Or. Admin. R. 333-052-0080 - Farmer Participation Requirements, Violations and Sanctions

(1) An authorized farmer must:
(a) Comply with Program requirements and standards in Program rules, 7 CFR 248, 7 CFR 249, and the terms and conditions of the farmer agreement;
(b) Complete training on Program requirements and ensure that all individuals working in the farmer's stall(s) at the farmers market(s) or farm stand(s) are trained on Program requirements;
(c) Accept Farm Direct vouchers:
(A) For eligible foods only; and
(B) Within the valid dates of the Program.
(d) Prominently display the official Program sign provided by the Authority on each day of operation when at authorized farmers markets or authorized farm stands;
(e) Provide Farm Direct participants with the full amount of product for the value of each Farm Direct voucher;
(f) Cooperate with staff from the Oregon Health Authority (Authority) or their designees in monitoring for compliance with Program requirements and provide documentation or information that the Authority or their designees may require;
(g) Comply with all state or federal laws regarding non-discrimination and applicable USDA instructions as described in 7 CFR 248.10 to ensure that no individual will, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA, be excluded from participation, be denied benefits, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination, under the Farm Direct Nutrition Program;
(h) Ensure that Farm Direct shoppers receive equitable treatment, including the availability of produce that is of the same quality and no greater price than sold to other shoppers;
(i) Register with the Authority's payment processor using the farm identifier provided by the Authority, prior to scanning vouchers for payment
(j) Process Farm Direct vouchers for payment by the date agreed to in the agreement;
(k) Reimburse the Authority for Farm Direct vouchers that are improperly transacted;
(l) Respond to requests, implement corrective action, and comply with the terms in final orders as directed by the Authority;
(m) Not provide credit in exchange for Farm Direct vouchers;
(n) Not charge sales tax on Farm Direct voucher purchases;
(o) Not seek restitution from Farm Direct participants for a voucher not paid by the Authority;
(p) Not give cash back for purchases that amount to less than the value of a Farm Direct voucher (provide change);
(q) Not use Farm Direct vouchers for any purpose other than to process for payment for eligible items; and
(r) Not accept Farm Direct vouchers from unauthorized farmers.
(2) A farmer is in violation of the Program if the farmer:
(a) Fails to:
(A) Comply with Program rules and the terms and conditions of the farmer application and the farmer agreement;
(B) Accept training on Program requirements and ensure that all individuals working in the farmer's stall(s) at the farmers market(s) or farm stand(s) are trained;
(C) Prominently display the official Program sign provided by the Authority on each day of operation when at authorized farmers markets or authorized farm stands;
(D) Provide Farm Direct participants with the full amount of product for the value of each Farm Direct voucher;
(E) Comply with all state or federal laws regarding non-discrimination, and applicable USDA instructions to ensure that no individual will, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA, be excluded from participation, be denied benefits, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination, under the Farm Direct Nutrition Program;
(F) Ensure that Farm Direct participants receive equitable treatment, including the availability of produce that is of the same quality and no greater price than sold to other shoppers;
(G) Register with the Authority's payment processor using the farm identifier provided by the Authority, prior to scanning vouchers for payment;
(H) Process Farm Direct vouchers for payment by the date agreed to in the agreement entered into between the farmer and the Authority;
(I) Reimburse the Authority for Farm Direct vouchers that are improperly transacted;
(J) Cooperate with staff from the Authority or their designees in monitoring for compliance with Program requirements and provide information that the Authority or their designees may require; or
(K) Respond to requests, implement corrective action, or comply with the terms in final orders as directed by the Authority.
(b) Accepts Farm Direct vouchers:
(A) For ineligible foods;
(B) For invalid dates; or
(C) From an unauthorized farmer.
(c) Provides credit in exchange for Farm Direct vouchers;
(d) Charges sales tax on Farm Direct voucher purchases;
(e) Seeks restitution from Farm Direct participants for a voucher not paid by the Authority;
(f) Gives cash back for purchases that amount to less than the value of a voucher (providing change); or
(g) Uses Farm Direct vouchers for any purpose other than to process for payment.
(3) Farmer sanctions:
(a) The Authority may issue a notification of non-compliance to an authorized farmer for an initial incident of:
(A) Accepting Farm Direct vouchers for ineligible foods;
(B) Failing to prominently display the official sign provided by the Authority, each market day when at authorized farmers markets or authorized farm stands;
(C) Failing to provide Farm Direct participants with the full amount of product for the value of each Farm Direct voucher;
(D) Failing to ensure that Farm Direct shoppers receive equitable treatment, including the availability of produce that is of the same quality and no greater price than sold to other shoppers;
(E) Failing to reimburse the Authority for Farm Direct vouchers that are improperly transacted;
