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Code of Criminal Procedure

Title 3. Agriculture and Forestry

Chapter 1. Department of Agriculture and Forestry

Tit. 3, Art. 1. Terms defined

            As used in this Title, the terms defined in this Section have the meanings herein given to them, except where the context expressly indicates otherwise:

            (1) "Applicant" means a person or place of business that makes a formal application for a license, permit, certification, registration, or certificate issued pursuant to this Title.

            (2) "Commissioner" means the Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry.

             (3) "Department" means the Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

            (4) "Encumbrance" means any lien, privilege, judgment, mortgage, pledge, pawn, claim, charge, or any other encumbrance of like nature.

            (5) "Person" means an individual or any legal or commercial entity, including a corporation, business trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, or joint venture. However, for purposes of any adjudications or violations or penalties issued pursuant to the provisions of this Title, "person" shall not include a person or entity volunteering to provide services.

            (6) "Place of business" means a permanent location or a portion of a permanent location from which business, in a regulated profession or occupation, is transacted.

            (7) "State chemist", notwithstanding anything in this Title to the contrary, means the director of the Louisiana agricultural experiment station of the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center and also shall mean his designee, who shall be a member of the university's academic faculty and who, as determined by the state chemist, possesses a practical understanding of a body of knowledge that is sufficient to properly effect relevant analytical and microscopical work, research that may contribute to the knowledge of the properties, values, and proper use of commercial feeding stuffs, commercial fertilizers, and commercial insecticides and fungicides in Louisiana, and other analyses, determinations, responsibilities, duties, and obligations imposed on the state chemist in this Title.

            (8) "Sustainable" or "sustainable agriculture" means science-based practices, including the use of technology, which lead to broad outcome-based performance improvements to meet the needs of present and future generations while advancing environmental, social and economic goals, and the well-being of agricultural producers and rural communities. Critical outcomes to consider shall include increasing agricultural productivity, improving human health through access to safe, nutritious, and affordable food, and enhancing agricultural and surrounding environments, including water, soil, and air quality.

            Acts 1986, No. 581, §1, eff. July 2, 1986; Acts 2008, No. 920, §1, eff. July 14, 2008; Acts 2010, No. 112, §1, eff. June 8, 2010; Acts 2015, No. 198, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 2. Creation, powers, and duties of Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the commissioner of agriculture and forestry

            A. The Department of Agriculture and Forestry is created in accordance with the provisions of Article IV, Section 10 of the Constitution of Louisiana. The commissioner of agriculture shall head the department and shall exercise all functions of the state relating to the promotion, protection, and advancement of agriculture and forestry, except research and educational functions expressly allocated by the constitution or by law to other state agencies. The department shall exercise such functions and the commissioner shall have other powers and perform such duties as authorized by the constitution or provided by law. The Department of Agriculture shall be known as the Department of Agriculture and Forestry. Whenever the phrases "Department of Agriculture" and "Department of Agriculture and Immigration" appear in any statute, rule or regulation, contract, or other document, those phrases shall be deemed to refer to the Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

            B. The Department of Agriculture and Forestry, through the office of forestry, shall develop a timber management plan which shall consist of an inventory of the resource and any silvicultural activities that may be needed to perpetuate the resource and shall manage all timber on all state lands except timber which is on state land under the jurisdiction of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, or the office of state parks, Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. The management of the timber shall include joint decisions between the Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the agency which has title of the land on harvesting or removing trees, prescribed burning or other management practices, marketing of timber, and reforestation. When good management practices indicate that the land on which the timber is located can be used in more than one way, the agency which has jurisdiction over the land on which the timber is located shall have the final authority concerning the use of that land.

NOTE: Subsection C eff. until July 1, 2020. See Acts 2018, No. 612.

            C. All funds derived from the sale of timber on state lands under this Section shall be deposited in the state treasury. Monies derived from the sale of timber on state lands in the custody of the Louisiana Department of Health shall be deposited into the Louisiana Department of Health's Facility Support Fund as provided in R.S. 40:16.2. The legislature shall annually appropriate to the Department of Agriculture and Forestry the costs incurred by that department under the provisions of this Section.

NOTE: Subsection C eff. July 1, 2020. See Acts 2018, No. 612.

            C. All funds derived from the sale of timber on state lands under this Section shall be deposited in the state treasury. Monies derived from the sale of timber on state lands in the custody of the Louisiana Department of Health shall be deposited into the state general fund. The legislature shall annually appropriate to the Department of Agriculture and Forestry the costs incurred by that department under the provisions of this Section.

            D. The Department of Agriculture and Forestry, through the office of forestry, may participate in cooperative endeavors with the federal government and with local governments in this state relating to the Federal Excess Property Program and the Firefighter Property Program for rural fire defense.

            E. The Department of Agriculture and Forestry, through the office of forestry, may enter into cooperative endeavors with local governments or duly organized and officially recognized fire organizations for the purpose of making available to those organizations any applicable state owned surplus equipment which can be utilized in suppressing or providing protection from fires in rural areas. In order to facilitate these cooperative endeavors, the following provisions shall apply:

            (1) The Louisiana Property Assistance Agency will notify the office of forestry whenever any appropriate surplus property is available.

            (2) The office of forestry shall conduct periodic inspections of surplus property available to the Louisiana Property Assistance Agency.

            (3) When the office of forestry determines that specific property is appropriate for use in a cooperative endeavor, the office of forestry shall give written notice of that determination to the Louisiana Property Assistance Agency. Upon receipt of the notice, the Louisiana Property Assistance Agency shall reserve the described property for the exclusive use of the office of forestry.

            (4) The office of forestry shall assign the equipment to local governments or fire organizations. The office of forestry shall adopt administrative rules to insure that the assignment of property is made in a manner which is fair and equitable.

            (5) The assignment and the cooperative endeavor shall be evidenced by a written agreement between the office of forestry and the local government or the fire organization.

            (6) All equipment assigned as a result of a cooperative endeavor shall remain the property of the state, and the office of forestry shall maintain state inventory information with regard to that property.

            (7) The office of forestry shall inspect all loaned equipment to determine the status of the equipment and the continued use of the equipment for fire protection purposes.

            (8) The local government or the fire organization to which the equipment is loaned shall pay the costs of liability insurance, maintenance, and other expenses related to the equipment.

            (9) When the local government or fire organization has no use for the loaned equipment, for any reason, the local government or fire organization shall return the equipment to the office of forestry. The office of forestry shall loan the equipment to another local government or fire organization or return the equipment to the Louisiana Property Assistance Agency.

            F. The commissioner of agriculture and forestry and any department head for the state of Louisiana may by mutual agreement:

            (1) Enter into a cooperative endeavor for the purpose of implementing any law which relates to the powers and duties of their respective departments.

            (2) Adopt rules and regulations necessary for the implementation of the cooperative endeavor.

            Acts 1987, No. 123, §1; Acts 1987, No. 211, §1; Acts 1988, No. 201, §1; Acts 2007, No. 438, §1, eff. July 11, 2007; Acts 2009, No. 24, §1, eff. June 12, 2009; Acts 2012, No. 808, §1; Acts 2018, No. 612, §2, eff. July 1, 2020; Acts 2019, No. 404, §1, eff. July 1, 2020.

            NOTE: See Acts 2018, No. 612 and Acts 2019, No. 404 providing for the effects of the conversion of certain dedicated funds to special statutorily dedicated fund accounts.

Tit. 3, Art. 3. Powers and duties of commissioner of agriculture

A.  The commissioner of agriculture shall be known as the commissioner of agriculture and forestry.  Whenever the phrases "commissioner of agriculture" or "commissioner of agriculture and immigration" appear in any statute, rule or regulation, contract, or other document, those phrases shall be deemed to refer to the commissioner of agriculture and forestry.

B.  The commissioner shall direct the department, and except as otherwise provided by law shall adopt all necessary rules and regulations for the purpose of implementing the laws relating to agriculture and forestry. All rules and regulations shall be adopted in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

Acts 1986, No. 581, §1, eff. July 2, 1986.

Tit. 3, Art. 4. Election, tenure, oath of office, salary of commissioner

A.  The commissioner of agriculture shall be elected by the qualified electors at each general state election held for the governor and other state officers.  He shall hold office for a term of four years.  In case of a vacancy in the office, the governor, with consent of the senate, shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired term as provided by the constitution.

B.  The commissioner shall take the oath prescribed for other state officers.

C.  Repealed by Acts 1995, No. 846, §4, eff. Jan. 8, 1996.

Amended by Acts 1950, No. 60, §1; Acts 1952, No. 397, §1; Acts 1956, No. 125, §1; Acts 1960, No. 572, §1; Acts 1965, No. 61, §1; Acts 1966, No. 65, §1; Acts 1969, No. 11, §1; Acts 1974, No. 433, §7; Acts 1979, No. 236, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 1979; Acts 1980, No. 376, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 1980; Acts 1981, No. 636, §3, eff. Sept. 1, 1981; Acts 1995, No. 846, §4, eff. Jan. 8, 1996.

 

Tit. 3, Art. 5. Office of commissioner

The office of the commissioner shall be maintained in the City of Baton Rouge, in one of the public buildings designated by the governor for the purpose.

Amended by Acts 1966, No. 454, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 6. Placing of advertising signs on state-owned property

            A. The department may authorize the placement, erection, and maintenance of advertising and sponsorship signs on immovable property, improvements on immovable property, vehicles, vessels, airplanes, and assets of the department.

            B. The department shall establish appropriate and reasonable fees and promulgate rules and regulations in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act to implement the provisions of this Section.

            Acts 2016, No. 70, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 13. Employment of legal counsel;  approval of contracts for legal services

            A. The commissioner of agriculture may employ or contract with legal counsel to represent the Department of Agriculture in the enforcement of the laws, rules, and regulations of the department and its boards and commissions.

            B. When funds are appropriated by the legislature to the Department of Agriculture for legal services in the professional services category of the state budget, each contract for legal services from that category shall be awarded in accordance with, and shall be subject to, the provisions of Chapter 17 of Subtitle III of Title 39 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950. Provided, however, that notwithstanding any law, rule, or regulation to the contrary, each contract shall be subject to review and approval by the office of state procurement and the attorney general only.

            Acts 1960, No. 28, §§1, 2. Amended by Acts 1962, No. 340, §3; Acts 1983, No. 597, §1; Acts 2014, No. 864, §§4 and 5.

Tit. 3, Art. 14. Executive counsel and assistants;  qualifications

The commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Forestry may employ an executive counsel and such assistants as he finds necessary.  The executive counsel and any assistants shall be duly qualified and admitted to practice law in Louisiana.  The commissioner may fix the compensation of each.

Acts 2012, No. 152, §1, eff. May 14, 2012.

Tit. 3, Art. 15. Application for license, permit, certification, registration, or certificate;  social security number required;  denial

 A. The department and each board or commission authorized to issue a license, permit, certification, registration, or certificate pursuant to this Title shall require each applicant to include his social security number on the application.

            B. The department and each board or commission shall maintain confidentiality of an applicant's social security number.

            C. Any department, board, or commission authorized to issue a license, permit, certification, registration, or certificate pursuant to the provisions of this Title may deny, revoke, or not renew such privileges if the applicant owes fees, fines, taxes, deficiency assessments, or civil penalties.

            Acts 2012, No. 211, §1; Acts 2013, No. 104, §1; Acts 2015, No. 198, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 16. Fees for chemical and other analyses

The director of agricultural chemistry, with the approval of the commissioner of agriculture and forestry, may establish fees to be charged for all chemical or other analyses conducted or performed by the agricultural chemistry laboratory. The fees shall be established by rule adopted in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. The amount of the fee shall be based on the costs incurred in conducting or performing the analyses.

Acts 1988, No. 158, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 17. Prescribed burning;  intent and purpose;  authorization;  definitions

A.  The application of prescribed burning is a land management tool that benefits the safety of the public, the environment, and the economy of Louisiana.  Pursuant thereto, the legislature finds that:

(1)  Prescribed burning reduces naturally produced on-site vegetative fuels within wild land areas. Reduction of the fuel load reduces the risk and severity of major catastrophic wildfire, thereby reducing the threat of loss of life and property, particularly in rural and urbanizing areas.

(2)  Most of Louisiana's natural communities require periodic fire for maintenance of their ecological integrity. Prescribed burning is essential to the perpetuation, restoration, and management of many plant and animal communities.

(3)  Forest land, agricultural land, range land, and coastal marshland constitute significant economic, biological, and aesthetic resources of statewide importance. Prescribed burning on forest land prepares sites for reforestation, suppresses undesirable competing vegetation, expedites nutrient cycling, and controls or eliminates certain forest pathogens. On range land, coastal marshland, agricultural, and forest land, prescribed burning improves the quality and quantity of herbaceous vegetation important for livestock production and wildlife habitat and aids in the harvest of sugarcane.

(4)  Proper training in the use of prescribed burning is necessary to ensure maximum benefits and protection for the public.

(5)  As Louisiana's population continues its expansion into rural areas, pressures from liability issues and nuisance complaints inhibit the use of prescribed burning.

B.  The commissioner of agriculture and forestry shall adopt and promulgate voluntary rules and regulations, consistent with applicable state and federal law, and the general intent and purpose of this Section, to authorize and promote the continued use of prescribed burning for ecological, silvicultural, wildlife management, agricultural, and range management purposes.  Such rules and regulations shall be adopted and promulgated by the commissioner pursuant to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act.

C.  The following terms as used in this Section shall have the following meanings:

(1)  "Certified prescribed burn manager" means an individual who successfully completes the certification program of the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center or other approved program and is certified by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

(2)  "Prescribed burning" means the controlled application of fire to naturally produced on-site vegetative fuels and sugarcane under specified environmental conditions, following appropriate precautionary measures, which causes the fire to be confined to a predetermined area to accomplish planned land management objectives, including the harvest of sugarcane.

D.  Prescribed burning as authorized by the commissioner pursuant to this Section shall:

(1)  Be conducted only under written authority according to the requirements of the commissioner.

(2)  Be conducted only when at least one certified prescribed burn manager is present on site from ignition until the burn is completed and declared safe according to prescribed guidelines.

(3)  Be considered a property right of the property owner if naturally occurring vegetative fuels are used and when conducted pursuant to the requirements of this Section.

E.  If a property owner, lessee, or any person or entity owning a property interest of any kind, or their agent or employee, conducts a prescribed burn pursuant to the requirements of this Section and the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this Section, there shall be a rebuttable presumption of nonnegligence.

F.  Persons who wish to complain about certain prescribed burns shall issue their complaints to the commissioner.  The commissioner shall investigate such complaints and have the authority to suspend or revoke his authorization for the prescribed burn for persons found to be in violation of the prescribed burn requirements or rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this Section.

Acts 1993, No. 589, §1; Acts 2010, No. 276, §1; Acts 2014, No. 590, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 18. Emergency use airstrips;  designation of certain roads

A.  The department shall, through cooperation with other state agencies and local governing authorities, develop a program to designate certain roads, including but not limited to dead-end roads and strategically placed parish roads, as airstrips to aid in the use of aircraft for agricultural purposes.

B.  Such roads shall be used only upon declaration by the department that an agricultural emergency exists making it necessary for certain roads to be used as airstrips by aircraft for agricultural purposes only.

C.  The department shall adopt such rules and regulations, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, as it deems necessary to implement the provisions of this Section.

Acts 1995, No. 334, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 19. Louisiana Organic Certification Cost-Share Rebate Program;  legislative findings;  authority

A.  The commissioner has the duty and authority to promote, protect, and advance Louisiana agriculture.  The legislature finds that there is potential for growth of organic agricultural production in Louisiana.  The legislature further finds that there exists a need to support and encourage organic production in the state.

B.  The commissioner is authorized to establish a state cost-share rebate program within the department.  The purpose of the program is to provide for the reimbursement of a portion of organic certification costs incurred by organic producers and handlers who are certified by private organic certifiers which are accredited by the USDA National Organic Program.  Such program shall be in addition to the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture.

C.  The commissioner may enter into cooperative agreements with organic producers and handlers and promulgate rules and regulations, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, to carry out the provisions of this Section.

Acts 2012, No. 14, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 20. Labeling of organic food

No person shall use the term "organic food" or any derivative of the term "organic" in the labeling or advertising of a food, unless the growth and composition of such food product meets the requirements contained in the Code of Federal Regulations, 7 CFR Part 205, the National Organic Program Standards.

Acts 2012, No. 14, §1.

Chapter 1-A. Unmanned Aerial Systems

Tit. 3, Art. 41. Definitions

            For the purposes of this Chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

            (1) "Agricultural commercial operation" means the use of any agricultural facility or agricultural land for agricultural production or agricultural processing and includes the production and processing of crops or products, livestock or livestock products, farm-raised fish and fish products, wood, timber or forest products, fowl and plants for breeding or sale, and poultry or poultry products for commercial or industrial purposes. "Agricultural commercial operation" also includes the use of farm machinery, equipment, devices, chemicals, products for agricultural use, materials, and structures designed for agricultural use and used in accordance with traditional farm practices.

            (2) "Aircraft" means an unmanned aircraft operated as a part of an unmanned aerial system.

            (3) "Commissioner" means the Louisiana commissioner of agriculture and forestry.

            (4) "Data" means any information, pictures, images, samples, or other such information obtained through an unmanned aerial system.

            (5) "Department" means the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

            (6) "Unmanned aerial system" means an unmanned aircraft and all associated support equipment, control station, data links, telemetry, communications, and navigation equipment necessary to operate the unmanned aircraft. Such system may include drones, remote-controlled aircraft, unmanned aircraft, or any other such aircraft that is controlled autonomously by computer or remote control from the ground.

            Acts 2015, No. 166, §1, eff. June 23, 2015.

Tit. 3, Art. 42. Powers of the commissioner

            A. The commissioner shall adopt rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this Chapter, including but not limited to rules and regulations governing the registration of unmanned aerial systems used in the course of agricultural commercial operations. All rules and regulations shall be adopted in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

            B. The commissioner shall administer and enforce the provisions of this Chapter and the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter.

            C. The commissioner may appoint committees to advise on the implementation of the provisions of this Chapter. The appointed committees shall include public universities holding certificates of authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration as well as other active university research programs.

            Acts 2015, No. 166, §1, eff. June 23, 2015.

Tit. 3, Art. 43. Licenses and registration

            A. Each person operating an unmanned aerial system in the course of an agricultural commercial operation shall obtain a license from the department, which shall be issued upon the applicant meeting the following requirements:

            (1) Applicants shall submit a written application to the department as provided by the commissioner by rule.

            (2) Prior to applying for a license, each applicant shall complete an agricultural education and safety training course administered by the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service or the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center and comply with any other licensing requirements established by the commissioner by rule.

            B. Each unmanned aerial system operated in the course of an agricultural commercial operation shall be registered with the department.

            C. Licenses and registrations shall be valid for three years and may be renewed for additional three-year periods in accordance with rules adopted by the commissioner.

            Acts 2015, No. 166, §1, eff. June 23, 2015; Acts 2016, No. 545, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 44. Unmanned aerial systems;  operation

            A. Unmanned aerial systems may operate in agricultural commercial operations in accordance with this Chapter and the rules and regulations established by the commissioner, except as prohibited by federal law.

            B.(1) Private landowners engaged in agricultural commercial operations on their private property may use unmanned aerial systems within the geographical confines of their property.

            (2) Producers, tenants, lessees, university researchers, or other contracted or hired personnel working on private property who are engaged in agricultural commercial operations may use unmanned aerial systems within the geographical confines of the property, only with written permission of the landowner or entity controlling the agricultural commercial use of the property.

            (3) Data obtained through the use of an unmanned aerial system shall be used solely in the course of conducting a generally accepted agricultural commercial operation, or in conjunction with an agricultural research, extension program, or initiative conducted by a Louisiana public postsecondary educational institution.

            (4) All data obtained through the use of an unmanned aerial system shall remain the property of the legal owner of the property where the data was collected, unless written approval is given by the property owner for other uses. Public universities conducting agricultural research may negotiate with the legal owner of the property for the terms of use or shared ownership of the data.

            Acts 2015, No. 166, §1, eff. June 23, 2015.

Tit. 3, Art. 45. Violations

            Violations of this Part shall include but shall not be limited to the following:

            (1) The failure or refusal to obtain an unmanned aerial system license in accordance with R.S. 3:43.

            (2) The failure or refusal to register an unmanned aerial system operated in the course of an agricultural commercial operation in accordance with R.S. 3:43.

            (3) Any violation of this Chapter or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter.

            (4) Any interference with the commissioner and the department or its representatives in the performance of their duties as prescribed in this Chapter.

            (5) Failure to timely pay any penalties or costs due pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter or any rule or regulation of the commissioner adopted pursuant to this Chapter.

