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Archives - State Agencies - Soybean Council

[Authorized: NDCC Chapter 4-10.5]

The North Dakota Soybean Council was established in 1985 (S. L. 1985, Ch. 93) to provide for appropriations to the industry and to resolve the issue of penalties. The state is divided into eight soybean producing districts of nearly equal production acreage and the Council is comprised of one participating grower from each of the state's eight districts established by statute. The Commissioner of Agriculture served as an ex-officio member.   

Members serve three-year terms. Every elected Council member must be a citizen of the state and a bona fide resident of and participating grower in the district the member represents. No member may serve more the two consecutive terms. If a Council member ceases to qualify, the Council with the aid of the County Extension Agent or Commissioner of Agriculture will appoint a qualified representative from the district or hold an election. In 2009 (S. L. 2009, Ch 80) the county agents in the districts conducted the elections of Council members.

The Council sets policy and develops programs to promote and expand soybean markets and industries. To assist in funding those programs, the Council administers the tax on soybeans grown in the state, and determines the uses of the money raised through the assessment.  The Council also develops and disseminates information regarding the purpose of the soybean assessment.
In 1985, the Council was funded by a two cent per bushel assessment levied and imposed on all soybeans grown in the state and sold to a designated handler (S. L. 1985, Ch. 93). In 1995 the assessment was changed to one-half of one per cent of the value of the sale of the soybeans sold (S. L. 1995, Ch. 67).

The North Dakota Soybean 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.  Annually the Commissioner of Agriculture calls a meeting of representatives of the Soybean Council and other commodity groups for the purpose of collaborating efforts to promote marketing of North Dakota commodities. 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, Oilseed Council, and the Potato Council (S. L. 2009, Ch. 70, Ch. 80).

Legislation added four new districts to the eight established districts [NDCC 4.1-11-02].  Beginning April 1, 2012,  twelve soybean districts were: 1) Richland, 2) Ransom and Sargent, 3)Dickey and LaMoure, 4) Cass, 5) Barnes, 6) Stutsman, 7) Grand Forks and Traill,  8) Griggs, Nelson, and Steele, 9) Eddy, Foster, and Wells, 10) Cavalier, Pembina, and Walsh, 11) Benson, Bottineau, Burke, Divide, McHenry, Mountrail, Pierce, Ramsey, Renville, Rolette, Towner, Ward, and Williams,  12) Adams, Billings, Bowman, Burleigh, Dunn, Emmons, Golden Valley, Grant, Hettinger, Kidder, Logan, McIntosh, McKenzie, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Oliver, Sheridan, Sioux, Slope, and Stark.


1985       Soybean Council was established with eight members and the Commissioner of  
Agriculture serving as ex-officio (S. L. 1985, Ch. 93).

1995       Assessment increased from two cents per bushel to one-half of one per cent of the  
value of the sale (S. L. 1995, Ch. 67).

1999       Changes were made relating to the penalty for non-payment of soybean assessment  
(S. L. 1999, Ch. 58).

2009       The Soybean Council joins the Agricultural Commodity Council. Chapter amended in  
North Dakota Century Code (S. L. 2009, Ch.70, Ch. 80).

2011       Changes to the Soybean Council included increasing the number of districts from eight to twelve and also the number of Council members (S. L. 2011, Ch. 66). The Century Code was amended [NDCC 4-24-09] relating to investments of the agricultural commodity funds as established by the State Treasurer [NDCC 21-10-07]. The Soybean Council was included in this legislation (S.L. 2011, Ch. 61). 

2015       Legislation was introduced to amend and reenact section [NDCC 4-14.2-02] of the Century Code  and the establishing of the Northern Crops Council and setting up policies for the Northern Crops Institute. A Soybean Council member served on the Council (S.L. 2015, Ch. 65).     A bill was submitted by the Department of Agriculture for Legislative Management study during the interim concerning agriculture. The focus was on eliminating irrelevant or duplicate provisions, clarifying inconsistent or unclear provisions, and creating a logical order for the provisions. Study findings and recommendations together with appropriate legislation would be submitted to the sixty-fifth Legislative Assembly (S.L. 2015, Ch. 387).

2017       Legislation amended the Century Code [NDCC 4.1- 01 – 18] concerning the  Federal Environmental Law Impact Review Committee. It was established during the 2015 legislative session (S.L. 2015, Ch. 64) and reviewed the federal environmental legislation and regulations detrimentally impacting the state sectors of agricultural, energy, or oil production. Legislation required the Committee to consult  with the North Dakota Attorney General. The Committe members included the Commissioner of Agriculture acting as Chairman, the Governor or designee, the majority leader of the House of Representatives or designee, the majority leader of the Senate or designee, one member of the Legislative Assembly from the minority party selected by the Chairman of Legislative Management. The Soybean Growers Association also selected an individual who represented the agriculture commodities groups (S.L. 2017, Ch. 61). Legislation also made changes to the Century Code [NDCC 4.1- 01 – 12] concerning all commodity groups and the role of the Commissioner of Agriculture, the Agricultural Commodity Assessments Funds, and the investment income allocation established by the State Treasurer [NDCC 21 - 10 – 07].  A credit of twenty percent of the investment income derived from the Soybean Council Fund went into the general fund for accounting, printing, data processing, legal, and other services with the remaining eighty percent going to the Council (S.L. 2017, Ch. 61). Reports from the Soybean 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).


North Dakota Century Code, Chapter 4 and 4.1-11.
North Dakota Secretary of State Blue Book.
North Dakota State Legislature Session Laws.
Soybean Council Website

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