to the Council. (S.L. 2017, Ch. 61). Reports from the Potato Council submitted to the Standing Agriculture Committee of each House of the Legislative Assembly contained a summary of the activities of the Council during the current biennium,  a statement of revenues and expenditures for the next biennium, and a copy of the report submitted to the State Auditor providing a statement of revenues and expenditures for the previous two fiscal years. (S.L. 2017, Ch. 61).

SERIES

30380 Administrative Files, 1967-1975
30381 Potato Grower Files, 1967-1974
30382 Ledger, 1973-1975
30383 National Potato Promotion Board Correspondence, 1972-1973
32069 Minutes, 1984-1989

SOURCES

Gray, David P. Guide to the North Dakota State Archives, 1985.
North Dakota Century Code.
North Dakota Secretary of State Blue Book.
North Dakota State Legislature Session Laws.

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