            Acts 2015, No. 166, §1, eff. June 23, 2015.

Tit. 3, Art. 46. Stop orders

            A. When the commissioner has reason to believe that a violation has occurred, the commissioner may issue a stop order prohibiting the continued use of an unmanned aerial system.

            B. Any violation of a stop order shall constitute a separate violation.

            C. A stop order may be released by the commissioner upon a determination by the commissioner that the cause for issuing the stop order has been remedied.

            D. Any person aggrieved by a stop order may petition the commissioner for a hearing to contest the validity of the stop order by making a written request within five calendar days after issuance of the stop order. The hearing shall be held within ten calendar days of receipt of the written request for a hearing. The commissioner may appoint a hearing officer to preside over the matter. The commissioner shall issue a ruling in the matter. The hearing and any subsequent appeal shall be held in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act.

            E. Based upon the results of the hearing, or a consent agreement, the commissioner may take one or more of the following actions:

            (1) Release the stop order.

            (2) Require the cause for the stop order to be remedied prior to releasing the stop order.

            (3) Amend the stop order.

            Acts 2015, No. 166, §1, eff. June 23, 2015.

Tit. 3, Art. 47. Penalties

            A. If the commissioner determines that a violation of the provisions of this Chapter or of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter has occurred, an adjudicatory hearing shall be held to make a determination with respect to the suspected violation.

            B. The commissioner shall give written notice to the alleged violator, which shall comply with the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, at least five days prior to the date set for such adjudicatory hearing.

            C. The commissioner shall designate a hearing officer to preside at all adjudicatory proceedings.

            D. At any such adjudicatory hearing, the alleged violator shall be accorded all of the rights set forth in the Administrative Procedure Act.

            E. Whenever the commissioner makes a determination from the proceedings of the adjudicatory hearing that a violation of this Chapter or these regulations has occurred, the commissioner may impose a civil penalty not to exceed five hundred dollars for each violation. Civil penalties shall be imposed only on the basis of an adjudication of violations pursuant to an adjudicatory hearing held in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

            F. Each separate day on which a violation occurs shall be considered a separate violation.

            Acts 2015, No. 166, §1, eff. June 23, 2015.

Tit. 3, Art. 48. Fees

            A. The commissioner shall establish, by rule in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, a registration fee for each unmanned aerial system in an amount not to exceed one hundred dollars.

            B. The commissioner shall establish, by rule in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, an agricultural education and safety training course fee payable to the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center or the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, not to exceed fifty dollars for conducting the agricultural education and safety training course as required by R.S. 3:43(A)(2).

            Acts 2016, No. 545, §1.

Chapter 2. Co-Operative Associations

Part I. Agricultural Co-Operative Associations

Tit. 3, Art. 71. Purpose

The purpose of this Part is to provide for the formation and operation of agricultural co-operative associations and to provide for the rights, powers, liabilities and duties of co-operative associations.

Associations organized hereunder are non-business associations inasmuch as membership therein is limited to producers of agricultural products.

This Part is designed to encourage the intelligent development of agricultural products through co-operation and to rehabilitate farm families of low income on a scientific and co-operative plan.

Tit. 3, Art. 72. Terms defined

As used in this Part, the terms defined in this Section have the meanings here given to them, except where the context expressly indicates otherwise:

(1)  "Agricultural products" include horticultural, viticultural, forestry, dairying, livestock, poultry, bee and farm and range products, and furbearing animals raised or produced on a defined acreage.

(2)  "Member" includes actual members of associations with or without capital stock.

(3)  "Association" means any association or corporation organized under this Part.

(4)  "Person" includes individuals, firms, partnerships, corporations, and associations.

(5)  "Muskrat farmer" applies to any person engaged in the business of trapping muskrats, skinning the animals, and preparing the furs for market, on rented, owned, limited, or defined acreage.

Tit. 3, Art. 73. Persons entitled to organize

Ten or more persons, who are citizens of Louisiana and who are engaged in the production of agricultural products, may form a co-operative association, with or without capital stock, under the provisions of this Part.

Tit. 3, Art. 74. Powers of association;  activities permitted

An association may be organized with the following purposes, authority, and powers:

(1)  To engage in any activity in connection with the producing, marketing, selling, harvesting, dairying, preserving, drying, processing, canning, packing, milling, ginning, compressing, storing, handling, or utilization of any agricultural products produced by it or produced or delivered to it by its members; or in connection with the manufacturing or marketing of the by-products thereof; or in connection with the purchase, hiring or use by it or its members of supplies, machinery or equipment; or in connection with the construction or maintenance of houses, barns, sheds or facilities for its use or the use of its members.

(2)  To borrow money and to make advances to members.

(3)  To establish funds in pool for the purpose of indemnifying or replacing damaged, lost, or destroyed livestock or other corporeal movables pertaining to agriculture belonging to members.

(4)  To act as agent or representative of any member, or members, in any of the above mentioned activities.

(5)  To purchase or otherwise acquire, and to hold, own, and exercise all rights of ownership in, and to sell, transfer, or pledge or guarantee the payment of dividends or interest on, or the retirement or redemption of shares of the capital stock or bonds of any corporation or association engaged in any related activity or in the production, warehousing, handling or marketing of any of the products handled by the association.

(6)  To establish reserves and to invest the funds thereof in bonds or such other property as may be provided in the by-laws.

(7)  To purchase or otherwise acquire, or to buy, hold and exercise all privileges of ownership or tenancy over such movable and immovable property as may be necessary or convenient for the conducting and operating of any of the business of the association or incidental thereto.

(8)  To market muskrat furs, trapped, farmed or processed by muskrat farmers.

(9)  To provide medical services and benefits for the members and families of members on fee basis.

(10)  To engage in the construction, acquisition and operation of electric lines and appurtenances thereto for the distribution of electricity to its members; to purchase, generate or otherwise acquire electricity for such distribution and to sell or distribute electricity to its members.

(11)  To do each and everything necessary, suitable or proper for the accomplishment of any of the purposes or the attainment of any one or more of the objects herein enumerated, or conducive to or expedient for the interest or benefit of the association, and to contract accordingly; and in addition to exercise and possess all powers, rights and privileges necessary or incidental to the purposes for which the association is organized, or to the activities in which it is engaged; and to do any such thing anywhere.

(12)  To sue and be sued, prosecute and be prosecuted, to stand in judgment and sue before any court; to contract and be contracted with.

Tit. 3, Art. 75. Membership;  stock certificates;  association may be member

Under the terms and conditions prescribed in its by-laws, an association formed under this Part may admit as members and issue certificates of stock or membership only to persons engaged in the production of agricultural products grown by them and to be handled by or through the association, including the lessees and tenants of lands used for production of such products and lessors and landlords who receive as rent all or part of the crop raised on the leased premises.

Certificates of stock or membership shall not be transferable and no persons shall acquire by operation of law or otherwise the benefit of membership except as provided in this Section.

An association organized hereunder may become a member or stockholder of any other association or associations organized hereunder.

Tit. 3, Art. 76. Articles of association;  contents;  execution and filing

Each association formed under this Part shall prepare and file articles of association, setting forth:

(1)  The name of the association and the place where its principal business will be transacted, which shall be its domicile.

(2)  The purpose for which it is formed.

(3)  The term for which it is to exist, not exceeding ninety-nine years.

(4)  The number of directors which shall not be less than five and may be any number in excess thereof, and the term of office of the directors.

(5)  If organized without capital stock, whether the property rights and interest of members shall be equal or unequal, the articles shall set forth the general rules applicable to all members by which property rights and interests, respectively, of each member shall be determined and fixed; and provision for the admission of new members who shall be entitled to share in the property of the association with the old members, in accordance with the general rules.

(6)  If organized with capital stock, the amount of such stock and the number of shares into which it is divided and the par value thereof. The capital stock may be divided into preferred and common stock. If so divided the articles of association must contain a statement of the number of shares of stock to which preference is granted and the number of shares of stock to which no preference is granted and the nature and definite extent of the preference and privileges granted to each.

The articles shall be subscribed by the incorporators and acknowledged by one of them before an officer authorized by the law of this state to take and certify acknowledgements; and shall be filed and recorded in the office of the Secretary of State.

Tit. 3, Art. 77. Amendments to articles of association

The articles of association may be altered or amended at any regular or special meeting of the stockholders or members called for that purpose. Any amendment shall first be approved by two-thirds of the directors and then adopted by a vote representing a majority of all stockholders or members of the association. Amendments to the articles of incorporation when adopted shall be filed in accordance with the provisions of Title 12, Chapter 1.

Tit. 3, Art. 78. By-laws;  contents

Each association incorporated under this Part shall, within thirty days after its incorporation, adopt for its government and management, a code of by-laws not inconsistent with the powers granted by this Part.  The by-laws shall prescribe the manner and method of removal from office of any officer or director of the association and shall prescribe the manner and method of filling vacancies. A majority vote of the members or stockholders, or their written consent, is necessary, to adopt by-laws.  Each association in its by-laws may also provide for any of the following matters:

(1)  The time, place and manner of calling and conducting its meetings.

(2)  The number of stockholders or members constituting a quorum.

(3)  The right of members or stockholders to vote by proxy or by mail, and the conditions, manner, form and effect of the votes.

(4)  The number of directors constituting a quorum.

(5)  The qualifications, duties, and term of office of directors and officers; the time of their election and the mode and manner of giving notice thereof.

(6)  Penalties for violations of the by-laws.

(7)  Form and manner of amendment of by-laws.

(8)  The amount of entrance, organization, and membership fees, if any; manner and method of collection of the fees, and the purposes for which they may be used.

(9)  The amount which each member or stockholder shall be required to pay annually, or from time to time, to carry on the business of the association; the charge to be paid by each member or stockholder for service rendered by the association to him; and the producing, marketing, renting, or leasing contract between the association and its members or stockholders which every member or stockholder shall be required to sign.

(10)  The qualifications of members or stockholders of the association and the conditions precedent to membership or ownership of common stock; the manner, method, and time of allotment and distribution of surpluses; the method, time, and manner of permitting members to withdraw or permitting the holders of common stock to transfer their stock; the manner of assignment and transfer of the interest of members, and of the shares of common stock; the conditions upon which, and the time when, membership of any member shall cease; the automatic suspension of the rights of a member when he ceases to be eligible to membership in the association; the mode, manner, and effect of the expulsion of a member; the manner of determining the value of a member's interest and provision for its purchase by the association upon the death or withdrawal of a member or stockholder or upon the expulsion of a member or forfeiture of his membership. In case of the withdrawal or expulsion of a member, the board of directors shall equitably and conclusively appraise his property interests in the association and shall fix the amount thereof in money, which shall be paid to him at such time as may be fixed by the board of directors, not to exceed the termination of the current marketing or other agreements.

Tit. 3, Art. 79. Meetings;  notice required

In its by-laws each association shall provide for one or more regular meetings annually.  The board of directors shall have the right to call a special meeting at any time, and ten per cent of the members or stockholders may file a petition stating the specific business to be brought before the association and demand a special meeting at any time; the meeting shall thereupon be called by the directors.  Notice of all meetings, together with a statement of the purpose thereof, shall be mailed to each member at least five days prior to the meeting; provided, however, that the by-laws may require instead that such notices may be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation, published at the principal place of business of the association.

Tit. 3, Art. 80. Directors;  executive committee

A.  The affairs of the association shall be managed by a board of not less than five directors, a majority of whom shall be elected by the members or stockholders from their own members and shall have all rights and powers as provided for under the general corporation laws of this state, and such other powers as may be necessary to the proper execution of this Part.  The by-laws may provide that the territory in which the association has members shall be divided into districts and that the directors shall be elected according to such districts.  In such cases, the by-laws shall specify the number of directors to be elected by each district, the manner and method of reappointing the directors and redistricting the territory covered by the association.  The by-laws may provide that primary elections shall be held in each district to elect the directors apportioned to the districts and the results of all primary elections shall be ratified by the next regular meeting of the association, or they may be considered final as to the association.

B.  The by-laws may provide that one or more directors may be appointed by the governor of the state, the dean of the college of agriculture of the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, or the commissioner of agriculture and forestry.  The directors appointed in this manner shall represent primarily the interest of the general public in associations.  The director or directors so appointed need not be members or stockholders of the association, but shall have the same powers and rights as the other directors.  Directors so appointed shall not number more than one-fifth of the entire number of directors.

C.  The directors of the association may provide a fair remuneration for the time actually spent by its officers, directors, and employees in its service.  No director, during the term of his office, shall be a party to a contract for profit with the association differing in any way from the business relations accorded regular members or holders of common stock of the association.

D.  The by-laws may provide for an executive committee and may allot to the committee all the functions and powers of the board of directors, subject to the general direction and control of the board.

E.  When a vacancy on the board of directors occurs, other than by expiration of term, the remaining members of the board, by a majority vote, shall fill the vacancy, unless the by-laws provide for an election of directors by districts.  In such case, the board of directors shall immediately call a special election to be voted in by the members or stockholders in that district to fill the vacancy.

Acts 2009, No. 24, §1, eff. June 12, 2009.

Tit. 3, Art. 81. Officers

The directors shall elect from their number a president and one or more vice presidents.  They shall also elect a secretary and a treasurer, who need not be directors or members of the association, and they may combine the two latter offices and designate the combined office as secretary-treasurer.  The treasurer may be a bank or any depository, and as such shall not be considered as an officer but as a functionary of the board of directors.  In such case the secretary shall perform the usual accounting duties of the treasurer, excepting that the funds shall be deposited only as authorized by the board of directors.

Amended by Acts 1952, No. 127, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 82. Stock or membership certificates;  liability for debts;  voting rights;  transfer of stock or membership

When a member of an association established without capital stock, has paid his membership fee in full, he shall receive a certificate of membership.

Except for debts lawfully contracted between him and the association, no member shall be liable for the debts of the association to an amount exceeding the sum remaining unpaid on his membership fee or his subscription to the capital stock, including any unpaid balance on any promissory note or notes given in payment thereof.

No member or stockholder shall be entitled to more than one vote.

The by-laws shall prohibit the transfer of the membership or stock of the association to persons not engaged in the production of the agricultural products handled by the association, and such restrictions shall be printed upon every certificate of membership or stock subject thereto.

Tit. 3, Art. 83. Co-operative activities not in restraint of trade

No association organized under this Part is in violation of the anti-trust statutes of this state, a combination in restraint of trade, nor an illegal monopoly; an attempt to lessen competition or fix prices arbitrarily; nor shall the marketing contracts or agreements between the association and its members, or any agreement authorized by this Part, be considered illegal or in restraint of trade, or in violation of the anti-trust statutes of this state.

Tit. 3, Art. 84. License fee and tax liability

Each association organized under this Part shall pay an annual license fee of ten dollars to the secretary of state, and shall be exempt from all franchise or other license taxes, but not from ad valorem property taxes.  The provisions of this Section shall likewise apply to associations and corporations organized under the laws of the United States for the sole purpose of extension of credit to farmers and farmers' co-operative associations.

Amended by Acts 1966, No. 228, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 85. Recording articles of association;  fees;  certificate of incorporation

            A. The articles of association of each association organized hereunder shall be filed with the secretary of state. The secretary of state shall record the articles of association and issue a certificate showing the date and hour when the original articles were filed for record. Thereupon its corporate existence shall begin. For the purposes of this Title, any document required to be filed with the secretary of state shall be deemed filed when it is received either physically or electronically in any office designated by the secretary of state for the receipt of such documents.

            B. A multiple original or certified copy of the articles of association shall be delivered to the recorder of mortgages of the parish in which the association has its domicile, who shall file the multiple original or certified copy in his office.

            C. Repealed by Acts 2018, No. 560, §6, eff. May 28, 2018.

            Acts 1989, No. 83, §1; Acts 1999, No. 342, §1; Acts 2018, No. 560, §6, eff. May 28, 2018.

Tit. 3, Art. 86. Applicability of general corporation laws

The provisions of Title 12, Chapter 1, and all powers and rights thereunder, apply to the associations organized hereunder, except where such provisions are in conflict with, or inconsistent with, the express provisions of this Part.

Tit. 3, Art. 87. Limitation of application

The provisions of this Part do not in any manner limit, restrict, enlarge, or modify the provisions of Part II of this Chapter, relative to the co-operative marketing law, nor of the law relative to the formation of non-trading corporations.

Tit. 3, Art. 88. Eligibility to federal funds

Co-operatives organized under this Part may participate in and be eligible to funds to be loaned by the United States or any agency thereof to associations operating co-operatively and organized for agricultural purposes.

Part II. Co-Operative Marketing Associations

Tit. 3, Art. 121. Declaration of policy

The purpose of this Part is to promote, foster, and encourage the intelligent and orderly marketing of agricultural products through co-operation.

            Acts 2017, No. 65, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 122. Terms defined

As used in this Part, the terms defined in this Section have the meanings here given to them, except where the context expressly indicates otherwise.

(1)  "Agricultural products" include horticultural, viticultural, forestry, dairy, livestock, poultry, bee, and other farm products;

(2)  "Member" includes actual members of associations without capital stock and holders of common stock in associations organized with capital stock;

(3)  "Association" means any association organized under this Part; and,

(4)  "Person" includes individuals, firms, partnerships, corporations, and associations.

Associations organized hereunder are non-profit, inasmuch as they are not organized to make profits for themselves as such, or for their members as such, but only for their members as producers.

This Part may be referred to as the Co-operative Marketing Law.

Tit. 3, Art. 123. Who may organize

Ten or more persons, a majority of whom are residents of this state, engaged in the production of agricultural products may form a non-profit, co-operative association, with or without capital stock, under the provisions of this Part.

Tit. 3, Art. 124. Purposes

            A. An association may be organized to engage in any activity in connection with the marketing or selling of the agricultural products of its members, or with the harvesting, preserving, drying, processing, manufacturing, canning, packing, grading, storing, handling, shipping, or utilizing thereof, or the manufacturing or marketing of by-products thereof; or in connection with the manufacturing, selling, or supplying to its members of machinery, equipment, or supplies; or more of the activities specified herein; or in the financing of the above enumerated activities; or to represent the interest of its members; or to engage in any lawful activity for which corporations may be formed under the laws of the state of Louisiana.

            B. Every group of persons contemplating the organization of an association under this Part is urged to communicate with the dean of the college of agriculture of the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, who will inform them whatever a survey of the marketing conditions affecting the commodities proposed to be handled may indicate regarding probable success.

            Acts 2017, No. 65, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 125. Powers

            Each association incorporated under this Part shall have the following powers:

            (1) To engage in any activity in connection with the marketing, selling, harvesting, preserving, drying, processing, manufacturing, canning, packing, grading, storing, handling, or utilization of any agricultural product produced or delivered to it by its members; or the manufacturing or marketing of the by-products thereof; or in connection with the purchase, hiring, or use by its members of supplies, machinery, or equipment, or in the financing of any such activities; or the representation of the interest of its members; or any lawful activity for which any corporation may be formed under the laws of the state of Louisiana. No association shall handle the agricultural products of any non-member, except as necessary and incidental to the handling of the products of the members; and in any case, the value of the products of nonmembers handled, shall not exceed the value of the products handled by the association for its members.

            (2) To borrow money and to make advances to members.

            (3) To act as agent or representative of any member in any of the above mentioned activities.

            (4) To purchase or otherwise acquire, and to hold, own, sell, transfer, pledge, or guarantee the payment of dividends or interest on, or the retirement or redemption of, shares of the capital stock or bonds of any corporation or association engaged in any related activity or in the warehousing, handling, or marketing of any of the products handled by the association.

            (5) To establish reserves and to invest the funds thereof in bonds or such other property as may be provided in the by-laws.

            (6) To buy, hold, and exercise all privileges of ownership over such real or personal property as may be necessary or convenient for the conducting and operating of any of the business of the association or incidental thereto.

            (7) To do each and everything necessary or proper for the accomplishment of any of the purposes or the attainment of any of the objects enumerated in this Part; or conducive to or expedient for the interest or benefit of the association; and in addition to exercise and possess all powers, rights and privileges necessary or incidental to the purposes for which the association is organized, or to the activities in which it is engaged; and to do any such thing anywhere.

            (8) To sue and be sued, prosecute and be prosecuted before any court; and to contract.

            (9) To have perpetual existence, unless a limited period of duration is stated in its articles of association.

            Acts 2001, No. 41, §1; Acts 2017, No. 65, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 126. Members

Under the terms and conditions prescribed in its articles or by-laws, an association may admit as voting members, or issue common stock or certificates of voting membership only to persons engaged in the production of agricultural products, including the lessees and tenants of lands used for production of such products and lessors and landlords who receive as rent all or part of the crop raised on the leased premises, provided that if the articles or by-laws so stipulate, persons not engaged in the production of agricultural products may be admitted as nonvoting members, the titles, classifications and conditions of such nonvoting memberships to be specified in the articles or by-laws.

