The term “producer” is defined in § 966.8 as being any person engaged in a proprietary capacity in the production of tomatoes for market. Under the definition of “tomatoes” in § 966.5, such production must have been in the production area. Section 966.22 provides that each person selected as a committee member or alternate must be a producer, or an officer or an employee of a corporate producer. Section 966.27 provides that producers may vote for nominees for members and alternates on the Florida Tomato Committee, the administrative agency established pursuant to said marketing agreement and order. Section 966.3 defines a person as an individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other business unit. The term “person” is construed to mean the business unit which produces the tomatoes for market.
(a) The prevailing principle which shall apply to the determination of “producer” is who or which interest as a unit, whether an individual, partnership, corporation, association, or any other business unit, has the authority to pass title to the tomatoes grown and made a part of the marketable supply of tomatoes. In other words, the terms shall be limited to those who have an ownership in tomatoes produced in the production area.
(b)Producer means any person, as defined in this section:
(1) Who or which owns and farms land resulting in his or its ownership of the tomatoes produced thereon;
(2) Who or which rents or farms land, resulting in his or its ownership of all or a portion of the tomatoes produced thereon; or
(3) Who or which owns land which he or it does not farm and, as rental for such land, obtains the ownership of a portion of the tomatoes produced thereon.
(c) The term “partnership” shall be deemed to include a husband and wife with respect to land, the title to which, or leasehold interest in which, is vested in them as tenants in common, joint tenants, tenants by entirety, or, under community property laws, as community property. The term “partnership” shall also be deemed to include individuals, partnerships or corporations which join together by agreement, informal or otherwise, for the purpose of growing tomatoes and which, as a unit, have authority to transfer title to such tomatoes at the time they are harvested or subsequent thereto. The term “partnership” shall also include so-called “joint ventures,” wherein one or more parties to the arrangement contributes capital and others contribute labor, management, equipment, or other services, or any variation of such contributions by two or more parties, so that it results in the growing of tomatoes and the authority to transfer title to the tomatoes so produced from that business unit to some other parties in the marketing chain.
(d) Each legal entity, whether an individual, a partnership, a “joint venture,” or a corporation, so engaged in the production of tomatoes for market shall have one vote for each position which is to be filled for the district for which he or it is eligible to vote. In the case of a partnership or a “joint venture,” such vote shall not be accepted in the absence of unanimous agreement of the respective members. In the case of a corporation, such vote shall be cast pursuant to the authorization of its board of directors. In the case of a person who owns land which he or it does not farm but, as rental for such land, obtains the ownership of a portion of the tomatoes produced thereon, such person shall be regarded as the producer of that portion and entitled to one vote, and the tenant on such land shall be regarded as the producer of the remaining portion produced on such land and also entitled to one vote.
(e) A producer eligible to vote is a person who produced tomatoes for market in a proprietary capacity in the production area during the then current fiscal period, i.e., between August 1, of the previous year and July 31 of the then current year. If a person who would otherwise qualify as a producer in a proprietary capacity in the production area planted tomatoes for market as fresh tomatoes during the current fiscal period, but (1) did not market any tomatoes in the fresh market during the current fiscal period due to adverse weather conditions, or (2) has tomatoes in production for fresh market during the current fiscal period, although still unharvested, he shall, nevertheless, be eligible as a producer to vote for committee nominees, if he produced and marketed tomatoes grown in the production area in the next preceding fiscal period.