Law:Associations Of Agricultural Products Producers

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Sec.291.Authorization of associations; powers.292.Monopolizing or restraining trade and unduly enhancing prices prohibited; remedy and procedure.


§291. Authorization of associations; powers

Persons engaged in the production of agricultural products as farmers, planters, ranchmen, dairymen, nut or fruit growers may act together in associations, corporate or otherwise, with or without capital stock, in collectively processing, preparing for market, handling, and marketing in interstate and foreign commerce, such products of persons so engaged. Such associations may have marketing agencies in common; and such associations and their members may make the necessary contracts and agreements to effect such purposes: Provided, however, That such associations are operated for the mutual benefit of the members thereof, as such producers, and conform to one or both of the following requirements:

First. That no member of the association is allowed more than one vote because of the amount of stock or membership capital he may own therein, or,

Second. That the association does not pay dividends on stock or membership capital in excess of 8 per centum per annum.

And in any case to the following:

Third. That the association shall not deal in the products of nonmembers to an amount greater in value than such as are handled by it for members.

(Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 57, §1, 42 Stat. 388.)


§292. Monopolizing or restraining trade and unduly enhancing prices prohibited; remedy and procedure

If the Secretary of Agriculture shall have reason to believe that any such association monopolizes or restrains trade in interstate or foreign commerce to such an extent that the price of any agricultural product is unduly enhanced by reason thereof, he shall serve upon such association a complaint stating his charge in that respect, to which complaint shall be attached, or contained therein, a notice of hearing, specifying a day and place not less than thirty days after the service thereof, requiring the association to show cause why an order should not be made directing it to cease and desist from monopolization or restraint of trade. An association so complained of may at the time and place so fixed show cause why such order should not be entered. The evidence given on such a hearing shall be taken under such rules and regulations as the Secretary of Agriculture may prescribe, reduced to writing, and made a part of the record therein. If upon such hearing the Secretary of Agriculture shall be of the opinion that such association monopolizes or restrains trade in interstate or foreign commerce to such an extent that the price of any agricultural product is unduly enhanced thereby, he shall issue and cause to be served upon the association an order reciting the facts found by him, directing such association to cease and desist from monopolization or restraint of trade. On the request of such association or if such association fails or neglects for thirty days to obey such order, the Secretary of Agriculture shall file in the district court in the judicial district in which such association has its principal place of business a certified copy of the order and of all the records in the proceeding, together with a petition asking that the order be enforced, and shall give notice to the Attorney General and to said association of such filing. Such district court shall thereupon have jurisdiction to enter a decree affirming, modifying, or setting aside said order, or enter such other decree as the court may deem equitable, and may make rules as to pleadings and proceedings to be had in considering such order. The place of trial may, for cause or by consent of parties, be changed as in other causes.

The facts found by the Secretary of Agriculture and recited or set forth in said order shall be prima facie evidence of such facts, but either party may adduce additional evidence. The Department of Justice shall have charge of the enforcement of such order. After the order is so filed in such district court and while pending for review therein the court may issue a temporary writ of injunction forbidding such association from violating such order or any part thereof. The court may, upon conclusion of its hearing, enforce its decree by a permanent injunction or other appropriate remedy. Service of such complaint and of all notices may be made upon such association by service upon any officer or agent thereof engaged in carrying on its business, or on any attorney authorized to appear in such proceedings for such association, and such service shall be binding upon such association, the officers, and members thereof.

(Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 57, §2, 42 Stat. 388.)


Restriction on Use of Funds Respecting Study, Investigation, or Prosecution of any Agricultural Cooperative or Study or Investigation of any Agricultural Marketing Orders

For provisions restricting the use of funds authorized to be appropriated to carry out section 41 et seq. of Title 15, Commerce and Trade, for fiscal year 1980, 1981, or 1982, for the purpose of conducting any study, investigation, or prosecution of any provisions of this chapter, see section 20 of Pub. L. 96–252, set out as a note under section 57c of Title 15.


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