Certificates of membership of a nonstock association shall not be transferable, and no person shall acquire common stock by operation of law or otherwise, except as provided herein.

If a member of a nonstock association be other than a natural person, the member may be represented by any individual, associate, officer, manager, or member thereof, duly authorized in writing.

If the articles or by-laws so provide, members or stockholders may be represented at annual and special meetings by representatives or delegates, and in such cases, all rights of members and stockholders as defined in this Part shall be exercised by such representatives or delegates to the extent authorized by the articles or by-laws.

One association organized hereunder may become a member or stockholder of any other association organized hereunder.

Amended by Acts 1966, No. 87, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 127. Articles of association

A.  Each association formed under this Part shall prepare and file articles of association, setting forth:

(1)  The name of the association and the place where its principal business will be transacted.

(2)  The purpose for which it is formed.

(3)  The term for which it is to exist or that it is to exist in perpetuity.

(4)  The number of directors, which shall not be less than five and may be any number in excess thereof, and the term of office of the directors.

(5)  If organized without capital stock, whether the property rights and interest of members shall be equal or unequal, the articles shall set forth the general rules applicable to all members by which property rights and interests, respectively, of each member shall be determined and fixed; and provision for the admission of new members who shall be entitled to share in the property of the association with the old members, in accordance with the general rules.

(6)  If organized with capital stock the amount of stock and the number of shares into which it is divided and the par value thereof. The capital stock may be divided into preferred and common stock.  If so divided the articles of association shall contain a statement of the number of shares of stock to which preference is granted and the number of shares of stock to which no preference is granted and the nature and definite extent of the preference and privileges granted to each.

B.  The articles shall be executed by authentic act signed by each of the incorporators or by act under private signature subscribed by the incorporators and acknowledged by one of them before an officer authorized by the law of this state to take and certify acknowledgments; and shall be filed in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 1 of Title 12 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950.

Acts 1989, No. 146, §1; Acts 2001, No. 41, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 128. Amendments to articles of incorporation

A.  The articles of incorporation may be altered or amended at any regular meeting or at any special meeting called for that purpose.  Any alteration or amendment shall be approved, before the adoption thereof, by two-thirds of the directors, and by the affirmative vote of not less than a majority of all members or stockholders of the association or their duly authorized and qualified representatives or delegates casting a vote thereon.  The rules and regulations for voting by representatives or delegates shall be prescribed in the articles or bylaws.

B.  If the articles or bylaws should require more than a majority vote of members or stockholders or their duly authorized and qualified representatives or delegates casting a vote thereon, such requirement must be satisfied before the adoption of any amendments.

C.  Amendments to the articles of incorporation shall be filed in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 1 of Title 12 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950.

Acts 1989, No. 146, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 129. By-laws

Each association incorporated under this Part shall within thirty days after its incorporation adopt for its government and management, a code of by-laws, not inconsistent with the powers granted by this Part.  A majority vote of the members or stockholders or their duly authorized and qualified representatives or delegates casting a vote thereon, or their written consent, is necessary to adopt or amend by-laws; provided that if the articles so stipulate, the board of directors may make and amend by-laws, subject to the power of the members or stockholders, or their duly authorized and qualified representatives or delegates to change or repeal the by-laws or amendments so made.

Each association under its by-laws may provide for any or all of the following matters:

(1)  The time, place, and manner of calling and conducting its meetings.

(2)  The number of stockholders or members constituting a quorum.

(3)  The right of members or stockholders to vote by proxy or by mail, or both, and the conditions, manner, form and effect of such votes.

(4)  The number of directors constituting a quorum.

(5)  The qualifications, duties, and terms of office of directors and officers; time of their election and the mode and manner of giving notice thereof.

(6)  Penalties for violations of the by-laws.

(7)  The amount of entrance, organization, and membership fees, if any; manner and method of collection of the fees, and the purpose for which they may be used.

(8)  The amount which each member or stockholder shall be required to pay annually, or from time to time, to carry on the business of the association; the charge to be paid by each member or stockholder for services rendered by the association to him; and the marketing contract between the association and its members or stockholders which every member or stockholder shall be required to sign.

(9)  The qualifications of members or stockholders of the association and the conditions precedent to membership or ownership of common stock; the method, time and manner of permitting members to withdraw or permitting the holders of common stock to transfer their stock; the manner of assignment and transfer of the interest of members, and of the shares of common stock; the conditions upon which, and the time when, membership of any member shall cease; the automatic suspension of the rights of a member when he ceases to be eligible to membership in the association; and the mode, manner and effect of the expulsion of a member; manner of determining the value of a member's interest and provision for its purchase by the association upon the death or withdrawal of a member or stockholder or upon the expulsion of a member or forfeiture of his membership.

Amended by Acts 1966, No. 89, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 130. General and special meetings;  how called

In its by-laws each association shall provide for one or more regular meetings annually.  The board of directors shall have the right to call a special meeting at any time, and ten per cent of the members or stockholders may file a petition stating the specific business to be brought before the association and demand a special meeting at any time. A special meeting shall thereupon be called by the directors.  Notice of all meetings, together with a statement of the purpose thereof, shall be mailed to each member at least five days prior to the meeting; provided, however, that the by-laws may require instead that notices may be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation, published at the principal place of business of the association.

Tit. 3, Art. 131. Directors;  election

A.  The affairs of the association shall be managed by a board of not less than five directors, elected by the members or stockholders from their own members and shall have all rights and powers as provided for under the general corporation laws of this state, and such other powers as may be necessary to the proper execution of this Part.  The by-laws may provide that the territory in which the association has members shall be divided into districts and that the directors shall be elected according to such districts.  In such cases, the by-laws shall specify the number of directors to be elected by each district, the manner and method of reappointing the directors and redistricting the territory covered by the association.  The by-laws may provide that primary elections shall be held in each district to elect the directors apportioned to such districts and the results of all primary elections shall be ratified by the next regular meeting of the association or may be considered final as to the association.

B.  The by-laws may provide that one or more directors may be appointed by the governor of the state, the dean of the college of agriculture of the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, or the commissioner of agriculture and forestry.  The directors appointed in this manner shall represent primarily the interest of the general public in associations.  The director or directors so appointed need not be members or stockholders of the association, but shall have the same powers and rights of the other directors.  Directors so appointed shall not number more than one-fifth of the entire number of directors.

C.  The directors of the association may provide a fair remuneration for the time actually spent by its officers, directors and employees in its service.  No director, during the term of his office, shall be a party to a contract for profit with the association differing in any way from the business relations accorded regular members or holders of common stock of the association.

D.  The by-laws may provide for an executive committee and may allot to such committee all the functions and powers of the board of directors, subject to the general direction and control of the board.

E.  When a vacancy on the board of directors occurs, other than by expiration of term, the remaining members of the board by a majority vote shall fill the vacancy, unless the by-laws provide for an election of directors by districts.  In such case, the board of directors shall immediately call a special election to be voted in by the members or stockholders in that district to fill the vacancy.

Acts 2009, No. 24, §1, eff. June 12, 2009.

Tit. 3, Art. 132. Election of officers

The board of directors shall elect a president, a secretary, a treasurer and one or more vice-presidents, and may elect or select any other officers, assistant officers and agents as are authorized in the articles or by-laws; provided that if the articles or by-laws so stipulate, the above named officers or agents may be elected by the members or stockholders of the association or their duly authorized and qualified representatives or delegates.  The articles or by-laws may prescribe special qualifications for any officer.  Unless otherwise provided in the articles or by-laws, only members of the board of directors shall be eligible for election as president or vice-president.  The offices of secretary and treasurer may be combined and designated as secretary-treasurer.  The treasurer may be a bank or any depository, and as such shall not be considered as an officer but as a functionary of the board of directors.  In such case the secretary shall perform the usual accounting duties of the treasurer, excepting that the funds shall be deposited only as authorized by the board of directors.

Amended by Acts 1966, No. 88, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 133. Stock;  membership certificates;  when issued;  voting;  liability;  limitations on transfer and ownership

When a member of an association established without capital stock has paid his membership fee in full, he shall receive a certificate of membership.  No association shall issue certificate of stock to a member until it has been fully paid for.  The promissory note of the members may be accepted by the association as full or partial payment.  The association shall hold the stock as security for the payment of the note, but such retention as security shall not affect the member's right to vote.  

Except for debts lawfully contracted between him and the association, no member shall be liable for the debts of the association to an amount exceeding the sum remaining unpaid on his membership fee or his subscription to the capital stock, including any unpaid balance on any promissory note given in payment thereof.

No stockholder of a co-operative association shall own more than one-tenth of the common stock of the association; and an association, in its by-laws, may limit the amount of common stock which one member may own to any amount less than one-tenth of the common stock.

No member or stockholder shall be entitled to more than one vote.

Any association organized with stock under this Part may issue preferred stock, with or without right to vote.  Preferred stock may be redeemable or retirable by the association on such terms and conditions as may be provided by the articles of association and printed on the face of the certificates.

The by-laws shall prohibit the transfer of the common stock of the association to persons not engaged in the production of the agricultural products handled by the association, and the restrictions shall be printed upon every certificate of stock subject thereto.

The association may at any time, except when the debts of the association exceed fifty per cent of the assets thereof, purchase its common stock at book value as conclusively determined by the board of directors and pay for it in cash within thirty days thereafter.

Tit. 3, Art. 134. Removal of officer or director

Any member may bring charges against an officer or director by filing them in writing with the secretary of the association, together with a petition signed by ten per cent of the members, requesting the removal of the officer or director in question.  The removal shall be voted upon at the next meeting of the association and, by a vote of the majority of the members, the association may remove the officer or director and fill the vacancy.  The officer or director against whom the charges are brought shall be informed in writing of the charges previous to the meeting and shall have an opportunity at the meeting to be heard in person or by counsel and to present witnesses; the person bringing charges against him shall have the same opportunity.  The officer or director may be suspended by a vote of two-thirds of the directors pending the hearing of such charges.

In case the by-laws provide for election of directors by districts with primary elections in each district, the petition for removal of an officer or director shall be signed by twenty per cent of the members residing in the district from which he was elected.  The board of directors shall call a special meeting of the members residing in that district to consider the removal of the officer or director.  By a vote of the majority of the members of that district, the officer or director in question shall be removed from office.

Tit. 3, Art. 135. Referendum

Upon demand of one-third of the entire board of directors, any matter that has been approved or passed by the board shall be referred to the entire membership or the stockholders for decision at the next meeting; a special meeting may be called for the purpose.

 

Tit. 3, Art. 136. Marketing contract

A.  The association and its members may make and execute marketing contracts requiring the members to sell, for any period of time not over ten years, all or any specified part of their agricultural products or specified commodities exclusively to or through the association or any facilities created by the association.  If they contract to sell to the association, title to the products shall pass absolutely and unreservedly, except for recorded liens, to the association upon delivery, or when put in merchantable condition, or at any other specified time if expressly and definitely agreed in the contract.

B.  The contract may provide that the association may sell or resell the products delivered by its members, with or without taking title thereto, and pay over to its members the resale price, after deducting all necessary selling, overhead, and other costs and deductions, as defined in the contracts, and expenses including interest on preferred stock not exceeding the legal interest rate per annum, reserves for retiring stock, other proper reserves, and interest not exceeding the legal interest rate per annum upon common stock.

Amended by Acts 1981, No. 121, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 137. Remedies for breach of contract

The by-laws or the marketing contract of any association existing hereunder may fix, as liquidated damages, specific sums to be paid by the member or stockholder to the association upon the breach or threatened breach by him of any provision of the marketing contract regarding the sale or delivery or withholding of products; and may further provide that the member will pay all costs, premiums for bonds, expenses, and fees in case any action is brought upon the contract by the association.  Such provisions shall be valid and enforceable in the courts of this State, and the clauses providing for liquidated damages shall be enforceable and shall not be regarded as penalties.

In the event of any breach or threatened breach of a marketing contract by a member or other person, the association shall be entitled to an injunction to prevent the breach or further breach of the contract, and to a decree of specific performance thereof.  Pending the adjudication of the action and upon filing a verified complaint showing the breach or threatened breach, and upon filing a bond in the sum of one hundred dollars, the association shall be entitled to an injunction against the member or other person. The officiating judge may increase the bond to five hundred dollars after a hearing on five days notice to the parties, if justice demands the increase in the amount of the bond.

Tit. 3, Art. 138. Purchasing business of other associations, persons, firms or corporations;  payment;  stock issued

Whenever an association organized under this Part with preferred capital stock shall purchase the stock or any property, or any interest in any property, of any person, firm, corporation, or association, it may discharge the obligations incurred, wholly or in part, by exchanging for the acquired interest shares of its preferred capital stock to an amount which at par value would equal a fair market value of the stock or interest purchased, as determined by the board of directors.  In that case the transfer to the association of the stock or interest purchased shall be equivalent to payment in cash for the shares of stock issued.

Tit. 3, Art. 139. Conflicting laws not to apply

Any provisions of law which are in conflict with this Part, shall be construed as not applying to the association herein provided for. Any exemptions under any and all existing laws, referring to taxes or otherwise, applying to agricultural products in the possession or under control of the individual producer, shall apply similarly to products delivered by its farmer members which are in the possession or under control of the association.

 

Tit. 3, Art. 140. Limitation of use of term “co-operative”

No person, firm, corporation or association, organized or doing business in this state, shall use the word "co-operative" as part of its corporate or other business name or title for producers' co-operative marketing activities, unless it has complied with the provisions of this Part.

Tit. 3, Art. 141. Interest in other corporations or associations

An association may organize, form, operate, own, control, have an interest in, own stock of, or be a member of any corporation or association, with or without capital stock, engaged in preserving, drying, processing, canning, packing, storing, handling, shipping, utilizing, manufacturing, marketing or selling the agricultural products handled by the association, or the by-products thereof. If the corporations are warehousing corporations, they may issue legal warehouse receipts to the association, against the commodities delivered by it, or to any other person and the legal warehouse receipts shall be considered as adequate collateral to the extent of the usual and current value of the commodity represented thereby.  In case the warehouse is licensed or licensed and bonded under the laws of this state or the United States, its warehouse receipt delivered to the association on commodities of the association or its members shall not be challenged or discriminated against because of ownership or control, wholly or in part, by the association.

Tit. 3, Art. 142. Contracts and agreements with other associations

Any association may, upon resolution adopted by its board of directors, enter into all necessary and proper contracts and agreements and make all necessary and proper stipulations, agreements, contracts, and arrangements with any other corporations or associations, formed in this or any other State, for the co-operative or more economical carrying on of its business, or any part thereof. Any two or more associations may, by agreement between them, unite in employing and using or may separately employ and use the same personnel, methods, means, and agencies for carrying on and conducting their respective businesses.

Tit. 3, Art. 143. Associations heretofore organized may adopt these provisions

Any corporation or association organized under previously existing statutes may by a majority vote of its directors or members, be brought under the provisions of this Part.  It shall make out in duplicate a statement signed and sworn to by a majority of its directors, to the effect that the corporation or association has by a majority vote of its directors decided to accept the benefits and be bound by the provisions of this Part.  Articles of association shall be filed as required in R.S. 3:127 except that they shall be signed by a majority of the members of the board of directors. The filing fee shall be the same as for filing an amendment to articles of association.

Tit. 3, Art. 144. How associations organized in another state may carry on business in this state

Any co-operative marketing association organized under appropriate laws of any other state for the purposes and with the restrictions and limitations substantially the same as those set forth in this Part, may operate and do business in this state with all the rights, powers, and privileges granted to any co-operative marketing association incorporated under this Part, upon compliance with the laws of this state regarding the qualifications of foreign corporations to carry on business within this state.

Tit. 3, Art. 145. Breach of marketing contract of co-operative associations;  spreading false reports about the finances or management thereof

Any persons who, or any corporation whose officers or employees, knowingly induce or attempt to induce any member or stockholder of an association organized hereunder to breach his marketing contract with the association, or who knowingly spread false reports about the finances or management thereof shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars for each offense, and shall be liable to the association aggrieved in a civil suit in the penal sum of one thousand dollars for each offense.

Tit. 3, Art. 146. Associations not in restraint of trade

No association organized hereunder shall be deemed to be in violation of the anti-trust statutes of this state, a combination in restraint of trade, or an illegal monopoly; nor in an attempt to lessen competition or fix prices arbitrarily; nor shall the marketing contracts or agreements between the association and its members or any agreement authorized by this Part be considered illegal, in restraint of trade, or in violation of the anti-trust statutes of this state.

Tit. 3, Art. 147. Annual license fees

Each association organized hereunder shall pay an annual license fee of ten dollars, but shall be exempt from all franchise or other license taxes, except upon its real estate, furniture, and fixtures.

Tit. 3, Art. 149. Application of general corporation laws

The provisions of the general corporation laws of this State and all powers and rights thereunder shall apply to the association organized hereunder, except where such provisions are in conflict with, or inconsistent with, the express provisions of this Part.

Chapter 3. Agricultural Credit Corporations

Tit. 3, Art. 201. Purpose;  name

Any number of natural persons not less than ten, may organize an agricultural credit corporation for the purposes of assisting the members by advancing to the members, or to other persons for the benefit of a member, moneys, supplies, seed, fertilizer, work animals, agricultural implements, live stock, cows, or poultry for agricultural and dairy purposes, and for the raising, breeding, and fattening of live stock and poultry.

Corporations formed after August 1, 1928 for the above purposes in the manner provided by this Chapter shall be incorporated under the terms of this Chapter and any corporation so organized shall include as part of its name the words "Agricultural Credit Corporation".  Corporations formed after August 1, 1928 and not incorporated under the terms of this Chapter shall not include as part of its name the words "Agricultural Credit Corporation".

Tit. 3, Art. 202. Articles of incorporation

The articles of incorporation shall be executed by authentic act in the English language signed by each of the incorporators or their duly constituted agents, and shall state the name and title of the corporation, the purpose for which formed, the place chosen for its domicile where all meetings of the stockholders and directors shall be held, the amount of the capital stock and the amount to which it can be increased, the number of shares into which the stock is divided, the par value of each share, the period at which the corporation shall commence, its duration, the mode of liquidation at the termination or dissolution of the charter, the number of directors and officers and the mode and manner of their election, and the manner of amending its charter and of calling and holding stockholders' meetings.

Tit. 3, Art. 203. Powers

Corporations organized under this Chapter may enjoy succession by its corporate name for the period of time expressed in its act of incorporation, not to exceed ninety nine years; contract, sue, and be sued in its corporate name; make and use a corporate seal, and alter it at pleasure; invest its board of directors with all corporate powers, subject to restrictions named in its charter; name and appoint such managers, directors, or officers as the interest and convenience of the corporation require; make and establish, alter, and amend such by-laws and rules for the proper management and regulation of the affairs of the corporation as may be necessary and proper; acquire property by grant, donation, or purchase in the due course of business, and lease, hold, and dispose of, mortgage, and pledge the property; wind up and dissolve itself; conduct business in this state; assess and collect from its members and stockholders such fees, dues, fines, interest and discount, premiums, and other charges as shall be provided by resolutions of its board or by its by-laws, which charges shall not be held to be usurious; receive and hold its own stock in pledge as part security for loans made to or guaranteed by its members and purchase the same under the power of pledge; purchase at a valuation mutually agreed upon, and cancel, unpledged shares of stock held by its members; make loans to members or to non-members, when such non-member loans are beneficial to a member and are guaranteed or endorsed in whole or in part by the member; borrow money and issue evidence of indebtedness therefor; sell or discount notes and evidence of indebtedness; invest its moneys by the purchase of bonds and other negotiable securities; and have such other and further powers as may be useful, necessary, or incidental to the effective carrying out of the purposes for which the corporation is organized.

Tit. 3, Art. 204. Capital stock

The capital stock of any corporation organized under this Chapter shall not be less than one hundred thousand dollars, divided into shares with par value of not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than one hundred dollars each.  At least one-half of the capital stock shall be subscribed and actually paid in before the corporation is authorized to commence business. Stock issued shall be sold only for cash at not less than par value.  All shares acquired by the corporation shall become its property and may be reissued and sold at a price, not less than par value, fixed by the board of directors. At no time shall there be less than one-half of the capital stock outstanding and belonging to its members.

Tit. 3, Art. 205. Types of loans;  security

A.  Corporations organized under this Chapter shall only make loans to and contract for advances with its members or to other persons whose loans are beneficial to members and are guaranteed by members in whole or in part.  Loans shall be secured by pledge of shares of the corporation having a total valuation, based on par value of the shares, of not less than ten percent of the amount of the loan.  No loan to any one borrower shall be in excess of twenty percent of the capital stock subscribed and paid in.