(F) Charging sales tax on Farm Direct purchases;
(G) Seeking restitution from Farm Direct participants for vouchers not paid by the Authority;
(H) Giving cash back for purchases less than the value of the vouchers (providing change);
(I) Accepting Farm Direct vouchers from an unauthorized farmer;
(J) Failing to respond to requests, implement corrective action, or comply with the terms in final orders as directed by the Authority;
(K) Using Farm Direct vouchers for any purpose other than to process for payment; or
(L) Failing to cooperate with staff from the Authority or their designees in monitoring for compliance with Program requirements and failing to provide information that the Authority or their designees may require.
(b) The Authority may disqualify a farmer for four season months, which may continue from the year during which the violation occurred into the following year for an initial incident of providing credit in exchange for Farm Direct vouchers.
(c) The Authority may disqualify a farmer for four season months, which may continue from the year during which the violation occurred into the following year, for second or subsequent incidents of:
(A) Accepting Farm Direct vouchers for ineligible foods;
(B) Failing to prominently display the official sign provided by the Authority, each market day when at authorized farmers markets or authorized farm stands;
(C) Failing to provide Farm Direct participants with the full amount of product for the value of each Farm Direct voucher;
(D) Failing to ensure that Farm Direct shoppers receive equitable treatment, including the availability of produce that is of the same quality and no greater price than sold to other shoppers;
(E) Charging sales tax on Farm Direct voucher purchases;
(F) Seeking restitution from Farm Direct participants for vouchers not paid by the Authority;
(G) Using Farm Direct vouchers for any purpose other than to process for payment;
(H) Charging Farm Direct participants higher prices than other customers;
(I) Giving cash back for purchases less than the value of the vouchers (providing change);
(J) Accepting Farm Direct vouchers from an unauthorized farmer; or
(K) Failing to respond to requests, implement corrective action, or comply with the terms in final orders as directed by the Authority.
(d) The Authority may not authorize farmers to accept Farm Direct vouchers the season following second or subsequent incidents of:
(A) Failing to reimburse the Authority for Farm Direct vouchers that are improperly transacted; or
(B) Failing to cooperate with staff from the Authority or their designees in monitoring for compliance with Program requirements and failing to provide information required to be submitted by the Authority or their designees.
(e) The Authority may immediately disqualify a farmer from the Program for the remainder of the current season and the entire following season for an initial incident of:
(A) Trafficking in Farm Direct vouchers (exchanging vouchers for cash, controlled substances, tobacco products, firearms or alcohol) in any amount; or
(B) A USDA substantiated violation of laws regarding non-discrimination or applicable USDA instructions.
(f) Farmers who are not authorized to participate in Farm Direct will not receive an Authority-assigned identification number and will not be paid for Farm Direct vouchers they attempt to process; and
(g) Farm Direct vouchers redeemed outside the dates identified on the voucher will not be reimbursed.
(4) Farmers who do not comply with Farm Direct requirements are subject to sanctions, including civil money penalties, in addition to, or in lieu of, disqualification.
(a) Prior to disqualifying a farmer, the Authority may determine if disqualification of the farmer would result in inadequate participant access. If the Authority determines that disqualification of the farmer would result in inadequate participant access, the Authority may impose a civil money penalty in lieu of disqualification in the amount of five percent of the farmer's previous season Farm Direct sales or $250, whichever is greater.
(b) The Authority must give written notice to a farmer of an action proposed to be taken against a farmer, not less than 30 days before the effective date of the action. The notice must state what action is being taken, the effective date of the action, and the procedure for requesting a hearing.
(c) A farmer that has been disqualified from the Program may reapply at the end of the disqualification period.
(d) The Authority may accept a farmer's voluntary withdrawal from the Program as an alternative to disqualification. If a farmer chooses to withdraw in lieu of disqualification, the farmer may not apply for participation until the following year.
(e) The Authority will not reimburse farmers who have been disqualified or have withdrawn in lieu of disqualification.
(f) Civil money penalties must be paid to the Authority within the time period specified in the Order.
(5) A farmer who commits fraud or abuse of the Program is subject to prosecution under applicable federal, state or local laws.

Notes

Or. Admin. R. 333-052-0080
PH 10-2006, f. & cert. ef. 6-5-06; PH 7-2008, f. & cert. ef. 4-3-08; PH 15-2012, f. & cert. ef. 12-20-12; PH 24-2015, f. 12-8-15, cert. ef. 1/1/2016; PH 53-2020, amend filed 06/01/2020, effective 6/1/2020; PH 15-2023, temporary amend filed 03/31/2023, effective 4/1/2023through 9/27/2023; PH 46-2023, amend filed 09/26/2023, effective 9/28/2023

Statutory/Other Authority: ORS 413.500 & ORS 411.813

Statutes/Other Implemented: ORS 413.500 & ORS 411.813

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