[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 163 (Thursday, August 22, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 52080-52083]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-20489]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 1207

[Document Number AMS-FV-13-0027]


Potato Research and Promotion Plan; Amend the Administrative 
Committee Structure and Delete the Board's Mailing Address

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This rule amends the structure of the Administrative Committee 
(Committee) of the U.S. Potato Board (Board) and deletes the Board's 
mailing address from the Potato Research and Promotion Plan. The Plan 
is administered by the Board with oversight by the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture (USDA). Under the Plan, there are seven Committee Vice-
Chairperson positions. The Board has recommended that these positions 
be increased to nine. This change is intended to facilitate increased 
involvement in the Board's leadership opportunities. Further, the 
Board's office has been relocated and the address must be changed in 
the regulations. The deletion of the Board's mailing address from the 
regulations will require no further amendment to the regulations if the 
Board's office is relocated again.

DATES: Effective Date: August 23, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patricia A. Petrella, Marketing 
Specialist, Promotion and Economics Division, Fruit and Vegetable 
Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 1406-S, Stop 
0244, Washington, DC 20250-0244; telephone: (301) 334-2891; toll free 
(888) 720-9917; facsimile (202) 205-2800; or electronic mail: 
Patricia.Petrella@ams.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This rule is issued under the Potato 
Research and Promotion Plan (Plan) (7 CFR part 1207). The Plan is 
authorized under the Potato Research and Promotion Act (Act) (7 U.S.C. 
2611-2627).

Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563

    Executive Order 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs 
and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is 
necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits 
(including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety 
effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive order 13563 
emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of 
reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. 
This rule has been designated as ``non-significant regulatory action'' 
under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) has waived the review process.

[[Page 52081]]

Executive Order 12988

    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil 
Justice Reform. It is not intended to have retroactive effect.
    The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted 
before parties may file suit in court. Under section 311 of the Act (7 
U.S.C. 2620), a person subject to a plan may file a petition with USDA 
stating that such plan, any provision of such plan, or any obligation 
imposed in connection with such plan, is not in accordance with law and 
request a modification of such plan or to be exempted therefrom. Such 
person is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. After 
the hearing, USDA would rule on the petition. The Act provides that the 
district court of the United States in any district in which such 
person is an inhabitant, or has his or her principal place of business, 
has jurisdiction to review USDA's ruling on the petition, provided that 
a complaint is filed not later than 20 days after date of the entry of 
the ruling.

Background

    This rule amends the structure of the Committee of the Board and 
deletes the Board's mailing address from the regulations. The Plan is 
administered by the Board with oversight by USDA. Under the Plan, 
assessments are collected from handlers and importers and used for 
projects to promote potatoes and potato products.
    This rule modifies the structure of the Board's Administrative 
Committee as prescribed in the Plan by increasing the number of Vice-
Chairperson positions on the Committee from seven to nine. These 
additional positions would be allocated, as provided in the Board's 
bylaws, to the Northwest and North Central caucuses. The Northwest 
district includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. The 
North Central district includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, 
Missouri, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. 
With this action, Board representation at the executive level for 
potato producers in the Northwest district increases from 28.5 percent 
to 33 percent and in the North Central district from 14 percent to 22 
percent.
    Section 1207.327(b) of the regulations provides the authority to 
the Board to make rules and regulations, with USDA approval, to 
effectuate the terms and conditions of the Plan. Section 1207.328(a) of 
the Plan provides the authority to the Board to select from its members 
such officers as may be necessary and to adopt such rules for the 
conduct of its business as the Board may deem advisable.
    Section 1207.507(a) of the Plan's administrative rules delineates 
the structure of the Board's Administrative Committee. The Committee is 
selected from among Board members, and is composed mostly of producer 
members, with one or more importer member(s), and the public member. 
The Board, through the adoption of its bylaws, may prescribe the manner 
of selection and the number of members; except that the regulations 
mandate that the Committee shall include a Chairperson and a fixed 
number of Vice-Chairpersons. The change is intended to facilitate 
increased involvement in the Board's leadership opportunities from the 
Northwest and North Central caucuses and possibly increase diversity at 
higher positions on the Board.
    Prior to this change, the Plan provided for seven Vice-Chairperson 
positions on the Committee. Vice-Chairperson positions are allocated in 
the Board's bylaws to represent production districts as determined by 
the Board. This action increases the number of Vice-Chairperson 
positions to nine. The additional Vice-Chairpersons would be allocated 
to the Northwest and North Central caucuses, which historically have 
been the caucuses with the greatest production.
    The second change will delete the Board's mailing address from the 
Plan's rules and regulations. Section 1207.501 of the Plan specifies 
that all communications in connection with the Plan shall be addressed 
to: National Potato Promotion Board, 7555 East Hampden Avenue, Suite 
412, Denver, Colorado, 80231. The Board moved to a new location within 
Denver, Colorado. Therefore, this section would need to be amended. 
However, USDA is recommending that this section be deleted so no 
further amendment would be required if the Board moves its office in 
the future. Interested persons wanting to contact the Board can reach 
them through their Web site, Facebook, or smartphone application.