B.  Loans made by such corporations shall be classified as current loans, and continuing credit loans, and only such loans shall be made.

C.(1)  Current loans are those made for any one or more of the purposes for which the corporation is formed, definitely terminating within the current year of the loan, or within a period of time not less than six months nor more than three years from date of the loan.

(2)  Current loans shall be secured by a pledge of the capital stock of the corporation, and may be additionally secured by: a security interest affecting crops, livestock, work animals, and agricultural implements; a mortgage on real estate; and by such other collateral security as the board of directors of the corporation may require.

D.  Continuing credit loans are those made to the borrower for his successive agricultural operations over a period of time not exceeding ten years, on a specifically described farm, of a stated sum of money designated as the "maximum", and secured by a pledge of capital stock of the corporation and any one or all of the following:

(1)  A mortgage of the farm.

(2)  A security interest affecting crops, those presently planted and growing as well as all successive crops to be planted, grown, cultivated, and harvested thereon during the entire period of time, as fixed in the loan.

(3)  A security interest affecting all livestock and work animals and agricultural implements belonging to borrower and located on the farm at the beginning of the loan.

(4)  A security interest affecting such other collateral security as the corporation may require and accept.

Acts 1989, No. 137, §2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, No. 539, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1992.

Tit. 3, Art. 206. Matters to be covered by contract for continuing credit loan

           A. Corporations operating under this Chapter may contract with the borrower applying for a continuing credit loan to advance him monies, supplies, seeds, fertilizer, work animals, agricultural implements, livestock, cows, and poultry for his successive annual operations, not exceeding in the aggregate at any time the designated maximum amount. The maximum amount plus attorney's fees and costs, as set forth in the contract, shall during the entire period of the loan be the amount due by the borrower to the corporation for the advances already made and to be made.

           B. The mortgage and security agreement between the corporation and the borrower shall contain in addition to rules, regulations, conditions, and stipulations required by the corporation the following:

           (1) A declaration by the borrower setting forth that he has applied to the corporation for a continuing credit loan of $_____ (maximum amount), to be made to him from time to time, not exceeding at any time in the aggregate the maximum amount, to enable him to continue his agricultural operations over a stated period not to exceed ten years, on a specifically described farm of which he is the owner or lessee, by planting, cultivating, and harvesting crops thereon and therefrom during the period of time.

           (2) A declaration by the borrower:

           (a) That the farm together with the presently planted crops and all the crops proposed to be planted for that current year and all future crops thereafter planted thereon of any nature or kind, and together with all livestock and work animals and agricultural implements thereon, shall, for the purpose of this Chapter and during the term of the continuing credit loan, be considered and dealt with as a whole, as part and parcel of the realty.

           (b) That during the period the borrower binds and obligates himself, his heirs and assigns not to grant any additional security interest affecting any of its crops, nor to obtain any advances for the crops, nor to grant any additional security interest affecting any of the chattels thereon, to any one else than the corporation, nor to do any act or thing to the prejudice of the corporation's security interest securing the continuing credit loan and the advances made and to be made thereunder.

           C. The security agreement shall affect and include:

           (1) All crops now planted and to be planted, cultivated, and harvested on the farm during the period.

           (2) All livestock and work animals and agricultural implements, belonging to borrower.

           (3) The pledge of the capital stock of the corporation of an aggregate par value of not less than one tenth of the maximum amount of the loan.

           (4) Such other collateral security as may be given and accepted by the corporation.

           D.(1) The security agreement shall further provide that during the period of the continuing credit loan and in order to enable and facilitate the corporation's ability to secure and to obtain the necessary funds to make the advances to borrower as contracted for between them, the borrower shall from time to time furnish and deliver to it his promissory notes. At no time shall the sum of the principals of the notes exceed the maximum amount of the continuing credit loan.

           (2) The notes shall be consecutively numbered as issued, beginning with number one to the number of the last note. They shall be drawn by the maker upon a form approved by the corporation, payable to the order of the corporation at such place and at such dates and providing for such attorney's fees, if placed in the hands of an attorney for collection, as prescribed by the corporation, and shall have endorsed on the reverse of each the following words: "This is Note No. _____ of an indeterminate series of notes issued in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 3 of Title 3 of the Revised Statutes of Louisiana, providing for continuing credit loans by agricultural credit corporations; notes previously issued, Nos. _____; of which notes Nos. _____ have been retired and cancelled, leaving the sum of the principals of this and all the notes prior hereto, outstanding $_____", followed by signature of maker.

           (3) Each note thus issued shall be delivered to the corporation, and shall be in its hands negotiable, for sale or discount to a third party. The security interest and mortgages securing the continuing credit loan, shall inure to the benefit of any holder thereof without the necessity of any notarial assignment and the holder of the notes shall have the right to enforce the full and punctual payment of each note in the order of its serial number for its full amount, with interest and attorney's fees, in accordance with its tenor. In any sale to enforce the payment of the continuing credit loan or of any of the notes thus issued, of any of the property mortgaged, or pledged or on which a security interest has been granted, and all proceeds of the sales shall be applied first to the payment of all court costs, charges, and legal expenses, and thereafter by preference and priority to the payment of all notes issued and not retired and cancelled, for the full amount of each, with interest, attorney's fees, and costs, in accordance with their tenor and in the order of their serial numbers, so that the holder of any of the notes shall not be paid or receive any of the proceeds until each note, issued prior thereto and at that time outstanding and unpaid, shall have been fully satisfied, and thereafter the corporation shall be paid from the proceeds the amount of any balance due it on account of advances made, with interest, attorney's fees, and costs.

           E. The security agreement shall further provide that, during the entire period of the term of the continuing credit loan:

           (1) The proceeds of all crops harvested shall be paid over to the corporation, with recognition of its lien, up to the amount of all advances at that time made and unsatisfied with interest, attorney's fees, and costs, in accordance with the terms thereof.

           (2) The proceeds shall be applied to the payment of the notes as provided in this Section.

           (3) The payment of the notes shall not operate to satisfy, diminish, extinguish, or to cancel the continuing credit loan in whole or in part.

           (4) The maximum contracted debt shall continue to exist as the principal obligation and remain in full force for its full amount with interest, attorney's fees, and costs, secured by the mortgage and the security agreement affecting crops and pledge of stock and all such other collateral security belonging thereto.

           F. The security agreement may additionally provide that the continuing credit loan may at the option of either party be terminated by written notice to the other party and that thereafter the immobilization for the purposes of this Chapter, as provided for in Paragraph (B)(2) of this Section, and the collateral security given by borrower to corporation shall cease at such time as all the notes issued and all advances made under this contract, remaining due and unpaid, shall have been paid in full with interest, attorney's fees, and costs.

           G. The security agreement may further provide that there shall be at all times reserved to the corporation as lender the right to increase, diminish, or discontinue entirely the advances whenever the condition of the crops or the elements or the happening of events, in the opinion of the corporation, so demand or warrant.

           H. The security agreement may also provide that whenever notice of the intention to terminate the continuing credit loan has been given by one party to the other, then the corporation's continuing security interest as affecting successive crops shall not operate to secure any deficit remaining after all the proceeds of the crops planted, grown, and harvested during the current year have been received, paid, and imputed as provided in this Chapter.

           Acts 1991, No. 539, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1992.

Tit. 3, Art. 207. Priority arising from security for continuing credit loan

The real estate mortgage, and the security agreement as affecting the successive crops for the period of the loan, as well as affecting all the livestock, work animals, and agricultural implements of the borrower, as well as the pledge of the capital stock of the corporation and of other collateral security, and the giving and taking of other and additional security, all for the purpose of securing the continuing credit loan for its stated amount, with interest, attorney fees, and costs, and to extend over the term of the continuing credit loan, are lawful; and each

(1)  Shall have preference and priority over all other liens and encumbrances which are created, recorded, filed, claimed, or which arise in any manner whatsoever, subsequent to the recording of the mortgage and the filing of a financing statement evidencing the corporation's security interest securing the continuing credit loan in accordance with applicable law, with the exception of subsequently perfected purchase money security interests as affecting livestock and work animals, agricultural implements, and other property purchased, to the extent that such a subsequently perfected purchase money security interest may be entitled to super priority rights under R.S. 10:9-324, and

(2)  With the exception of a subsequently perfected purchase money security interest as noted in Paragraph (1) of this Section, the continuing credit loan and the notes, issued in order to facilitate the lender to make the advances, shall first be paid and satisfied, in full with attorney fees and costs, from the proceeds of any and all sales of the mortgaged property and the crops, livestock, and other collateral security on which a security interest was granted, before any payment shall be made from any of the proceeds in satisfaction of any other lien and encumbrance created, arising, perfected, or recorded thereafter or as affecting successive crops.

Acts 1989, No. 137, §2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, No. 539, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; Acts 2001, No. 128, §2, eff. July 1, 2001.

Tit. 3, Art. 208. Notes to be negotiable;  payment of single note not to discharge debt;  other claimants subordinated

The notes of each indeterminate series furnished from time to time by the borrower to the corporation, as provided for in R.S. 3:206, shall be negotiable, and their payment in full, with interest, attorney's fees, and costs in accordance with the tenor of each, shall be secured by the mortgage, the security agreement, and the corporation's security interests, all as executed between corporation and borrower securing the continuing credit loan.  The payment, satisfaction, retirement, or cancellation of any note shall not operate as a payment, cancellation, or novation of the debt due by the borrower to the corporation, for the maximum amount of the continuing credit loan, interest, attorney's fees, and costs, which shall exist as a contractual obligation between the borrower and corporation during the entire period of the continuing credit loan.  No holder or owner of any encumbrance previously subordinated to or which is created, claimed, recorded, or which arises subsequent to the recordation of the mortgage or the perfection of the corporation's security interest, excepting only those subsequently perfected purchase money security interests as specified in R.S. 3:207(1) and legal charges shall receive by preference and priority any proceeds from any sale, judicial or otherwise, of any of the property so mortgaged and secured until the corporation, and the holder or holders of all issued notes shall have been paid in full, interest, attorney's fees, and costs, all amounts due to the corporation and holder or holders of the notes.

Acts 1989, No. 137, §2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, No. 539, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1992.

Tit. 3, Art. 209. Loans to non-members

The corporation may enter into and execute all contracts and agreements and loans, as authorized in this Chapter, with a borrower who is not a member of the corporation provided

(1)  that the borrower is a tenant or lessee of a member or the payment of the loan of the borrower has been guaranteed by a member, and

(2)  that the amount of capital stock required by the corporation as part security for the loan is pledged and delivered by the member to the corporation; and in each case the act executed between the corporation and borrower shall state the position of the borrower, who is not a member, and the member lessor or guarantor shall intervene in the act for the purpose of substantiating the averments and making the pledge and pawn and delivery of the stock as required.

Tit. 3, Art. 210. Bond to guarantee payment of several loans;  mortgage security;  recording instruments

A.  It shall be lawful for any member to guarantee the payment in whole or in part of one or more current and continuing credit loans made to one or more borrowers, including his own; to execute his members obligation and bond therefor; and in order to secure and insure the faithful performance of each and every obligation undertaken in the bond and to secure and enforce the full and final payment of each loan guaranteed and of all of the notes issued in order to facilitate the lender to make the advances contemplated and contracted for in any such loan, to execute mortgages of realty and security agreements affecting livestock, work animals, and agricultural implements, with such security clauses, stipulations, and conditions as the corporation may require, and which shall inure to the benefit of any assigns of the corporation and of the holder of any notes, without the necessity of any notarial transfer.

B.  The bond and the mortgages shall be recorded in the recorder's office of the parish in which the mortgaged property is located, in the mortgage records; and during the term and existence of any of the loans, of which payment has been guaranteed by bond, and until each such guaranteed loan and all notes issued in connection therewith have been paid in full, the bond and mortgages shall remain in full force and effect.

Acts 1991, No. 539, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1992.

Tit. 3, Art. 211. Other claims subordinated to bonds and mortgages guaranteeing loans

The bond, mortgages, and security interests provided for in R.S. 3:210 have priority for the full amount of the bond with interest, attorney's fees, and costs over all encumbrances created, recorded, claimed, or which arise in any manner subsequent to the recordation of the bond and mortgage, excepting only subsequently perfected purchase money security interests on livestock, work animals, agricultural implements, and other property purchased as provided in R.S. 3:207(1).  When property is sold, the proceeds shall be applied first to the payment of all legal charges and expenses incidental to the sale; thereafter to the payment of all outstanding notes issued in connection with any loan thus guaranteed, for the full amount with interest, attorney's fees, and costs; and thereafter the proceeds remaining shall be paid to the corporation in full satisfaction of all advances made and remaining unpaid, with interest, attorney's fees, and costs.  All such payments shall be made before any payments from the fund to any holder or owner of any encumbrance created, recorded, or arising subsequent to recordation of such bond and mortgage, excepting perfected purchase money security interests.

Acts 1991, No. 539, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1992.

Tit. 3, Art. 212. Bond of officers handling money

The secretary or treasurer, and all other officers who have charge of moneys and securities of such corporations, shall, before entering upon the discharge of their duties, give such bond for the faithful performance of their duties, as is required and approved by the board of directors.  The bond of the treasurer shall not be less than ten thousand dollars.

Tit. 3, Art. 213. Terms defined

In this Chapter whenever the word "corporation" is used, "agricultural credit corporation" as organized under this Chapter is meant; and whenever the words "borrower" or "member" are used, they shall include persons, co-partnerships, or corporations owning stock in the corporation.

Tit. 3, Art. 214. Construction of conflicting laws

Provisions of law, which are in conflict with this Chapter shall be construed as not applying to any corporation created hereunder nor to the rights, powers, privileges, and immunities granted herein to corporations nor to the manner in which the corporations are authorized to make and secure loans.

Tit. 3, Art. 215. Application to existing corporations

A corporation organized under prior statutes may be brought under the provisions of this Chapter by an amendment of its charter, in accordance with its provisions and the laws under which it was incorporated.

Tit. 3, Art. 216. Recording, publishing, and filing charter

The charter of each corporation, when executed, shall be recorded in the recorder's office of the parish of its domicile, and a certified copy thereof with certificate of its registry shall be published for a period of thirty days in a daily, or for six consecutive issues in a weekly, newspaper published in the parish, and be deposited for registry with the secretary of state, at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who shall be paid as his fees for filing and registering thirty-five dollars.

Acts 1989, No. 70, §1.

Chapter 3-B. Louisiana Agricultural Finance Act

Tit. 3, Art. 261. Short title

A.  This Chapter shall be known and may be referred to as the "Louisiana Agricultural Finance Act."

Added by Acts 1983, No. 96, § 1, eff. July 23, 1983.

 

Tit. 3, Art. 262. Legislative findings

A.  The legislature hereby finds and declares that there exists in the state of Louisiana a serious shortage of capital and credit available for investment in agriculture, for domestic and export purposes, at interest rates within the financial means of persons engaged in agricultural production and agricultural exports. In conjunction with the financial problems associated with the agricultural industry there exists a need to provide economic assistance to those individuals who wish to convert their farming operation to the development of aquacultural products of a seafood nature for domestic and export purposes.  In addition, there exists a need to provide economic assistance to persons who wish to engage in mariculture projects.  This shortage of available capital and credit is severe throughout the state, has persisted for a number of years, and constitutes a grave threat to the agricultural industry and to the health, welfare, safety, and prosperity of all residents of the state.

B.  The legislature hereby finds and declares further that private enterprise and existing federal and state governmental programs have not adequately alleviated the severe shortage of capital and credit available at affordable interest rates for investment in agriculture or in the conversion to aquaculture or for investment in mariculture projects.

C.  The legislature hereby finds and declares that it is a matter of grave public necessity that the Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority be created and empowered to alleviate the severe shortage of capital and credit available at affordable interest rates for investment in agriculture, including buildings and related facilities used by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry to promote and assist agriculture and forestry within this state, and for the export of agricultural products, commodities, and services, and for capital investment in converting to aquacultural farming, and for capital investment in mariculture projects by providing such capital and credit at interest rates within the financial means of persons and businesses engaged in agriculture and agricultural exports.

D.  The legislature hereby finds that in order to convert Louisiana from an exporter of raw agricultural products into an exporter of processed products of high added value and to expand the state's economic base, it is necessary that the state encourage and support the development of agricultural plants to process products in this state.  It is necessary for the state to develop and enhance its capacity to process agricultural products in Louisiana including providing financial assistance to any person who owns, leases, or operates, or is seeking to own, lease, or operate an agricultural plant in this state.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 96, §1, eff. July 23, 1983. Acts 1987, No. 502, §1; Acts 1987, No. 856, §1, eff. July 20, 1987; Acts 2003, No. 230, §1, eff. June 5, 2003; Acts 2009, No. 510, §1, eff. July 10, 2009.

Tit. 3, Art. 263. Definitions

As used in this Chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1)  "Agribusiness" means a person, other than an agricultural producer, who engages in agriculture or provides support activities, products, or services to an agricultural producer and such products or services that are directly related to the planting, growing, production, or harvesting of crops and livestock.

(2)  "Agricultural loan" means a loan made to any person for the purpose of financing: land acquisition or improvement for agricultural or agribusiness purposes; conversion to aquacultural production; soil conservation; construction of levees and ponds; irrigation; water well drilling; construction, renovation, or expansion of buildings and facilities for agricultural or agribusiness purposes; purchase of farm fixtures, livestock, poultry, fish of any kind; crustaceans and mollusks; seeds; fertilizers; pesticides; feeds; agricultural or agribusiness machinery; equipment; containers or supplies employed in the production, cultivation, harvesting, storage, marketing, distribution, or export of agricultural products, or for the purpose of financing agricultural products.

(3)  "Agricultural plant" means any facility which receives raw agricultural products for the purpose of rendering them suitable for wholesale or retail marketing.

(4)  "Agricultural producer" means a person engaged in agriculture for the planting, growing, harvesting, or production of an agricultural product in its natural state and who primarily assumes the production and market risks associated with such activities.

(5)  "Agricultural product" means any agronomic, aquacultural, floricultural, horticultural, maricultural, silvicultural, or viticultural crop, livestock, or product.

(6)  "Agriculture" means the commercial planting, growing, harvesting, production, storage, processing, marketing, distribution, or export of any agricultural product, including but not limited to farm products, livestock and livestock products, poultry and poultry products, milk and dairy products, fruit and other horticultural products, and seafood and aquacultural products.

(7)  "Aquaculture" means the commercial production, storage, processing, marketing, distribution, or export of any seafood including but not limited to catfish, trout, crustaceans, and mollusks.

(8)  "Authority" means the Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority created by this Chapter.

(9)  "Bonds" means the bonds, notes, renewal notes, refunding bonds, interim certificates, certificates of indebtedness, debentures, warrants, commercial paper, or other obligations or evidences of indebtedness authorized to be issued by the Authority pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter.

(10)  "Commissioner" means the Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry.

(11)  "Department" means the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

(12)  "Federal government" means the United States of America and any agency or instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of the United States of America.

(13)  "Lending institution" means any bank, bank or trust company, federal land bank, production credit association, bank for cooperatives, building and loan association, homestead, insurance company, investment banker, mortgage banker or company, pension or retirement fund, savings bank or savings and loan association, small business investment company, credit union, or any other financial institution authorized to do business in Louisiana or operating under the supervision of any federal agency or any "Edge Act Corporation" or agreement corporation organized or operating pursuant to Section 25 of the Federal Reserve Act.

(14)  "Livestock" means any animal except dogs and cats, bred, kept, maintained, raised, or used for profit, that is used in agriculture, aquaculture, agritourism, competition, recreation, or silviculture, or for other related purposes or used in the production of crops, animals, or plant or animal products for market.  This definition includes but is not limited to cattle, buffalo, bison, oxen, and other bovine; horses, mules, donkeys, and other equine; goats; sheep; swine; chickens, turkeys, and other poultry; domestic rabbits; imported exotic deer and antelope, elk, farm-raised white-tailed deer, farm-raised ratites, and other farm-raised exotic animals; fish, turtles, and other animals identified with aquaculture which are located in artificial reservoirs or enclosures that are both on privately owned property and constructed so as to prevent, at all times, the ingress and egress of fish life from public waters; any commercial crawfish from any crawfish pond; and any hybrid, mixture, or mutation of any such animal.

(15)  "Mariculture" means aquaculture which is practiced in brackish or saline water and includes hatchery breeding, spawning, transportation, implantation, propagation, growout, and harvesting of domesticated fish and other domesticated aquatic species.

(16)  "Persons" means any individual, partnership, firm, corporation, company, cooperative, association, society, trust, limited liability company, or any other business unit or entity, including any state or federal agency.

