1999 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Thames
Senate Bill 2407
(As Passed the Senate)
AN ACT TO CREATE THE "MISSISSIPPI AGRICULTURAL PROMOTIONS PROGRAM ACT" FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXPANDING THE MARKET FOR MISSISSIPPI'S AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS; TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND COMMERCE TO ESTABLISH AND COORDINATE THE MISSISSIPPI AGRICULTURAL PROMOTIONS PROGRAM; TO CREATE A SPECIAL FUND IN THE STATE TREASURY TO BE DESIGNATED AS THE "MISSISSIPPI AGRICULTURAL PROMOTIONS FUND"; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Mississippi Agricultural Promotions Program Act."
SECTION 2. The Legislature finds that there is a need for a Mississippi Agricultural Promotions Program to increase consumer awareness and expand the market for Mississippi's agricultural products. The Legislature further finds that the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, through, but not limited to, product identification programs and subsidies, loans and grants, shall promote and advertise such products.
SECTION 3. For the purposes of this act, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(a) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce.
(b) "Department" means the Department of Agriculture and Commerce.
(c) "Person" means an individual, firm, partnership, corporation, association, business, trust, legal representative or any other business unit.
(d) "Reproduce" means to stencil, emboss, print, engrave, impress, imprint, lithograph or duplicate in any manner or to cause any such acts to be done.
(e) "Agricultural product" means any product that is at least fifty-one percent (51%) grown, processed or manufactured in the State of Mississippi.
(f) "Division" means the Division of Market Development within the Department of Agriculture and Commerce.
SECTION 4. The department, in its discretion, may establish a program of grants, loans and subsidies to be matched by agricultural entities in the state to finance and promote agricultural economic development.
SECTION 5. (1) The purpose of this act is to authorize the division to establish and coordinate the Mississippi Agricultural Promotions Program. The duties of the division shall include, but are not limited to:
(a) Developing a logo and authorizing the use of that logo;
(b) Developing a program for loans, grants and subsidies;
(c) Registering participants;
(d) Requesting and collecting reimbursements from program participants;
(e) Promoting and advertising Mississippi and its agricultural products through the purchase of promotional items;
(f) Developing in-kind advertising programs and promotional materials; and
(g) Contracting with media representatives for the purpose of dispersing promotional materials.
(2) The commissioner shall promulgate rules necessary to implement the provisions of this act.
SECTION 6. Any person who participates in the Mississippi Agricultural Promotions Program shall register annually with the department in a form and manner as required by the department. Each person shall renew his registration by July 1 of each year.
SECTION 7. There is created a special fund to be designated as the "Mississippi Agricultural Promotions Fund" within the State Treasury to receive all monies related to the Mississippi Agricultural Promotions Program. Monies deposited in the fund shall be expended, upon legislative appropriations, and upon requisition therefor by the Commissioner of Agriculture, for the sole purpose of implementing the Mississippi Agricultural Promotions Program. Unexpended amounts remaining in the fund at the end of the fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and any interest earned on amounts in the fund shall be deposited to the credit of the fund.
SECTION 8. It is unlawful for any person to use, reproduce or distribute the logo of the Mississippi Agricultural Promotions Program without being registered with the department or to otherwise violate the provisions of this act or any rules adopted under this act. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this act or any rule promulgated under this act revokes his rights for logo use or any funding hereunder.
SECTION 9. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1999.