7 CFR 993.28 - Nominees.
(a) For the purpose of obtaining nominations for producer members to represent independent producers, the Committee shall, with the approval of the Secretary, divide the area into districts giving, insofar as practicable, equal representation to numbers of independent producers and production of prune tonnage by such producers. The number of districts shall be equal to the number of such producer members or seven, whichever is the lesser. Candidates for nomination by independent producers from the various districts shall be obtained at meetings convened by the committee. Following such meetings, the committee shall prepare a separate ballot for each of the districts, or a joint ballot for two or more districts, containing (1) the names of the candidates for each district involved and (2) provision for write-in candidates. The ballot shall be mailed to each independent producer of record in each district. The voting procedure (including the casting of the ballot by mail addressed to the committee), and tabulation of votes shall be in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the committee, with the approval of the Secretary. Each voter shall be entitled to cast only one vote for a member nominee and only one vote for an alternate member nominee in a district in which he is a producer, and no voter shall vote for candidates in more than one district. In case he is a producer in more than one district, he shall elect in which of such districts he will vote and notify the committee as to his choice. Whenever the number of producer members to represent independent producers during the ensuing term of office is to exceed seven, one nominee shall be nominated by independent producers in each of the seven districts and an additional nominee for each member in excess of the seven members shall be nominated, without reference to districts, by such seven nominees. The committee shall recommend the establishment of districts, or any changes therein, to the Secretary prior to January 31 of each year in which nominations are made.
(b) Before April 16 of each even-numbered year nominations of producer members to represent cooperative producers and handler members to represent cooperative handlers shall be submitted to the Secretary by cooperative marketing associations engaged in the handling of prunes. The number of cooperative producer members and handler members to be nominated by each cooperative marketing association shall bear, as near as practicable, the same percentage as each cooperative marketing association's tonnage of prunes handled as first handler thereof is to the total tonnage handled by all cooperative marketing associations during the preceding crop year.
(c) In any year in which nominations are made following a crop year during which the tonnage of prunes handled by independent handlers as first handlers exceeded the tonnage of prunes handled by cooperative handlers as first handlers, nominees for member positions to represent independent handlers shall be nominated as follows:
(1) Each of the two independent handlers who handled during such preceding crop year, the two largest percentages of the prune tonnage handled by all independent handlers shall nominate from their respective organizations, one nominee for a handler member and one for an alternate member;
(2) Three independent handlers who handled during such preceding crop year the next three largest percentages of the prune tonnage handled by all independent handlers shall nominate from among their organizations, one nominee for a handler member and one for an alternate member;
(3) All other independent handlers who handled the remaining percentage of such prune tonnage shall nominate from their organizations, one nominee for a handler member and one for an alternate member.
(d) The committee shall establish with the approval of the Secretary, the procedures by which such nominations, other than by cooperative marketing associations engaged in the handling of prunes, shall be obtained and shall submit such nominations to the Secretary before April 16 of the year in which nominations are made. In the event the committee determines that any nominating procedure specified in this section does not result in equitable representation, it may establish, with the prior approval of the Secretary, such modifications as will tend to assure such representation.
(e) The producer and handler members of the Committee selected for a new term of office shall nominate a public member and alternate member at the first meeting following their selection.