(17)  "Processing or process" means any action that will enhance any raw agricultural product's value or render a raw agricultural product suitable for further refinement or introduction at a marketing level.

(18)  "State" means the state of Louisiana or any agency or instrumentality thereof.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 96, §1, eff. July 23, 1983. Acts 1987, No. 502, §1; Acts 2009, No. 510, §1, eff. July 10, 2009.

Tit. 3, Art. 264. Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority

A.  The Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority is hereby created within the Department of Agriculture.

B.  The authority shall be composed of nine members.  The commissioner of agriculture and forestry shall serve ex officio with the same rights and privileges, including voting rights, as other members.  The chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture and Rural Development or his designee, the chair of the House Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture and Rural Development or his designee, and the secretary of the Department of Economic Development or his designee, shall serve in an advisory capacity, without voting rights, to the authority, and shall not be counted for the purpose of constituting a quorum for the transaction of official business.  The other eight members shall be appointed by the governor in the following manner:

(1)  Two members appointed from a list of six persons nominated by the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation.

(2)  One member appointed from a list of six persons nominated by the Louisiana Bankers Association.

(3)  Two members appointed from a list of six persons nominated by the president of the Senate.

(4)  Two members appointed from a list of six persons nominated by the speaker of the House of Representatives.

(5)  One member appointed from a list of six persons nominated by the Community Bankers of Louisiana.

C.  The appointed members shall serve for terms concurrent with the terms of the governor making the appointment.  Each appointment by the governor shall be submitted to the Senate for confirmation.  The appointed members shall take and subscribe to the oath of office required of public officials.  Appointed members shall serve until their successors are appointed and sworn into office.

D.  Vacancies in the offices of any appointed members of the Authority shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments for the unexpired portion of the office vacated.  No vacant office shall be included in the determination of a quorum.  No vacancy in office shall impair the rights of the members to conduct official business of the Authority.

E.  The domicile of the Authority shall be East Baton Rouge Parish.

F.  A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of official business. All official actions of the Authority shall require a majority vote of the members present and voting at any meeting.

G.  Members of the Authority shall not receive any salary for the performance of their duties as members.  Appointed members may receive a per diem not to exceed forty dollars for attendance at meetings of the Authority or subcommittees thereof and may be reimbursed for mileage expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.  The mileage allowance shall be fixed by the Authority in an amount not to exceed the mileage allowance authorized under state travel regulations.

H.  The Authority shall meet at least four, but not more than twelve, times a year upon call.

I.  The Authority may delegate to one or more of its members, officers, employees, or agents such powers and duties as it may deem proper.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 96, §1, eff. July 23, 1983; Acts 1999, No. 18, §1, eff. May 21, 1999; Acts 2003, No. 116, §1, eff. May 28, 2003; Acts 2003, No. 230, §1, eff. June 5, 2003; Acts 2003, No. 774, §1; Acts 2009, No. 510, §1, eff. July 10, 2009; Acts 2010, No. 495, §1, eff. June 24, 2010.

Tit. 3, Art. 265. Officers and employees;  administration of Chapter

A.  The members of the Authority shall annually elect a chairman, a vice chairman, and such officers as they may deem advisable.  All officers shall be members of the Authority.

B.  The Authority, subject to the approval of the commissioner, may appoint a director and an assistant director and a director of the agriculture loan program and an assistant director of the agriculture loan program who shall be in the unclassified service of the state.

C.  The commissioner shall administer and enforce this Chapter in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the Authority.  The commissioner may employ such personnel as may be necessary to administer and enforce the provisions of this Chapter.  All employees shall be under the supervision of the commissioner.

D.  The Authority may employ legal, financial and technical experts and consultants as it deems necessary on a contractual basis.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 96, §1, eff. July 23, 1983; Acts 2009, No. 510, §1, eff. July 10, 2009.

Tit. 3, Art. 266. Powers of authority

            The authority shall have all the powers necessary to give effect to and carry out the purposes and provisions of this Chapter, including, in addition to all other powers granted by other provisions of this Chapter, the powers to:

            (1) Sue and be sued in its own name and in the name of any subsidiary corporation or entity which may be created pursuant to Paragraph (19) of this Section.

            (2) Have a seal and alter the same at its pleasure.

            (3) Adopt bylaws for the internal organization and government of the Authority.

            (4) Adopt, promulgate, and amend rules and regulations for the administration of the Chapter in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (R.S. 49:950 et seq.), provided that such regulations shall require fair, impartial, uniform, and equitable treatment of all lending institutions and shall establish objective standards and criteria to control and govern access to and allocation of services and functions authorized by this Chapter.

            (5) Make and execute contracts and all other instruments necessary or convenient for the exercise of its powers and functions under this Chapter with any federal or state governmental agency, public or private corporation, lending institution, or other entity or person.

            (6) Accept, administer, and expend donations of movable or immovable property from any source, and receive, administer, and expend appropriations from the legislature and financial assistance, guarantees, insurance or subsidies from the federal or state government.

            (7) Subject to the rights of holders of bonds of the Authority, to renegotiate, refinance or foreclose on any mortgage, security interest or lien; or commence any action to protect or enforce any right or benefit conferred upon the Authority by any law, mortgage, security interest, lien, contract or other agreement; and bid for and purchase property at any foreclosure or at any other sale or otherwise acquire or take possession of any property; and in any such event, the Authority may complete, administer, pay the principal of and interest on any obligation incurred in connection with such property, dispose of and otherwise deal with such property in such manner as may be necessary or desirable to protect the interest of the Authority or of holders of its bonds therein.

            (8) Procure or provide for the procurement of insurance or reinsurance against any loss in connection with its property or operations, including but not limited to insurance, reinsurance, or other guarantees from any federal or state governmental agency or private insurance company for the payment of any bonds issued by the Authority, or bonds, notes or any other obligations or evidences of indebtedness issued or made by any subsidiary corporation or entity created pursuant to Paragraph (19) of this Section or by any lending institution or other entity or person, or insurance or reinsurance against loss with respect to agricultural loans, mortgages or mortgage loans, or any other type of loans, including the power to pay premiums on such insurance or reinsurance.

            (9) Insure, co-insure, reinsure, or cause to be insured, co-insured, or reinsured, agricultural loans, mortgage loans or mortgages, or any other type of loans and pay or receive premiums on such insurance, co-insurance, or reinsurance, and establish reserves for losses, and participate in the insurance, co-insurance, or reinsurance of agricultural loans, mortgage loans or mortgages, or any other type of loans with the federal or state government or any private insurance company.

            (10) Undertake and carry out or authorize the completion of studies and analyses of agricultural conditions and needs within the state and needs relating to the promotion of agricultural exports and ways of meeting such needs, and make such studies and analyses available to the public and to the agricultural industry, and to engage in research or disseminate information on agriculture and agricultural exports.

            (11) Accept federal, state, or private financial or technical assistance and comply with any conditions for such assistance, provided such conditions are not in conflict with the intent of this Chapter.

            (12) Establish and collect fees and charges in connection with its loans, deposits, insurance commitments, and services, including but not limited to, reimbursement of costs of issuing bonds, origination and servicing fees, and insurance premiums.

            (13) Make and guarantee agricultural loans and purchase or sell agricultural loans.

            (14) Acquire or contract to acquire from any person, firm, corporation, municipality, federal or state agency, by grant, purchase, or otherwise, movable or immovable property or any interest therein; own, hold, clear, improve, lease, construct, or rehabilitate, and sell, invest, assign, exchange, transfer, convey, lease, mortgage, or otherwise dispose of or encumber the same, subject to the rights of holders of the bonds of the Authority, at public or private sale, in compliance with public bidding requirements set forth in Part II of Chapter 10 of Title 38 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950.

            (15) Borrow money, issue bonds, and provide for the rights of the lenders or holders thereof and purchase, discount, sell, negotiate and guarantee, insure, coinsure and reinsure notes, drafts, checks, bills of exchange, acceptances, bankers acceptances, cable transfers, letters of credit and other evidence of indebtedness.

            (16) Subject to the rights of holders of the bonds of the Authority, consent to any modification with respect to the rate of interest, time, payment of any installment of principal or interest, security, or any other term or condition of any loan, contract, mortgage, mortgage loan, or commitment therefor or agreement of any kind to which the Authority is a party or beneficiary.

            (17) Maintain an office at such place or places as the Authority shall determine.

            (18) Serve as the beneficiary of any public trust heretofore or hereafter created pursuant to the provisions of R.S. 9:2341 et seq.

            (19) With the prior approval of the House and Senate committees on agriculture, forestry, aquaculture, and rural development, to create such subsidiary corporations or entities as may be necessary to make agricultural loans, borrow money for agricultural loans, insure or reinsure agricultural loans, or issue bonds in the international financial market.

            (20) Issue revenue bonds for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, renovating, and equipping buildings and related facilities for use by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry in connection with the promotion and assistance of agriculture and forestry within this state. The bonds shall be authorized and issued by one or more resolutions adopted by a majority vote of the members of the authority and shall be payable solely from the income and revenues as set forth in the resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds.

            (21) Notwithstanding any other law, supervise and utilize public employees, equipment, and material in carrying out public work, including public work in furtherance of Formosan termite suppression.

            (22) Foster and support the development and enhancement of processing raw agricultural products in this state by participating in cooperative endeavors involving loans and loan guarantees to private business enterprises, nonprofit institutions and organizations, the state and political subdivisions thereof, the federal government, and other organizations or persons concerned with the development or enhancement of agricultural plants in this state. The authority shall participate only in cooperative endeavors which involve the creation of a significant number of new jobs in relation to the amount of participation by the authority.

            (23) Establish, administer, and supervise programs to promote the purchase of Louisiana agricultural products.

            Added by Acts 1983, No. 96, §1, eff. July 23, 1983. Acts 1987, No. 856, §1, eff. July 20, 1987; Acts 1999, No. 18, §1, eff. May 21, 1999; Acts 2003, No. 116, §1, eff. May 28, 2003; Acts 2003, No. 230, §1, eff. June 5, 2003; Acts 2008, No. 117, §1; Acts 2009, No. 510, §1, eff. July 10, 2009; Acts 2011, No. 330, §1, eff. June 29, 2011; Acts 2015, No. 5, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 267. Purchases and sales of agricultural loans

The Authority may purchase or contract to purchase and sell or contract to sell agricultural loans made by lending institutions, at such prices and upon such terms and conditions as it shall determine in accordance with rules or regulations adopted pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (R.S. 49:950 et seq.).  All lending institutions are hereby authorized to purchase and sell agricultural loans to the Authority in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter and the rules and regulations of the Authority.  To the extent that any provisions of this Section may be inconsistent with any provision of law governing lending institutions, the provisions of this Section shall control.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 96, §1, eff. July 23, 1983.

Tit. 3, Art. 268. Loans to and deposits with lending institutions

The Authority may make, or contract to make, loans to and deposits with lending institutions at such interest rates, terms and conditions as it shall determine in accordance with rules or regulations adopted pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (R.S. 49:950 et seq.).  All lending institutions are hereby authorized to borrow funds and accept deposits from the Authority in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter and the rules and regulations of the Authority.  The Authority shall require that all proceeds of its loans to or deposits with lending institutions, or an equivalent amount, shall be used by such lending institutions to make agricultural loans, subject to such terms and conditions as the Authority may prescribe.  To the extent that any provisions of this Section may be inconsistent with any provision of the law governing lending institutions, the provisions of this Section shall control.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 96, §1, eff. July 23, 1983.

Tit. 3, Art. 269. Insurance of agricultural loans

A.  The Authority is hereby authorized to insure and reinsure agricultural loans made by lending institutions, subject to the terms, conditions, limitations, collateral and security provisions, and reserve requirements as shall be determined by the Authority in accordance with the rules and regulations adopted by the Authority pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (R.S. 49:950 et seq.).

B.  Unless otherwise determined by the Authority, insurance of agricultural loans shall be in the amount of one hundred percent of the unpaid principal and interest on each loan.

C.  An insured agricultural loan shall be in default when the holder of such loan makes application to the Authority for payment of insurance on such loan stating that such loan is in default in accordance with the terms of any agreement with respect to such insurance executed pursuant to this Section.

D.  The Authority may enter into agreements with any person, lending institution, or holder of an insured agricultural loan upon such terms as may be agreed upon between the Authority and such person, lending institution, or holder, to provide for the administration, applications therefor, repayment thereof, and to establish the conditions for payment of insurance by the Authority, and the servicing, suit upon, or foreclosure of insured agricultural loans.

E.  The aggregate value of all agricultural loans insured by the Authority and outstanding at any one time shall not exceed twenty times the total value of funds, investments, properties, and other assets of the Authority except that this insurance may be further expanded by use of federal, state, or private loan insurance, reinsurance, or guarantees of which the Authority is or shall become the beneficiary.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 96, §1, eff. July 23, 1983.

Tit. 3, Art. 270. Bonds of the authority

A.  The authority is hereby authorized and empowered to issue from time to time bonds, notes, renewal notes, refunding bonds, interim certificates, certificates of indebtedness, debentures, warrants, commercial paper, or other obligations or evidences of indebtedness, hereinafter collectively referred to as "bonds", to provide funds for and to fulfill and achieve its authorized public functions or corporate purposes, as set forth in this Chapter, including but not limited to the purchase of agricultural loans from lending institutions, the making of loans to or deposits with lending institutions, the acquisition, construction, renovation, and equipping buildings and related facilities for use by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry in connection with promoting and assisting agriculture and forestry within this state, the payment of interest on bonds of the authority, the establishment of reserves to secure such bonds, the establishment of reserves with respect to the insurance of agricultural loans, and all other purposes and expenditures of the authority incident to and necessary or convenient to carry out its public functions or corporate purposes.

B.  Except as may otherwise be provided by the Authority, all bonds issued by the Authority shall be negotiable instruments and may be general obligations of the Authority, secured by the full faith and credit of the Authority and payable out of any money, assets or revenues of the Authority or from any other sources whatsoever that may be available to the Authority.

C.  Bonds shall be authorized, issued, and sold by a resolution or resolutions of the Authority adopted as provided in this Chapter. Such bonds may be of such series, bear such date or dates, mature at such time or times, bear interest at such rate or rates including variable, adjustable, or zero interest rates, be payable at such time or times, be in such denominations, be sold at such price or prices, at public or private negotiated sale, after advertisement as is provided for in R.S. 39:1421, et seq., be in such form, carry such registration and exchangeability privileges, be payable at such place or places, be subject to such terms of redemption, and be entitled to such priorities on the income, revenue and receipts of, or available to, the Authority as may be provided by the Authority in the resolution or resolutions providing for the issuance and sale of the bonds of the Authority.

D.  The bonds of the Authority shall be signed by such members or officers of the Authority, by either manual or facsimile signatures, as shall be determined by resolution or resolutions of the Authority, and shall have impressed or imprinted thereon the seal of the Authority, or a facsimile thereof.  The coupons attached to coupon bonds of the Authority shall bear the facsimile signature of such member or officer of the Authority as shall be determined by resolution or resolutions of the Authority.

E.  Any bonds of the Authority may be validly issued, sold, and delivered, notwithstanding that one or more of the members or officers of the Authority signing such bonds, or whose facsimile signature or signatures may be on the bonds or on coupons, shall have ceased to be such member or officer of the Authority at the time such bonds shall actually have been delivered.

F.  Bonds of the Authority may be sold in such manner and from time to time as may be determined by the Authority to be most beneficial, and the Authority may pay all expenses, premiums, fees, or commissions which it may deem necessary or advantageous in connection with the issuance and sale thereof, subject to the provisions of this Chapter.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 96, §1, eff. July 23, 1983. Acts 1987, No. 856, §1, eff. July 20, 1987; Acts 2003, No. 230, §1, eff. June 5, 2003.

 

Tit. 3, Art. 271. Statutory pledge

Any pledge made by the Authority shall be valid and binding from time to time when the pledge is made. The money, assets, or revenues of the Authority so pledged and thereafter received by the Authority shall immediately be subject to the lien of such pledge without any physical delivery thereof or further act, and the lien of any pledge shall be valid and binding as against all parties having claims of any kind in tort, contract, or otherwise against the Authority, irrespective of whether such parties have notice thereof.  Neither the resolution nor any other instrument by which a pledge is created need be recorded or filed in order to establish and perfect a lien or security interest in the property so pledged by the Authority.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 96, §1, eff. July 23, 1983.

Tit. 3, Art. 272. Refunding bonds

Subject to the rights of the holders of the bonds of the Authority, the Authority is hereby authorized and empowered to issue from time to time its bonds for the purpose of refunding any bonds of the Authority then outstanding, together with the payment of any redemption premiums thereon and interest accrued or to accrue to the date of redemption of such outstanding bonds.  All such refunding bonds of the Authority shall be issued, sold, or exchanged, and delivered, shall be secured, and shall be subject to the provisions of this Chapter in the same manner and to the same extent as any other bonds issued by the Authority pursuant to this Chapter, unless otherwise determined by resolution of the Authority. Refunding bonds issued by the Authority as herein provided may be sold or exchanged for outstanding bonds of the Authority and, if sold, the proceeds thereof may be applied, in addition to any other authorized purposes, to the purchase, redemption, or payment of such outstanding bonds.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 96, §1, eff. July 23, 1983.

Tit. 3, Art. 273. Purchase of bonds by Authority

Subject to the rights of holders of bonds, the Authority shall have the power out of any funds available therefor, to purchase bonds of the Authority, which shall thereupon be cancelled, at a price not exceeding:

(1)  If the bonds are then subject to optional redemption, the optional redemption price then applicable plus accrued interest to the next interest payment date thereon; or

(2)  If the bonds are not then subject to optional redemption, the optional redemption price applicable on the first date after such purchase upon which the notes or bonds become subject to optional redemption plus accrued interest to such date.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 96, §1, eff. July 23, 1983.

Tit. 3, Art. 274. Approval of issuance of bonds by State Bond Commission

The approval of the State Bond Commission shall be obtained prior to the issuance of any bonds of the Authority.  However, before the Authority shall make application to the State Bond Commission for the issuance of any bonds in the amount of five million dollars or more, it shall first seek the approval of the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget for such borrowing.  No notice to, or consent or approval by any other governmental body or public officer shall be required as a prerequisite to the issuance, sale, or delivery of any bonds of the Authority, or to the making of any loans or deposits by the Authority to lending institutions, or to the purchase or sale of agricultural loans by the Authority, or to the insurance by the Authority of any agricultural loan, or to the exercise of any other public function or corporate power of the Authority, except as is expressly provided in this Chapter.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 96, §1, eff. July 23, 1983; Acts 2009, No. 510, §1, eff. July 10, 2009.

Tit. 3, Art. 275. Exemption from taxes

It is hereby determined that the creation of the Authority and the carrying out of its public functions and corporate purposes is, in all respects, a public and governmental purpose for the benefit of the people of the state, and for the improvement of their health, safety, welfare, prosperity, and security, and that said functions and purposes are public purposes and that the Authority will be performing an essential governmental function in the exercise of the powers conferred upon it by this Chapter.  The money, assets, revenues, and operations of the Authority shall be exempt from all taxation by the state or any of its political subdivisions.  The Authority shall not be required to pay any recording fee or transfer tax of any kind on account of instruments recorded by it or on its behalf.  All bonds authorized to be issued by the Authority pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter, together with interest thereon, income therefrom, and gain upon the sale thereof shall be exempt from all state and local taxes.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 96, §1, eff. July 23, 1983.

Tit. 3, Art. 276. Covenant of state

In consideration of the acceptance of and payment for the bonds of the Authority by the holders thereof, the state does hereby pledge to and agree with the holders of any bonds of the Authority issued pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter, that the state will not impair, limit, or alter the rights hereby vested in the Authority to fulfill the terms of any agreements made with the holders of the bonds of the Authority, or in any way impair the rights or remedies of such holders thereof, until such bonds, together with the interest thereon, with interest on any unpaid installments of interest, and all costs and expenses in connection with any action or proceedings by or on behalf of such holders, are fully met and discharged.  The Authority is authorized to include this pledge and agreement of the state in any agreement with the holders of bonds of the Authority.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 96, §1, eff. July 23, 1983.