Board Recommendation

    The Board met on March 14, 2013, and unanimously recommended 
amending the Committee structure of the Board and amending the Board's 
mailing address from the Plan. This action would contribute to 
effective administration of the program.

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 
601-612), AMS is required to examine the impact of the rule on small 
entities. Accordingly, AMS has considered the economic impact of this 
action on small entities.
    According to the Board, it is estimated that in 2013 there are 
about 2,500 producers, 1,030 handlers and 240 importers of potatoes and 
potato products who are subject to the provisions of the Plan.
    The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of 
businesses subject to such actions so that small businesses will not be 
disproportionately burdened. The Small Business Administration defines, 
in 13 CFR Part 121, small agricultural producers as those having annual 
receipts of no more than $750,000 and small agricultural service firms 
(domestic handlers and importers) as those having annual receipts of no 
more than $7.0 million. Under these definitions, the majority of the 
handlers, producers and importers that would be affected by this rule 
would be considered small entities.
    This rule amends the structure of the Administrative Committee of 
the Board and deletes the Board's mailing address from the regulations. 
The Plan is administered by the Board with oversight by the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture (USDA). As provided for in the regulations, 
there are seven Committee Vice-Chairperson positions. The Board has 
recommended that these positions be increased to nine Vice-
Chairpersons. This change is intended to facilitate increased 
involvement in the Board's leadership opportunities. The deletion of 
the Board's mailing address will require no further amendment to the 
regulations if the Board's office is relocated. The Board's office is 
being relocated without the amendment to the regulations made in this 
final rule. A change to the regulations would be necessary.
    This rule will amend section 1207.507(a) of the regulations by 
changing the number of Vice-Chairperson positions from seven to nine. 
Also, the Board's office address will be removed from Sec.  1207.501 of 
the regulations.
    Regarding the economic impact of this rule on affected entities, 
this action will impose no costs on producers, handlers, and importers 
as a result of this action. Both changes are administrative in nature; 
it would merely provide additional opportunities for increased 
involvement by producers in the Board's leadership opportunities from 
the larger production areas.
    Regarding alternatives, one option to the action would be to 
maintain the

[[Page 52082]]

status quo and not change the Administrative Committee structure. This 
will not alleviate the concerns voiced by the Northwest and North 
Central caucuses for more representation and leadership opportunities. 
The Board also considered combining the Southwest caucus into the 
Northwest caucus. The Board concluded that this would cause the 
Southwest producers to lose their representation as there are more 
Northwest producers and the available seats could possibly be absorbed 
by all Northwest producers. Therefore, the recommendation was approved, 
as it will allow greater opportunity for producers from the Board's two 
largest caucus districts to become engaged in the Board's leadership 
structure. This action will also make the representation on the Board 
more equitable according to production.
    A proposed rule concerning this action was published in the Federal 
Register on June 28, 2013 (78 FR 38846). The proposal was made 
available through the Internet by USDA, the Office of the Federal 
Register, and the Board. A 15-day comment period ending July 15, 2013, 
was provided to allow interested persons to submit comments.