Tit. 3, Art. 277. Trust funds

Subject to the exceptions contained in Article VII, Section 9 of the Constitution of Louisiana, all funds received by the authority shall be deposited immediately upon receipt in the state treasury and shall be credited to the Bond Security and Redemption Fund.  After a sufficient amount is allocated from the fund to pay all obligations secured by the full faith and credit of the state which become due and payable within any fiscal year, the state treasurer, prior to placing the remaining funds in the state general fund, shall pay an amount equal to the total amount of funds paid into the state treasury by the authority into a special fund which is hereby created in the state treasury and designated as the Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority Fund.  The monies in the Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority Fund shall be used solely for the programs and purposes of the authority and only in the amount appropriated each year to the authority by the legislature.  All unexpended and unencumbered monies in the fund at the end of the fiscal year shall remain in the fund.  The monies in the fund shall be invested by the state treasurer in the same manner as monies in the state general fund.  All interest earned from the investment of the monies in the Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority Fund shall be deposited in that fund.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 96, §1, eff. July 23, 1983; Acts 1985, No. 68, §1

Tit. 3, Art. 278. Bonds as legal investment and security for public deposits

The state and all public officers, any parish, municipality, or other subdivision or instrumentality of the state, any bank, banker, trust company, savings bank and institution, building and loan association, savings and loan association, investment company or any person carrying on a banking or investment business, any insurance company or business, insurance associations, and any person carrying on an insurance business, and any executor, administrator, curator, trustee, and other fiduciary, and retirement system or pension fund may legally invest any sinking funds, monies or other funds belonging to them or within their control in any bonds issued by the Authority pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter, and such bonds shall be authorized security for all public deposits.  It is the purpose of this Section to authorize such persons, firms, corporations, associations, political subdivisions and officers, or other entities, public or private, to use any funds owned or controlled by them, including, but not limited to, sinking, insurance, investment, retirement, compensation, pension and trust funds, and funds held on deposit for the purchase of any such bonds of the Authority, and that any such bonds shall be authorized security for all public deposits.  However, nothing contained in this Section with regard to legal investments or security for public deposits shall be construed as relieving any such person, firm, or corporation or other entity from any duty of exercising reasonable care in selecting securities.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 96, §1, eff. July 23, 1983.

Tit. 3, Art. 279. Account and audits

A.  Subject to the provisions of any contract with the holders of its bonds, the Authority shall establish a system of accounts.

B.  The Authority shall be subject to audit by the legislative auditor.  The Authority may cause an independent audit to be prepared annually. Any such independent audit shall be subject to the authority of the legislative auditor to prescribe and approve the terms and conditions of such audit as provided in R.S. 24:513.

C.  Within six months after the end of each fiscal year, the Authority shall submit to the governor and to both houses of the legislature an annual report on the operations of the Authority.  Within sixty days after receipt thereof, the Authority shall submit to the governor and to both houses of the legislature a copy of the report of every audit of the books and accounts of the Authority.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 96, §1, eff. July 23, 1983.

Tit. 3, Art. 280. Cooperation of state agencies

All state officers and agencies are authorized to render such services to the Authority within their respective functions as may be requested by the Authority.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 96, §1, eff. July 23, 1983.

281. Suits to determine validity of bonds

Any suit to determine the validity of bonds of the Authority shall be brought only in accordance with R.S. 13:5121 et seq.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 96, §1, eff. July 23, 1983.

Tit. 3, Art. 282. Construction of Chapter

This Chapter, being necessary for the welfare of the state and its residents, shall be liberally construed to effect the purposes thereof.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 96, §1, eff. July 23, 1983.

Tit. 3, Art. 283. Termination of the Authority

In the event of the termination of the Authority, all of its rights, money, assets, and revenues in excess of its obligations shall be deposited in the state general fund.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 96, §1, eff. July 23, 1983.

Tit. 3, Art. 283.1. Transfer;  State Market Commission

A.  All employees of the office of marketing and agro-economic development are transferred to the office of management and finance.

B.  All funds appropriated to the State Market Commission shall be transferred to the Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority.

C.  Any appropriation for Fiscal Year 2009 - 2010 to the office of marketing and agro-economic development shall be deemed to be appropriated to the office of management and finance within the Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

D.  All property and facilities owned and operated by, leased by or for the State Market Commission are transferred to the Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority.

E.  All unfinished business of the State Market Commission shall be completed by, all references in laws and refer to, and all obligations of that office shall be administered by the Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority.  All legal proceedings of the State Market Commission shall be continued in the name of the State Market Commission and further proceedings shall be in the name of Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority without the necessity for amendment of any document.

Acts 2009, No. 24, §1, eff. June 12, 2009.

Tit. 3, Art. 283.2. Loans and guarantees for agricultural plants

A.  As part of the authority's participation in cooperative endeavors, the authority may:

(1)  Loan funds to any person to be expended to acquire, construct, furnish, equip, make necessary improvements to, or purchase land for any agricultural plant which will be occupied by that person, under rules and regulations adopted by the authority.  The loan shall not exceed seventy-five percent of the value of the property offered as security pursuant to a first mortgage.  The minimum execution requirement by the borrower of a note is to be secured by a first mortgage on the property being acquired or constructed and payable to the authority within the time and under the terms and conditions together with additional endorsements as may be required by the authority.

(2)  Loan to any person funds for operating capital, market development, and product inventories under rules and regulations adopted by the authority.  The loan shall not exceed seventy-five percent of the value of the property offered as security pursuant to a first mortgage.  The minimum execution requirement by the borrower of a note or notes is to be secured by a first mortgage on property, including product inventories and accounts receivable from the sale of inventories, under the terms and conditions as may be required by the authority.

(3)  Guarantee funds, on an interim or long-term basis, for an amount to be expended to acquire, construct, furnish, equip, make necessary improvements to, or purchase land for, any agricultural plant for any loan made by any lending institution to any person approved by the authority, provided that whenever the authority guarantees the payment of the loan, the authority shall make and enter into a guarantee agreement with the lending institution and the borrower setting forth the terms and conditions under which the authority is obligated and the extent to which repayment of the loan is guaranteed and secured.  Each loan guaranteed by the authority shall be secured by a first mortgage on property.  Whenever the authority enters into a loan guarantee agreement, the authority may impose and collect an origination fee not to exceed one percent of the amount of the loan guaranteed.

(4)  Guarantee funds, on an interim or long-term basis, to any person for operating capital, market development, and product inventories, under rules and regulations adopted by the authority.  The minimum execution requirement by the borrower of a note or notes is to be secured by a first mortgage on property, including product inventories and accounts receivable from the sale of inventories, under the terms and conditions as may be required by the authority.

(5)  Renegotiate, refinance, or foreclose on any mortgage or commence any action to protect or enforce any right or benefit conferred by any law, mortgage, contract, or other agreement and bid for and purchase such property at any foreclosure or at any other sale or otherwise to acquire or take possession of the property.  In such event, the authority may complete, administer, pay the principal of and interest on any obligation incurred in connection with the property, and dispose of and otherwise deal with such property in such manner as may be desirable or necessary to protect the interest of the authority.

B.  The aggregate of loans and loan guarantees made by the authority under this Section shall not exceed twenty million dollars at any one time.

C.  The authority shall:

(1)  Give priority to persons who utilize Louisiana agricultural products to the maximum extent possible.

(2)  Fix the rate of interest to be charged on every loan at a rate not less than the base federal reserve discount rate.

(3)  Keep records showing from whom any money is received and for what purpose and to whom any money is paid and for what purpose.

(4)  Keep vouchers and receipts for all money disbursed.

D.  The authority shall not loan or guarantee any loan:

(1)  For any applicant who fails to submit all information required by this Section or by rules and regulations of the authority.

(2)  If the amount loaned would result in the property offered as security being burdened with indebtedness in excess of seventy-five percent of the appraised value of the property.

(3)  For any person with any pending or outstanding charge or liability relating to failure or inability to pay promissory notes or other evidence of indebtedness.

(4)  For any person who has presently pending, at the federal, state, or local level, any proceeding concerning the denial or revocation of a necessary license or permit.

(5)  If the proceeds of the loan are to be, or may be, used for consolidation of existing, previous financial obligations.

(6)  To a person in excess of fifty percent of the total funds for loans or guarantees under this Section.

E.  The authority shall not:

(1)  Subordinate its interest, if such subordination shall result in any risk to the authority's security position.

(2)  Enter into any cooperative endeavor, unless the cooperative endeavor involves the creation of a significant number of new jobs in relation to the amount of participation by the authority.

F.  When requested by the authority, the commissioner may contract with consulting engineers, architects, attorneys, accountants, construction experts, financial experts, and such other persons as may be necessary to carry out the purpose of this Section.  Contracts entered into under this Section shall be subject to the provisions of R.S. 38:2310 et seq.

G.  The authority shall transmit, at the end of each fiscal year, reports to the House and Senate committees on agriculture, forestry, aquaculture, and rural development, the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Finance.  The reports shall set forth the cooperative endeavors approved and rejected, the terms, conditions, and status of each loan guarantee entered into in the fiscal year covered by the report, and the status of all loans and guarantees entered into in previous fiscal years.

H.  Repealed by Acts 2012, No. 834, §13, eff. July 1, 2012.

Acts 2009, No. 510, §1, eff. July 10, 2009; Acts 2012, No. 834, §13, eff. July 1, 2012.

Chapter 3-C. Louisiana Agricultural Development Act

Tit. 3, Art. 284. Louisiana Buy Local Purchase Incentive Program

A.  Title; creation. There is hereby created the Louisiana Buy Local Purchase Incentive Program, hereinafter referred to as the "program", within the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, to be administered and supervised by the Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority, in order to grant incentive payments to Louisiana restaurant establishments for purchases of Louisiana agricultural products.

B.  Declaration of purpose.The Legislature of Louisiana hereby finds and declares that the health, safety, and welfare of the people of this state are dependent upon the continued encouragement, development, growth, and expansion of Louisiana farmers and agricultural products.  Louisiana residents rely on Louisiana farmers and agricultural processors as their primary source of safe, nutritional, and affordable food.  Furthermore, agricultural industries are a major source of employment for Louisiana residents.  Therefore, it is declared to be the purpose of this Act to encourage and promote the consumption of Louisiana agricultural products by providing incentive payments to certain Louisiana restaurants for the purchase of Louisiana agricultural products.

C.  Definitions. For purposes of this Chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings hereinafter ascribed to them, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1)  "LAFA" means the Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority.

(2)  "Louisiana agricultural products" means the following products produced in Louisiana: agronomic, aquacultural, floricultural, horticultural, silvicultural, and viticultural products, including but not limited to: plants, crops, livestock, dairy products, and fruits; crawfish, catfish, other fish, shrimp, oysters, crabs, underutilized species, and any other seafood and freshwater food; and all meat and meat products including beef, veal, pork, mutton, poultry, and products made therefrom.

(3)  "Louisiana coastal waters" shall have the same meaning as provided for in R.S. 49:214.23(4) in the coastal zone law.

(4)  "Louisiana coastal zone" shall have the same meaning as provided for in R.S. 49:214.23(5).

(5)(a)  "Produced in Louisiana" means manufactured, planted, cultivated, grown, caught, or harvested in Louisiana, including in Louisiana coastal waters, the Louisiana coastal zone, and in the territorial waters of the state.

(b)  "Produced in Louisiana" shall also mean, in regard to seafood, caught or harvested in waters seaward of the territorial waters of the state by the holder of a Louisiana commercial fisherman's license who transports and sells his catch to a licensed Louisiana wholesale/retail seafood dealer located within the state of Louisiana.

(6)  "Restaurant establishment" means any establishment which has a special Class "R" restaurant permit issued pursuant to R.S. 26:73(B) in the Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco law, or any establishment which meets the definition of "restaurant establishment"as defined in R.S. 26:73(C)(1).

D.  Fund. (1)  There is hereby established a special fund in the state treasury to be known as the Louisiana Buy Local Purchase Incentive Program Fund, hereinafter referred to as the "fund".

(2)  After compliance with the requirements of Article VII, Section 9(B) of the Constitution of Louisiana relative to the Bond Security and Redemption Fund, any public or private grants, gifts, and donations received by the state or the Department of Agriculture and Forestry for the purposes of this Section shall be credited to the fund.  No state general fund monies shall be appropriated to the fund.

(3)(a)  Subject to appropriation by the legislature, monies in the fund shall be used solely to provide grants to eligible restaurant establishments for purchases of Louisiana agricultural products all as defined in Subsection C of this Section and for all ordinary and necessary operating and administrative costs and expenses associated with implementation of this Section, provided that the ordinary and necessary operating and administrative costs and expenses shall not exceed five percent of monies appropriated from the fund.  The Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority shall have the authority to determine the grant recipients and the amount of the grant awards as well as other eligible expenses to be paid with monies appropriated each fiscal year.

(b)  The monies in the fund shall be invested by the state treasurer in the same manner as monies in the state general fund.  All interest earned from the investment of the monies in the fund shall be deposited in and remain in the fund.  All unexpended and unencumbered money in the fund at the end of the year shall remain in the fund.

E.  Program. (1)  The amount of the incentive payment pursuant to this Section shall be four percent of the total costs of the Louisiana agricultural products purchased by the eligible restaurant establishment during a fiscal year.

(2)  An application for an incentive payment pursuant to this Section shall be provided by LAFA and shall be submitted by an interested restaurant establishment to LAFA within the application period set forth by LAFA based upon the restaurant establishment's purchases of Louisiana agricultural products within that fiscal year.

(3)  In accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, LAFA in cooperation with the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Forestry shall promulgate rules and regulations as are necessary to implement the provisions of this Section including but not limited to rules and regulations regarding the period within which an application for the incentive shall be submitted in order to be eligible to receive an incentive payment, and the documentation required to be maintained and provided by a restaurant establishment applying for the incentive payment.  The regulations may require producers of Louisiana agricultural products to obtain license numbers issued by LAFA evidencing the eligibility of the Louisiana agricultural products produced by them.

(4)  A restaurant establishment applying for the incentive payment authorized pursuant to this Section shall be required to provide and maintain sufficient documentation evidencing the amount of purchases of Louisiana agricultural products and eligibility to claim the incentive payment as determined by LAFA in regulations issued pursuant to Paragraph (3) of this Subsection.

(5)  If there is insufficient money in the fund to fully satisfy all timely filed applications for incentive payments, then incentive payments shall be distributed to the applicants on a pro-rated basis based upon the proportion of Louisiana agricultural products purchased by the applicant to the total amount of such purchases by all applicants.

(6)  The aggregate amount of incentive payments for the purchase of Louisiana agricultural products issued to restaurant establishments pursuant to this Section shall not exceed seven million dollars, in the aggregate, per fiscal year.

F.  Termination of program. The program created pursuant to this Section shall terminate on December 31, 2014. Therefore, no rebate payments authorized according to the provisions of this Section shall be granted after December 31, 2014.

Acts 2011, No. 330, §1, eff. June 29, 2011; Acts 2014, No. 646, §1, eff. June 12, 2014.

Tit. 3, Art. 291. Legislative findings and purpose

Louisiana residents rely on Louisiana farmers and agricultural processors as their primary source of safe, nutritional, and affordable food.  Furthermore, agriculture and aquaculture industries are a major source of employment for Louisiana residents.  The financial survival of these industries in Louisiana is dependent on increasing markets for Louisiana products.  For this reason, the legislature finds it necessary to encourage and promote markets in Louisiana for the sale of Louisiana agricultural and aquacultural products.

Acts 2004, No. 271, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 292. Definitions

As used in this Chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1)  "Agriculture" means the commercial production, storage, processing, marketing, or distribution of any agronomic, floricultural, horticultural, vitacultural, silvicultural, or aquacultural crop, including but not limited to farm products, livestock and livestock products, poultry and poultry products, milk and dairy products, fruit and other horticultural products, and seafood and aquacultural products.

(2)  "Aquaculture" means the producing, raising, managing, harvesting, or  marketing of aquatic livestock under controlled circumstances.

(3)  "Department" means the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

(4)  "Louisiana agricultural firm" means a legal entity that meets all of the following criteria:

(a)  Is engaged in the business of agriculture or aquaculture.

(b)  Is qualified to do business in Louisiana.

(c)  Has a physical presence in Louisiana by owning or leasing property or facilities which are located in Louisiana.

(d)  Employs Louisiana residents who operate the farm business, company,  corporation, or limited liability corporation.

(e)  Produces, processes, or manufactures agricultural or aquacultural products in Louisiana.

(5)  "Louisiana agricultural markets" means any entity in the state of Louisiana, public or private, which in the normal scope of business purchases Louisiana agricultural or aquacultural products.

Acts 2004, No. 271, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 293. Prohibition upon limitation of agricultural and aquacultural markets

A.  The state may not limit the ability of Louisiana agricultural firms to bid or do business in Louisiana by restricting Louisiana agricultural markets including but not limited to those markets subject to Title 27 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950.

B.  Nothing in this Chapter is intended to limit the ability of the department to regulate agriculture and aquaculture as is otherwise provided in this Title.

Acts 2004, No. 271, §1.

Chapter 3-D. Healthy Food Retail Act

Tit. 3, Art. 296. Healthy Food Retail Act;  definitions;  purpose

A.  This Chapter shall be known as the "Healthy Food Retail Act".

B.  The legislature finds the following:

(1)  When fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods are not easily available or affordable, people, particularly low-income families, children, and the elderly, face serious barriers to eating a healthy diet.  Research in Louisiana and nationally shows that residents of low-income, minority, and rural communities are most often affected by poor access to supermarkets and other retailers selling healthy food, as well as by high rates of obesity.

(2)  Obesity, which results from poor diet and physical inactivity, is the fastest growing cause of disease and death in America.  Louisiana has one of the highest rates of obesity nationwide, putting growing numbers of Louisiana adults and children at risk for developing heart disease, type-2 diabetes, hypertension, certain cancers, and other health problems.

(3)  Increasing access to retail food outlets that sell fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy food is an important strategy for fighting the obesity epidemic and improving health.  Studies have shown that people with better access to supermarkets and fresh produce tend to have healthier diets and lower levels of obesity.

(4)  Developing quality retail food outlets also creates jobs, expands markets for Louisiana farmers, and supports economic vitality in underserved communities.

(5)  The program established pursuant to this Chapter is intended to provide a dedicated source of financing for healthy food retailers operating in underserved communities in Louisiana, in both urban and rural areas; to increase access to affordable healthy food so as to improve diets and health; to promote the sale and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly those that are Louisiana grown; and to support expanded economic opportunities in low-income and rural communities.

C.  As used in this Chapter, the following terms and phrases shall have the meanings hereinafter ascribed to them:

(1)  "Funding" means grants, loans, or a combination of grants and loans.

(2)  "Healthy food retailers" means for-profit or not-for-profit retailers that sell high quality fresh fruits and vegetables at competitive prices including but not limited to supermarkets, grocery stores, and farmers' markets.

(3)  "Program" means a public-private partnership established to provide a dedicated source of financing for food retailers that increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables and other affordable healthy food for Louisiana residents managed by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

(4)  "Underserved community" means a geographic area that has limited access to healthy food retailers and is located in a lower-income or high-poverty area, or an area that is otherwise determined to have serious healthy food access limitations.

D. (1)  To the extent funds are available, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, in cooperation with public and private sector partners, shall establish a financing program that provides grants and loans to healthy food retailers that increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables and other affordable healthy food in underserved communities.

(2)  The department may contract with one or more qualified nonprofit organizations or community development financial institutions to administer the program described in this Section through a public-private partnership, to raise matching funds, market the program statewide, evaluate applicants, make award decisions, underwrite loans, and monitor compliance and impact.  The department and its partners shall coordinate with complementary nutrition assistance and education programs.

(3)  The program shall provide funding on a competitive, one-time basis as appropriate for the eligible project.

(4)(a)  The program may provide funding for projects such as:

(i)  New construction of supermarkets and grocery stores.

(ii)  Store renovations, expansion, and infrastructure upgrades that improve the availability and quality of fresh produce.

(iii)  Farmers' markets and public markets, food cooperatives, mobile markets and delivery projects, and distribution projects that enable food retailers in underserved communities to regularly obtain fresh produce.

(iv)  Other projects that create or improve healthy food retail outlets that meet the intent of this Chapter as determined by the department.

(b)  Funding made available for projects included in Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph may be used for the following purposes:

(i)  Site acquisition and preparation.

(ii)  Construction costs.

(iii)  Equipment and furnishings.

(iv)  Workforce training.

(v)  Security.

(vi)  Certain pre-development costs such as market studies and appraisals.

(vii)  Working capital for first-time inventory and start-up costs.

(c)  A restaurant is not eligible for funding under this Chapter.

(5)  An applicant for funding may be a for-profit or a not-for-profit entity, including but not limited to a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, corporation, cooperative, nonprofit organization, nonprofit community development entity, university, or governmental entity.

(6)  In order to be considered for funding, an applicant shall meet the following criteria:

(a)  The project for which the applicant seeks funding shall benefit an underserved community.

(b)  The applicant shall demonstrate a meaningful commitment to sell fresh fruits and vegetables, according to a measurable standard established by the department.

(c)  Generally, the applicant shall accept Food Stamps (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) benefits.  For categories of applicants that are not eligible to accept Food Stamps or WIC benefits, an alternative standard shall be established by the department to demonstrate a meaningful commitment to make healthy food affordable to low-income households.

(7)  Applicants shall be evaluated on the following criteria in order to determine the funding awarded:

(a)  Demonstrated capacity to successfully implement the project, including the applicant's relevant experience, and the likelihood that the project will be economically self-sustaining.

(b)  The ability of the applicant to repay debt.

(c)  The degree to which the project requires an investment of public funding to move forward, create impact, or be competitive, and the level of need in the area to be served.  Additional factors that will improve or preserve retail access for low-income residents, such as proximity to public transit lines, also may be taken into account.

(d)  The degree to which the project will promote sales of fresh produce, particularly Louisiana-grown fruits and vegetables.

(e)  The degree to which the project will have a positive economic impact on the underserved community, including by creating or retaining jobs for local residents.

(f)  Other criteria the department determines to be consistent with the purposes of this Section.

(8)  The department shall establish program benchmarks and reporting processes to make certain that the program benefits both rural and urban communities in Louisiana.  The department shall likewise establish monitoring and accountability mechanisms for projects receiving grants or loans, such as tracking fruit and vegetable sales data.

(9)  The department shall prepare and submit an annual report to the legislature on any projects funded and outcome data.

(10)  The department shall establish rules for the implementation of the Chapter in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

E.  Funds described in this Chapter, to the extent practicable, may be used to leverage other funding including but not limited to New Markets Tax Credits, federal and foundation grant programs, incentives available to designated Enterprise Zones or Renewal Communities, operator equity, and funding from private sector financial institutions under the federal Community Reinvestment Act.

Acts 2009, No. 252, §1.

Chapter 4. Rural Education

Tit. 3, Art. 301. Support for programs of Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service

As a cooperative endeavor with the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service of the Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, the governing body of any local government subdivision may provide financial and other support for the programs of the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service which benefit that local government subdivision under such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon between the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service and the local government subdivision.  Financial support for the cooperative endeavor may be appropriated from the general funds of the local government subdivision or may be provided for by an increase in the ad valorem taxes for such specific purpose in accordance with the provisions of Article VI, Part II, of the Louisiana Constitution of 1974.

Amended by Acts 1975, No. 242, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 302. Farmers' institute conductor

The commissioner of agriculture and forestry may appoint a farmers' institute conductor, who shall devote his time exclusively to the work, as the commissioner may direct.

Acts 2009, No. 24, §1, eff. June 12, 2009.

Tit. 3, Art. 303. Holding institutes;  lecturers

Farmers' institutes shall be held yearly at such time and at such places as the commissioner of agriculture and forestry may direct.  The commissioner shall make rules and regulations for organizing and conducting the institutes, and may call on the president of the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College to furnish one or more lecturers from the faculty or student body, whose traveling expenses shall be paid going to or returning from the institute work.  The commissioner may also employ lecturers, male or female, at nominal salaries and traveling expenses while so employed, to perform duties in connection with institute work.  The course of instruction at institutes shall be so arranged as to present to those in attendance the results of the most recent investigations in practical and scientific agriculture.

Acts 2009, No. 24, §1, eff. June 12, 2009.

Tit. 3, Art. 304. Master farmer certification

A.  The commissioner of agriculture and forestry may certify  individuals as master farmers in accordance with this Section.  Each individual must successfully complete a master farmer certification program and have implemented an individual comprehensive soil and water conservation plan that meets the standards and specifications of the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Conservation Service, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, and the affected soil and water conservation district.

B.  The commissioner may adopt rules and regulations setting out the requirements for obtaining a certification.  The curriculum shall be established by the Louisiana State University AgCenter.  The Louisiana State University AgCenter may consult with other agencies and organizations as needed, including but not limited to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Louisiana Farm Bureau, the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Conservation Service, and the state soil and water conservation commission.  The curriculum shall include but is not limited to the instruction on environmental issues in agriculture, nonpoint source pollution, best management and conservation practices, soil and water quality monitoring demonstrations, and development and implementation of an individual comprehensive soil and water conservation plan.

C.  Any individual who has received a master farmer certification shall be presumed to be in compliance with state soil and water quality requirements as long as certification is maintained.  The master farmer certification shall continue as long as the individual actively maintains his specific comprehensive conservation plan in accordance with best management practices.

Acts 2003, No. 145, §1; Acts 2008, No. 920, §1, eff. July 14, 2008.

Chapter 4-A. Louisiana Rural Development Law

Part I. General Provisions

Tit. 3, Art. 311. Short title

This Chapter shall be known and may be referred to as the "Louisiana Rural Development Law".

Acts 1990, No. 216, §1; Acts 1991, No. 396, §2; Acts 1991, No. 449, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 312. Legislative findings

The legislature hereby finds and declares that:

(1)  The state's rural territory is vast in size, exceptionally diverse, possesses abundant natural and cultural resources, and together with its economic, human, and community resources, contributes greatly to the quality and maintenance of life of all people of the state, and hence to a healthier, more prosperous state.

(2)  Federal, state, and local resources, and individual effort available to address rural needs are often isolated and limited to individual symptoms of blight and deterioration.  Related programs are frequently inaccessible to the residents they are designed to serve.  The placement of such programs within the various organizational structures is indistinct and many localities have inadequate numbers of managerial, professional, or technical personnel to pursue such assistance.  Additionally, many public and private agencies also lack adequate staffing to adapt programs and services to the special needs and requirements of citizens and their environs.  This situation has contributed to a growing confusion and disintegrating force that discourages coordinated individual policy and program development and delivery of services intended to address the needs of rural localities and citizens.  Consequently, the energies and resources of the many individual federal, state, and local, public and private initiatives that could help answer rural needs and capitalize on the strengths of these areas, are often frustrated or diminished in their effort.

(3)  An important role and challenge for state government, therefore, is to get diverse groups to work together for the betterment of Louisiana, and to combine their efforts in imaginative ways to the end that all regions of the state may always offer the highest possible quality of life, and cultural and material standards of living without sacrificing individual freedom or responsibility.  The legislature believes that such individual efforts can be significantly enhanced, and support and sustain each other in the public interest; and many useful and innovative responses to rural needs will be possible if a more focused and coordinated interdisciplinary approach for addressing these problems and opportunities is made available through state government.

(4)  The legislature seeks to amplify the efforts of existing agencies and individuals who are interested in such rural policy areas as economic development and employment, local government and management, business, agriculture, environment, land use, natural resources, community revitalization, human services and community life, health care, education, transportation, community facilities, and housing.

(5)  No state office has been specifically created to promote, harmonize, or assist such efforts of existing agencies and individuals that address the unique needs, conditions, and strengths of rural areas of the state.  It is, therefore, the intent of the legislature to create a state office of rural development.  The office shall serve as a single contact point for rural governments, service providers, state and federal agencies, and for individuals interested in rural policies and programs of the state; and shall strive to promote cooperative and integrated efforts among such agencies and programs that are designed to address rural needs; and shall recommend to the governor and to the legislature the suitable use of policies, programs, long-range plans, laws, and regulatory mechanisms in order to meet such needs.

Acts 1990, No. 216, §1; Acts 1991, No. 396, §2; Acts 1991, No. 449, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 313. Definitions

When used in this Chapter:

(1)  "Applicant" means any local governing authority requesting a loan from or completing an application form to apply for  a loan under the Rural Development Loan Program.

(2)  "Director" means the chief administrative officer of the state office of rural development.

(3)  "Federal agency" means any department, office, council, or agency of the federal government, or any public benefit corporation or authority authorized by federal statute.

(4)  "Local agency" means any political subdivision, or office or department thereof, or not-for-profit organization created for the purposes of enhancing the quality of life and revitalization of rural areas.

(5)  "Municipality" means any incorporated city, town, or village.

(6)  "Office" means the state office of rural development created by this Chapter.

(7)  "Political subdivision" means a parish, municipality, and any other unit of local government, including a school board and a special district, authorized by law to perform governmental functions.

(8)  "Rural areas" means parishes within the state having less than one hundred thousand population, or municipalities within the state having less than thirty-five thousand population, and the  unincorporated areas of a parish with a population of over one hundred thousand.

(9)  "Rural development and revitalization" means those policies, programs, laws, regulations, or other matters having to do with rural areas, including but not limited to economic development, employment, local government services and management, business, agriculture, environment, land use and natural resources, human services and community life, health care, education, transportation, community facilities, and housing.

(10)  "State agency" means any department, office, council, or agency of the state, or any public benefit corporation or authority authorized by the laws of the state.

Acts 1990, No. 216, §1; Acts 1991, No. 396, §2; Acts 1991, No. 449, §1; Acts 1997, No. 637, §1.

314. State office of rural development

A.  There is hereby created within the office of the governor an office of rural development.  The head of the office shall be the director of rural development who shall be appointed by the governor to serve at his pleasure.  The appointment shall be subject to Senate confirmation.

B.  The director shall employ necessary staff to carry out the duties and functions of the office as otherwise provided in this Chapter, or as otherwise provided by law.

C.  The director shall prepare and submit to the governor and the House and Senate Committees on Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture and Rural Development annually, on March first of each year, a comprehensive report concerning the assistance activities undertaken by the office, recommendations for legislative proposals, data concerning program activities in rural areas, and other pertinent information which will indicate the activities conducted by the office in the previous year.

D.  The governor shall direct that all state agencies provide the director with assistance in advancing the purpose of the office and to assure that the activities of the office are fully coordinated with the activities of state agencies providing related services.

Acts 1990, No. 216, §1; Acts 1991, No. 396, §2; Acts 1991, No. 449, §1; Acts 2003, No. 116, §1, eff. May 28, 2003

Tit. 3, Art. 315. Functions, powers, and duties

The state office of rural development, by and through the director or his duly authorized officers and employees, shall have the following functions, powers, and duties:

(1)  To serve as a clearinghouse and provide comprehensive information relating to rural development and revitalization upon request to any agency, individual, or corporation.

(2)  To advise and assist agencies, individuals, and corporations in answering particular rural revitalization and development needs, including cooperative efforts among such agencies, individuals, and corporations to solve common problems or provide services in these areas.

(3)  To receive notification from all state and federal agencies, individuals, or corporations engaged in rural development and revitalization of program descriptions, appropriation data, and application procedures.  The office shall maintain a listing of existing programs and advise local agencies, individuals, or corporations of their existence.

(4)  To assist, upon request, applicant local agencies, individuals, or corporations located in rural areas in obtaining timely and efficient responses from state and federal agencies; to assist such applicants in consideration of alternative program grant strategies; to assist state and federal agencies in cooperative approaches to address the needs of such applicants; and to provide technical assistance to agencies in formulating and implementing rural development and revitalization programs.

(5)  To encourage the assistance of the private sector in effectuating rural development and revitalization.

(6)  To assist the governor and the legislature in the integration and formulation of state rural development and revitalization policy and long-range plans for rural areas and in answering needs related thereto.

(7)  To facilitate efforts of local agencies, individuals, and corporations in developing cooperative responses to rural needs.  Personnel of the office may be available to participate in an advisory capacity at local meetings exploring such cooperative agreements; and may assist in the identification of appropriate state agencies and personnel who may be instrumental in facilitating such efforts.

(8)  To analyze and make recommendations concerning proposed new state legislation or programs that may affect rural areas.

(9)  To apply for and receive grants or financial assistance from the federal government, the state government, or other agencies, individuals, or corporations.

(10)  To adopt and promulgate such rules and regulations, procedures, instructions, and forms as are deemed necessary to implement the functions, powers, and duties imposed upon the office by this Chapter in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act.

(11)  To assist the governor in coordinating the activities and services of those departments and agencies of the state having relationships with local rural agencies, individuals, and corporations in order to provide more effective service to them and to simplify state procedures relating thereto.

(12)  To keep the governor informed about the problems and needs of agencies, individuals, and corporations that are involved with rural development and revitalization and to assist in formulating policies with respect thereto and utilizing the resources of the state government for the benefit of rural areas.

(13)  To refer local agencies, individuals, and corporations to the appropriate departments and agencies of the state and federal governments for advice, assistance, and available services in connection with particular rural development and revitalization problems or needs.

(14)  To encourage the expansion and improvement of in-service training opportunities and to make information available to officials of local agencies in rural areas on matters pertaining to rural development and revitalization.

(15)  To consult with and seek assistance from officials of federal and local agencies or corporations with respect to coordinating assistance programs for rural areas and to recommend to the governor and the legislature any policies or programs which would facilitate such coordination.

(16)  To do all things necessary or convenient to carry out the functions, powers, and duties expressly set forth in this Chapter.

Acts 1990, No. 216, §1; Acts 1991, No. 396, §2; Acts 1991, No. 449, §1; Acts 1997, No. 637, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 316. Functions, powers, and duties of other departments and state agencies

Nothing contained in this Chapter shall be deemed to derogate or detract in any way from the functions, powers, or duties prescribed by law of any other department of the state or to interrupt or preclude the direct relationship of any such department or agency with local agencies, individuals, or corporations for the carrying out of such functions, powers, or duties.

Acts 1990, No. 216, §1; Acts 1991, No. 396, §2; Acts 1991, No. 449, §1.

 

Tit. 3, Art. 317. Comprehensive grant information

A.  The office shall request such specific information as the director determines to be necessary concerning assistance programs and grants administered by federal, state, and local agencies, individuals, and corporations designed to enhance rural areas.  Such information shall be used to advise local agencies, individuals, or corporations for the purpose of promoting coordination in program or grant efforts wherever feasible or proper.

B.  Any applicant requesting program grants or assistance in order to address rural development and revitalization needs, conditions, or strengths in rural areas may, pursuant to the rules of the office, adopted under the Administrative Procedure Act, confer with the office to obtain assistance in the prompt and efficient processing and review of applications.

C.  The office shall, so far as possible, render such assistance, and the director may designate an officer or employee of the office to act as an expeditor for the purpose of:

(1)  Facilitating contacts for the applicant with state, federal, or local agencies, individuals, or corporations responsible for processing and reviewing grant applications.

(2)  Arranging conferences to clarify the interest and requirements of any such agency, individual, or corporation with respect to grant applications.

(3)  Considering with the agency, individual, or corporation the feasibility of consolidating hearings and data required of the applicant.

(4)  Assisting the applicant in the resolution of outstanding issues identified by the agency, individual, or corporation, including delays experienced in application review.

(5)  Coordinating federal, state, and local grant application review actions and assistance programs to the extent practicable.

D.  No fees of any kind shall be charged or collected under this Chapter, except those monies that may be provided by a federal agency or the state for administrative costs.

Acts 1990, No. 216, §1; Acts 1991, No. 396, §2; Acts 1991, No. 449, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 318. Contract authority

The office is hereby empowered to enter into any agreement or contract with any corporations or public agencies necessary or convenient to carry out the provisions of this Chapter.

Acts 1990, No. 216, §1; Acts 1991, No. 396, §2; Acts 1991, No. 449, §1; Acts 1997, No. 637, §1.

Part III. Louisiana Center for Rural Initiatives

Tit. 3, Art. 331. Legislative findings

The legislature hereby finds and declares that economic development is one of the missions of land grant universities.  The Louisiana Board of Regents' Master Plan for Higher Education calls for the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center and the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center to play an integral role in supporting agricultural industries, sustaining rural areas, and encouraging efficient use of resources through research and educational programs conducted by its experiment stations and extension service.

Acts 2004, No. 796, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 332. Louisiana Center for Rural Initiatives;  creation;  mission;  duties

            A. There is hereby created as a consortium initiative, between the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center and the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, hereinafter referred to as the "center". The mission of the center shall be to improve socioeconomic well-being in Louisiana's rural communities by facilitating rural development research, increasing awareness and understanding of rural development conditions, issues, strategies, and policies in Louisiana, and providing rural community stakeholders and policymakers with information necessary for public policy decisionmaking.

            B. The center shall have the following powers, duties, and functions:

            (1) Facilitate socioeconomic and rural development research and outreach by providing a platform for interdisciplinary and collaborative scholarship and education and enhance the ability of the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center and the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center to capture external funding.

            (2) Provide leadership within Louisiana, Louisiana State University, and Southern University in assessing and addressing the current status of socioeconomic development and underlying reasons for socioeconomic conditions within the state, with a particular emphasis on rural and persistent poverty areas.

            (3) Evaluate the potential of various rural development policies and strategies and develop statewide and regional awareness of effective policies and strategies for rural development. Such strategies shall include rural entrepreneurship and value added development, rural workforce development, civic engagement and leadership, asset-based development, biotechnology, health care sector development, and natural resource based development.

            (4) Provide educational outreach and assistance in implementing effective rural development strategies through such activities as conferences, workshops, and training sessions.

            (5) Provide public services to communities and collect, analyze, interpret, and disseminate rural development information for Louisiana residents, policymakers, and other stakeholders. Methods of dissemination of rural development information shall include educational programming and print and electronic media.

            C. The center shall be housed at the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center and administered through a cooperative endeavor agreement with Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center and shall include working partners throughout the state. Participation shall be open to rural development professionals with an interest in rural development research and outreach. The core faculty shall consist of academic faculty within the Louisiana State University and Southern University systems. The implementation team shall consist of selected faculty of the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center's Community Economic Development Team and selected Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center faculty. Affiliated partners may include rural development or social science professionals from other universities, colleges, foundations, governments, or nongovernmental organizations.

            D. The center shall operate a satellite rural development outreach center in Oak Grove, Louisiana, at the Thomas Jason Lingo Community Center and may operate other satellite rural development outreach centers deemed necessary. The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center has established initiatives such as the community development program and may develop other such rural development outreach activities as deemed necessary.

            E. The center shall engage relevant stakeholders to facilitate rural development throughout the state and region, including universities, colleges, federal and state governments, national rural funders, and nongovernmental organizations. The center shall coordinate and build on existing relationships with the University of Louisiana system, the Southern University system, the governor's Office of Rural Development, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the Louisiana Department of Economic Development, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Louisiana Forest Products Development Center, the Southern Rural Development Center, the Rural Policy Research Institute, and the Foundation for the Mid South. The center shall develop new working relationships with other rural development partners.

            Acts 2004, No. 796, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 333. Delta Development Initiative

A.  The legislature hereby finds that in northeast Louisiana, which has a poverty rate that is nearly double the national average and whose economy is severely and chronically depressed, there is an urgent need to address issues related to poverty, education, health care, economic development and jobs, housing, and culture.  Approximately one in four individuals in northeast Louisiana lives in poverty.  Seven out of the state's ten parishes with the highest child poverty rates are in northeast Louisiana.  Infant mortality rates in this region are among the highest in the state.  The region has among the lowest per capita incomes in the state and among the highest rates of uninsured and unemployed adults.  A large percentage of the region's public schools are considered academically below average.  Immediate steps must be taken to form a multifaceted initiative to identify and implement ways to solve the region's problems, to assist the region's individuals, families, and businesses as they strive for success and economic survival, and to improve the quality of life and standards of living for the region's citizens.  An opportunity must be facilitated to engage citizens of different backgrounds and areas of expertise in order to achieve long-term growth and development in the region, and a framework must be designed for such an initiative that provides for an exchange of ideas in a comprehensive and coordinated effort and for the widespread implementation of solutions in the region.

B.(1)  The center shall plan, develop, and implement a Delta Development Initiative, referred to in this Section as the "Delta initiative", as provided in this Section.

(2)  The Delta initiative shall be implemented in the parishes of Caldwell, Catahoula, Concordia, East Carroll, Franklin, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Pointe Coupee, Richland, Tensas, and West Carroll.  Such parishes shall be referred to in this Section as the "Delta" or the "Delta region".

C.  The purpose of the Delta initiative shall be to provide for a dynamic and comprehensive approach to planning, developing, and implementing solutions to problems of the Delta region in Louisiana by utilizing all possible available resources, and specifically to address problems related to poverty, education, health care, economic development and jobs, housing, and culture.

D.  To carry out the purpose of the Delta initiative and to plan, develop, and implement solutions to problems in the Delta region as provided in Subsection C of this Section, the center shall collaborate, consult, and coordinate with entities in the public and private sector with particular expertise and resources to provide effective solutions, including but not limited to the following:

(1)  The governor's Office on Rural Development.

(2)  Louisiana Department of Economic Development.

(3)  The Board of Regents.

(4)  Each public postsecondary education management board.

(5)  The University of Louisiana at Monroe and its Small Business Development Center.

(6)  The Southern Regional Education Board.

(7)  Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at Shreveport.

(8)  The Delta Regional Authority.

(9)  The Louisiana State University AgCenter.

(10)  The Southern University AgCenter.

(11)  Delta Community College.

(12)  Louisiana Tech University.

(13)  Grambling State University.

(14)  Louisiana Center Against Poverty.