Analysis of Comment

    One comment was received in response to the proposed rule. The 
comment is addressed in the following paragraphs. The commenter raised 
a number of issues concerning the need for the program to spend 
American tax dollars and that another Federal bureaucracy is 
unnecessary; retaining the Board's address in the regulatory text; 
decreasing the number of Vice-Chairpersons to five; and conducting 
meetings by video or webinar.
    One issue that the commenter raised was that there is no need for 
the program to spend American tax dollars and that another Federal 
bureaucracy is unnecessary. The program is paid for by the potato 
industry through assessments on domestic handlers and importers. 
Research and promotion programs overseen by USDA are self-help programs 
funded by their respective industry and do not receive taxpayer funds. 
The Potato Research and Promotion Program authorized by the Potato 
Research and Promotion Act and the Potato Research and Promotion Plan 
itself was established in March 1972.
    Another issue stated by the commenter was that the Board's address 
should be retained in the regulatory text. The deletion of the Board's 
mailing address from the regulatory text will require no further 
amendments to the regulations. The Board can easily be contacted by 
using their Web site, Facebook or smartphone application. Further, the 
Board's Web site in addition to the USDA Web site contain the Board's 
address. In addition, deleting the address is a cost savings measure to 
the potato industry since no further rulemaking will be necessary if 
the Board moves its offices in the future.
    The commenter also recommended that the Vice-Chairpersons should be 
decreased to five instead of nine as proposed by the Board. The Board 
recommended this change and discussed it thoroughly at various 
meetings. The change will facilitate increased involvement in the 
Board's leadership opportunities from the Northwest and North Central 
caucuses and possibly increase diversity at higher positions on the 
Board. Decreasing the number of Vice-Chairpersons on the Board would 
not accomplish the intent of the change.
    Finally, the commenter commented that Board meetings should be on 
the web and videoed for the public to view. The Board meets in person 
once a year and the Administrative Committee meets three times a year. 
During certain circumstances committees will meet by teleconference. 
All meetings of the Board are open to the public and minutes of all the 
meetings are available. Accordingly, based upon our consideration of 
the comment received no changes have been made to the regulatory text.
    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
Chapter 35), the information collection and recordkeeping requirements 
that are imposed by the Order have been approved previously under OMB 
control number 0581-0093. This rule will not result in a change to the 
information collection and recordkeeping requirements previously 
approved and will impose no additional reporting and recordkeeping 
burden on potato producers, handlers, and importers.
    As with all Federal promotion programs, reports and forms are 
periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and 
duplication by industry and public sector agencies. Finally, USDA has 
not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or 
conflict with this rule.
    AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to promote 
the use of the Internet and other information technologies to provide 
increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information 
and services, and for other purposes.
    Regarding outreach efforts, this action was discussed by the Board 
at meetings over the past year. Board members discussed the changes 
with their respective regions and received positive feedback. The Board 
met in March 2013 and unanimously made its recommendation. All of the 
Board's meetings, including meetings held via teleconference, are open 
to the public and interested persons are invited to participate and 
express their views.
    After consideration of all relevant matters presented, including 
the information and recommendation submitted by the Board and other 
available information, it is hereby found that this rule, as 
hereinafter set forth, will tend to effectuate the declared policy of 
the Act.
    It is further found that good cause exists for not postponing the 
effective date of this rule until 30 days after publication in the 
Federal Register (5 U.S.C. 553) because the Administrative Committee is 
meeting on October 21, 2013, and it would be appropriate that the 
additional Vice-Chairpersons should be able to participate in those 
meetings. In addition, the Board's office has already relocated so the 
address needs to be deleted promptly. Further, handlers, producers and 
importers are aware of this rule, which was recommended at a public 
meeting. Also, a 15-day comment period was provided for in the proposed 
rule.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1207

    Advertising, Agricultural research, Imports, Potatoes, Reporting 
and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 1207 is 
amended as follows:

PART 1207--POTATO RESEARCH AND PROMOTION PLAN

0
1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 1207 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 2611-2627 and 7 U.S.C. 7401.


Sec.  1207.507  [Removed and Reserved]

0
2. Section 1207.501 is removed and reserved.
0
3. Section 1207.507(a) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  1207.507  Administrative Committee.

    (a) The Board shall annually select from among its members an 
Administrative Committee composed of producer members as provided for 
in the Board's bylaws, one or more importer members, and the public 
member. Selection shall be made in such manner as the Board may

[[Page 52083]]

prescribe: Except that such committee shall include the Chairperson and 
nine Vice-Chairpersons, one of whom shall also serve as the Secretary 
and Treasurer of the Board.
* * * * *

    Dated: August 16, 2013.
Rex A. Barnes,
Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-20489 Filed 8-21-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P