(15)  Northeast Economic Development District.

(16)  All other appropriate technical and community colleges located in the Delta region.

E.  The center shall plan, develop, and implement components of the Delta initiative to accomplish the purpose of the Delta initiative as provided in Subsection C of this Section.  Such components shall include the following at a minimum and such other components as the center may identify or the legislature may suggest:

(1)  A government leadership academy.  The center shall establish an academy to train elected local government officials to carry out their responsibilities. The academy also may provide training on management  and operations issues, including legal aspects thereof, such as public records, ethics, purchasing and procurement, personnel management, financial management, conflict resolution, conduct of board meetings and board business, and leadership educational programs.

(2)  A rural entrepreneurship program, including a business incubator.  The center shall spur the creation and sustainability of new rural businesses and shall implement a business incubator program that provides high-speed Internet access to give Delta business owners the necessary technological infrastructure to create new companies and expand into global markets.  The center also shall teach adult entrepreneurs how to start and manage e-businesses, including how to establish storefront businesses on the Internet, how to develop web sites, and how to utilize an array of educational programs that can be accessed using distance education technology and regional partnerships with economic development institutions and organizations.  The center also shall teach young people in the Delta region business management skills, such as marketing, finance, and economics, necessary to start and develop businesses, including how to buy and sell items on the Internet and provide opportunities for Delta young people to work with local retailers to expand their businesses into global markets.

(3)  Value-added agriculture enterprise development.  The center shall collaborate with the United States Department of Agriculture in Louisiana and other appropriate resources to develop biofuel feasibility studies examining the economics of using energy crops to produce ethanol and diesel and to develop food and fiber product industries.  The center also shall provide educational presentations for producers and others who are interested in exploring feasible biofuel businesses and otherwise study and seek to develop ways to develop nontraditional markets for crops that will yield opportunities for long-term sustainable economic stability and growth for agriculture in the Delta.  The center also shall conduct a workshop for the Delta region, which may include neighboring states, to assess Delta region and multistate renewable energy options for producers and others in the business community, such workshop to include biofuels and nontraditional energy sources.

(4)  Improvement of rural health care and addressing of rural health issues.  The center shall provide educational programs for Delta region residents to increase knowledge of best practices to improve overall health and to reduce obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol rates.  The center also shall provide technical assistance to Delta health care organizations to improve recruitment of health care professionals to rural areas and evaluate costs and quality of services and strategies to improve the efficiency of Delta health organizations.

(5)  Education and workforce development.  The center shall identify areas in which improvement would have the greatest impact on improved pre-kindergarten through grade twelve education outcomes, such as attraction and retention of quality teachers, school readiness, and dropout reduction, and shall plan, develop, and implement projects to address problems or provide improvements in such areas.  The center shall identify the greatest needs for training for workforce development and shall initiate projects to direct appropriate resources to address those needs.

(6)  Housing.  The center shall work with the Louisiana Housing Corporation and other appropriate public and private resources to identify the housing needs of the parishes in the Delta initiative and to identify available resources and incentives to address those needs.  The center shall plan and implement projects to begin to address the most serious of those needs or those needs that can be most readily addressed, or both.

(7)  Natural resource and environmental management.  The center shall enlist assistance from a wide array of available resources and shall establish best practices for public and private entities and property owners to provide for effective measures for the protection, conservation, and presentation of the environment, heritage, and natural resources of the Delta region and for management and control of the environment and natural resources systems in such a way as to ensure the sustainability of development efforts over a long-term basis.

(8)  Tourism and cultural heritage.  The center shall take all possible measures to promote tourism in the Delta region and to preserve its cultural heritage. The center shall work to attract retirees to reside in the Delta region, to market the Delta region as a sportsman's paradise, and to commemorate and celebrate the history of the Delta region.

F.  In order to plan, develop, and implement the components of the Delta initiative and to address the purposes of the Delta initiative, the center shall provide for:

(1)  Identification and development of a database of all resources available, including resources at all levels of government and organizations of government bodies at all levels of government, private individuals, groups and organizations, and foundations, and educational institutions at all levels, including those in-state and out-of-state and inside and outside the United States.

(2)  Identification of and development of a database of potential sources of funding for Delta initiative components, programs, or projects, including public and private funds, tax credits and other tax incentives, and in-kind services and supplies.

(3)  Identification of those resources in the databases available for assistance in implementing each Delta initiative component.

(4)  Facilitation of coordination and joint use of available resources identified as useful for assistance to a particular component, program, or project.

G.  In planning, developing, and implementing each component of the Delta initiative, as well as projects and programs of the initiative, the center shall include procedures for evaluation of the effectiveness and results thereof.  The center shall also provide for an annual evaluation of the success and accomplishments of the Delta initiative.

H.  The center annually shall submit a report to the legislature summarizing the activities and accomplishments of the Delta initiative and shall include in each such report significant information from the evaluations completed pursuant to Subsection G of this Section and recommendations to the legislature for improvements in the Delta initiative.  The annual report shall be submitted to the legislature not later than sixty days prior to the convening of the regular legislative session.

Acts 2007, No. 347, §1; Acts 2011, No. 408, §5(B), eff. July 5, 2011.

Chapter 5. Advertising, Marketing, and Processing

Part XIII. Louisiana Crawfish Promotion and Research Program

Tit. 3, Art. 556.1. Purpose

A.  The provisions of this Part are intended to provide a voluntary method of raising revenues to be used for the purposes of developing markets for farm-raised and wild-caught Louisiana crawfish and for funding research which will increase production of farm-raised and wild-caught Louisiana crawfish.

B.  It is hereby acknowledged that the promotion and marketing of farm-raised or wild-caught Louisiana crawfish is of great public interest and that the development of marketing potential for Louisiana crawfish can be of great economic benefit to the state and its citizens.  The department shall put forth great effort to promote and help develop markets for Louisiana crawfish whether they be farm-raised or wild-caught Louisiana crawfish.

C.  In pursuit of the effort to promote the Louisiana crawfish industry, the commissioner and the secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are hereby directed to enter into a memorandum of understanding recognizing the immense value of the wild-caught crawfish industry to the state of Louisiana and pledging to work together to bring the resources of both departments in support of Louisiana crawfish, both farm-raised or wild-caught.  The memorandum of understanding shall also include a pledge to work together to seek out revenue sources that can be used to support, develop, and promote both the farm-raised and the wild-caught crawfish industries and a pledge to work jointly to support, develop, promote, and enhance the crawfish industry, both farm-raised or wild-caught.  The memorandum of understanding shall also include a pledge to work jointly with the state's congressional delegation to ensure that all elements of the industry, including the farmers, the harvesters, and the processors, are eligible for any disaster funding which may be appropriated for the industry.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 679, §1; Acts 2008, No. 334, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 556.2. Definitions

As used in this Part, the following terms shall have the following meanings ascribed to them:

(1)  "Artificial crawfish bait" or "bait" means any substance that is manufactured or processed into a substantially different form than the raw materials and is sold for the purpose of attracting crawfish to traps.

(2)  "Board" means the Louisiana Crawfish Promotion and Research Board.

(3)  "Commissioner" means the Louisiana commissioner of agriculture and forestry.

(4)  "Crawfish farmer" means a person who farms or cultivates crawfish in ponds.

(5)  "Crawfish harvester" means a person who harvests wild crawfish commercially without participating in the growing of the crawfish.

(6)  "Department" means the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

(7)  "Person" means any individual, corporation, partnership, association, or other legal entity.

(8)  "Quarter" means a calendar quarter more specifically defined as follows:

(a)  First quarter: January, February, and March.

(b)  Second quarter: April, May, and June.

(c)  Third quarter: July, August, and September.

(d)  Fourth quarter: October, November, and December.

(9)  "Ultimate consumer" means any person who purchases bait for use in crawfish traps.

(10)  "Distributor" means a Louisiana manufacturer of crawfish bags or a person who brings crawfish bags into Louisiana which were manufactured outside of Louisiana or a person who brings crawfish tail meat into Louisiana or who distributes crawfish tail meat in Louisiana.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 679, §1; Acts 1985, No. 492, §1; Acts 1995, No. 543, §1; Acts 2009, No. 24, §1, eff. June 12, 2009.

Tit. 3, Art. 556.3. Louisiana Crawfish Promotion and Research Board

            A. The Louisiana Crawfish Promotion and Research Board is hereby created within the Department of Agriculture and Forestry. The board shall be domiciled in Baton Rouge.

            B. The board shall consist of eleven members appointed by the commissioner of agriculture and forestry in accordance with the following provisions:

            (1) One member who is engaged in crawfish farming east of the Atchafalaya River appointed from a list of three persons nominated by the Louisiana Crawfish Farmers Association.

            (2) One member who is engaged in crawfish farming west of the Atchafalaya River and south of U.S. Highway 190 appointed from a list of three persons nominated by the Louisiana Crawfish Farmers Association.

            (3) One member who is engaged in crawfish farming north of U.S. Highway 190 appointed from a list of three persons nominated by the Louisiana Crawfish Farmers Association. However, if no member north of U.S. Highway 190 is available, the commissioner shall appoint the member from the state-at-large.

            (4) Three members engaged in harvesting wild crawfish.

            (5) One member who is engaged in crawfish farming or crawfish harvesting appointed from a list of three persons nominated by the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation.

            (6) One member who is an owner or operator of a facility which produces artificial crawfish bait.

            (7) One member who is an owner or operator of a facility which processes crawfish.

            (8) One member appointed from a list of three persons nominated by the Louisiana Restaurant Association.

            (9) One member appointed who owns or operates a retail crawfish-seafood facility, appointed from the state at large.

            (10) Repealed by Acts 2016, No. 219, §2.

            C. Each appointment by the commissioner shall be submitted to the Senate for confirmation.

            D. Repealed by Acts 2014, No. 219, §2.

            E. A vacancy in the office of a member shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. If any board or association nominating potential members becomes defunct or does not submit the required list of names to the commissioner within thirty days after he requests such list, the commissioner may appoint any otherwise qualified person not already a board member to fill a vacancy. A person appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve out the unexpired portion of the term of office vacated.

            F. A majority of the members of the board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. All official actions of the board shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the board present and voting.

            G. Members of the board shall not receive any salary for their duties as members. Members may receive a per diem for each day spent in actual attendance of meetings of the board. The amount of the per diem shall be fixed in an amount not to exceed forty dollars. Members may receive a mileage allowance for mileage traveled in attending meetings. The mileage allowance shall be fixed by the board in an amount not to exceed the mileage rate for state employees.

            H. The board shall meet quarterly and may meet on the call of the chairman or any four members. The board shall not receive per diem or mileage for more than twelve meetings in any calendar year.

            I. The board, by a vote of a majority of the members, may expel a member for good cause shown. Good cause shall include but shall not be limited to three consecutive unexcused absences. The expulsion of a member creates a vacancy in the office of the expelled member.

            Added by Acts 1983, No. 679, §1; Acts 1985, No. 865, §1; Acts 1985, No. 328, §1; Acts 1985, No. 327, §1; Acts 1990, No. 128, §1; Acts 1995, No. 543, §1; Acts 2004, No. 12, §1, eff. May 12, 2004; Acts 2008, No. 920, §1, eff. July 14, 2008; Acts 2010, No. 495, §1, eff. June 24, 2010; Acts 2014, No. 219, §2; Acts 2016, No. 219, §§1, 2.

Tit. 3, Art. 556.4. Officers and employees

A.  The members of the board shall elect a chairman, a vice chairman, and such other officers as they deem necessary.  All officers shall be members of the board.

B.  The board may employ subordinate officers and employees, prescribe their duties, and fix their compensation and terms of employment.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 679, §1; Acts 2010, No. 495, §1, eff. June 24, 2010.

Tit. 3, Art. 556.5. Administration

A.  The board may adopt rules and regulations for the administration of this Part.  All rules shall be adopted in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

B.  The commissioner shall administer and enforce the provisions of this Part in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the board and shall collect the assessments authorized under this Part.

C.  The board shall determine who shall receive grants for marketing and research under the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this Section.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 679, §1; Acts 1985, No. 180, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 556.6. Assessments

A.  There is hereby levied and imposed an assessment of one-quarter of one cent per pound on all artificial crawfish bait sold in this state.  The assessment shall be ultimately paid by the crawfish farmers and harvesters who purchase the artificial bait.

B.  There is hereby levied and imposed an assessment on each bag used to package live crawfish in the amount of one cent for each bag holding less than twenty-five pounds of crawfish, and two cents for each bag holding twenty-five pounds or more of crawfish.  The assessment shall ultimately be paid by the crawfish farmers and harvesters who purchase the bags.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 679, §1.  Amended by Acts 1985, No. 330, §1; Acts 1985, No. 492, §1; Acts 1986, No. 547, §1; Acts 2014, No. 219, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 556.8. Registration of manufacturers and distributors;  reports

A.  Each manufacturer who sells artificial crawfish bait in Louisiana shall register each product with the department.  Each manufacturer shall submit a quarterly report to the department showing the amount of artificial bait sold in Louisiana during that quarter.  The quarterly reports shall be submitted on or before the fifteenth day after each quarter.

B.  Each distributor who sells crawfish bags in Louisiana shall register each type of bag with the department.  Each manufacturer shall submit a quarterly report to the department showing the number of each type of bag sold in Louisiana during that quarter.  The quarterly reports shall be submitted on or before the fifteenth day after each quarter.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 679, §1.  Amended by Acts 1985, No. 492, §1; Acts 1985, No. 330, §1; Acts 1986, No. 547, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 556.9. Collections

A.  The assessments provided for in R.S. 3:556.6 shall be collected at the first point of sale in Louisiana. The person selling the artificial bait or crawfish bags shall collect the assessments.

B.  Each person who collects the assessments shall remit the collections to the department on or before the fifteenth day after each quarter.

C.  The assessments shall be included in the purchase price of the artificial bait or the crawfish bags each time the artificial bait or the bags are sold until they are purchased by a crawfish farmer or harvester.

D.  Each person who collects an assessment shall place a stamp or seal on each unit of artificial bait for which the assessment has been collected.  The stamp or seal shall be supplied by the department and shall be in the size, shape, and design approved by the board.

E.  The board may impose a civil penalty for failure to collect and remit assessments in accordance with the provisions of this Section.  Civil penalties shall be imposed in accordance with the following provisions:

(1)  The civil penalty shall not exceed one hundred dollars per violation.

(2)  Each day on which a violation occurs shall be considered a separate offense.

(3)  Civil penalties may be assessed only by a ruling of the board based on an adjudicatory hearing held in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

(4)  The board may institute civil proceedings to enforce its rulings in the district court for the parish in which the violation occurred.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 679, §1.  Amended by Acts 1985, No. 330, §1; Acts 1985, No. 492, §1; Acts 1986, No. 547, §1; Acts 1987, No. 133, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 556.10. Confidentiality

The information received by the department from the reports required by R.S. 3:556.8 and the collections required by R.S. 3:556.9 shall be confidential with respect to the person submitting the report and the person remitting the collections.  The figures for the total amount of artificial bait and crawfish bags sold and the total collections of each assessment shall be public record.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 679, §1; Acts 1985, No. 330, §1; Acts 1985, No. 492, §1; Acts 1986, No. 547, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 556.11. Refunds

Each person who purchases artificial crawfish bait or crawfish bags may obtain a refund of the assessment by submitting a written request for a refund to the department on or before the fifteenth day after the end of the quarter in which the artificial bait or bags were purchased.  Each request for a refund shall be accompanied by copies of invoices or sales receipts showing the amount of bait or bags purchased.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 679, §1; Acts 1985, No. 330, §1; Acts 1985, No. 492, §1; Acts 1986, No. 547, §1.

 

Tit. 3, Art. 556.12. Distribution of proceeds

A.  On or before the last day of the first month of each quarter the department shall transmit the refunds requested for the previous quarter and deliver the balance of the proceeds of the assessments to the board.

B.  The department may retain the actual costs of collecting and transmitting the funds, not to exceed three percent of the gross amount of the funds collected from each assessment.

C.  The board shall retain such amounts as are necessary for the administrative expenses of the board and shall disburse the remaining funds to fund the following: all costs related to advertising, promotion, and marketing of Louisiana crawfish; research which will aid in carrying out the purposes of this Part; efforts to increase consumption of Louisiana crawfish; providing producers, distributors, retailers, and consumers with educational information as to the nutritional and health value of Louisiana crawfish; and fulfilling any other purposes authorized by this Part.

Added by Acts 1983, No. 679, §1; Acts 1985, No. 330, §1; Acts 1985, No. 492, §1; Acts 2006, No. 21, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 556.13. Audits

The commissioner may audit the books and records of each person who is required to collect and remit the assessments provided for in this Part.  The sole purpose of any audit conducted under the provisions of this Section shall be to determine if the assessments have been properly collected and remitted.

Acts 1985, No. 329, §1.

Tit. 3, Art. 556.14. Assessments on crawfish tails

A.  An assessment of one cent per pound is hereby levied on all crawfish tail meat sold in this state.

B., C.  Repealed by Acts 2014, No. 219, §2.

D.  If the assessment is modified or eliminated for any reason, then all assessments approved, levied, or otherwise collectible under this Section on the last date prior to any such modification or elimination of assessments taking effect shall remain valid and collectible for such time as is necessary to pay the financial obligations incurred prior to the effective date of the modification or elimination of the assessment.

E.-G.  Repealed by Acts 2014, No. 219, §2.

H.  The assessment shall be collected and paid at the first point of sale in Louisiana by the producer or distributor doing business in Louisiana and remitted to the department on or before the fifteenth day after the close of each quarter.

I.  Each crawfish tail meat producer who produces crawfish tail meat from crawfish obtained from crawfish farmers and harvesters who have paid the assessment under R.S. 3:556.6 shall be exempt from the assessment imposed under this Section.

J.  The board may impose a civil penalty for failure to collect and remit assessments in accordance with the provisions of this Section in the amount and in the manner provided for in R.S. 3:556.9(E).

K.  The proceeds of the assessment shall be distributed and used in accordance with R.S. 3:556.12.

Acts 2006, No. 293, §1, eff. June 8, 2006; Acts 2014, No. 219, §§1, 2.

Part XVI. Louisiana Aquacultural Development Act

Tit. 3, Art. 559.1. Short title

This Part shall be known and may be referred to as the "Louisiana Aquacultural Development Act".

Acts 2004, No. 865, §1, eff. July 12, 2004.

Tit. 3, Art. 559.2. Legislative findings;  purpose

A.  The legislature hereby finds and declares that a substantial production of aquatic livestock in private, constructed facilities occurs yearly in Louisiana, which substantially contributes to the vitality of Louisiana's economy.  The raising and harvesting of aquatic livestock is substantially similar to and utilizes similar production practices as are used in traditional agriculture.  Therefore, the legislature finds that the raising and harvesting of aquatic livestock in a private, constructed environment is agriculture and that aquatic livestock in such an environment is not wildlife.

B.  No unified program for overseeing and coordinating modern, sustainable aquacultural production exists in Louisiana.  The development of a modern aquaculture industry through a regulatory program that allows for the development of current and future aquacultural production, while at the same time protecting the native fish and aquatic life and wildlife and their natural habitat, will be beneficial to the economy of this state.

C.  The purpose of this Part is to provide a regulatory framework for the orderly development and maintenance of a modern aquacultural segment of Louisiana's agriculture industry and for the promotion of aquaculture and aquacultural products.

Acts 2004, No. 865, §1, eff. July 12, 2004.

Tit. 3, Art. 559.3. Terms defined

As used in this Part, the following terms shall have the meanings given to them except where the context expressly indicates otherwise:

(1)  "Aquaculture" means the producing, raising, managing, harvesting, transporting, or marketing of aquatic livestock in privately owned waters or ponds as defined in R.S. 56:8(103) and (104).

(2)  "Aquatic livestock" means domestic aquatic, nongame, native, freshwater organisms produced, raised, managed, or harvested within or from a constructed impoundment in compliance with rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this Part.

(3)  "Aquatic producer" means any person engaged in producing, raising, managing, harvesting, or marketing aquatic livestock.

(4)  "Commissioner" means the Louisiana commissioner of agriculture and forestry.

(5)  "Department" means the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

(6)  "Facility" means any piece of property that contains a constructed impoundment or other area where aquatic livestock are produced, raised, managed, harvested, or marketed.

(7)  "Impoundment" means any private, constructed pond, lake, reservoir, tank, cage, or other means of containment that has no inlet from or outlet to any public waters.

(8)  "Person" means an individual, partnership, firm, company, association, corporation, limited liability company, and any other legal entity or group of persons.

Acts 2004, No. 865, §1, eff. July 12, 2004; Acts 2010, No. 743, §2A, eff. July 1, 2010.