To conduct, assist, and foster research, investigation, and experimentation to determine the best methods of processing, preparation for market, packaging, handling, transporting, storing, distributing, and marketing agricultural products: Provided, That the results of such research shall be made available to the public for the purpose of expanding the use of American agricultural products in such manner as the Secretary of Agriculture may determine.
To determine costs of marketing agricultural products in their various forms and through the various channels and to foster and assist in the development and establishment of more efficient marketing methods (including analyses of methods and proposed methods), practices, and facilities, for the purpose of bringing about more efficient and orderly marketing, and reducing the price spread between the producer and the consumer.
To develop and improve standards of quality, condition, quantity, grade, and packaging, and recommend and demonstrate such standards in order to encourage uniformity and consistency in commercial practices. Within thirty days after September 29, 1977, the Secretary shall by regulation adopt a standard of quality for ice cream which shall provide that ice cream shall contain at least 1.6 pounds of total solids to the gallon, weigh not less than 4.5 pounds to the gallon and contain not less than 20 percent total milk solids, constituted of not less than 10 percent milkfat. In no case shall the content of milk solids not fat be less than 6 percent. Whey shall not, by weight, be more than 25 percent of the milk solids not fat. Only those products which meet the standard issued by the Secretary may bear a symbol thereon indicating that they meet the Department of Agriculture standard for “ice cream”.
To conduct, assist, foster, and direct studies and informational programs designed to eliminate artificial barriers to the free movement of agricultural products.
To foster and assist in the development of new or expanded markets (domestic and foreign) and new and expanded uses and in the moving of larger quantities of agricultural products through the private marketing system to consumers in the United States and abroad.
In carrying out paragraph (1), the Secretary may assess and collect reasonable fees and late payment penalties to mediate and arbitrate disputes arising between parties in connection with transactions involving agricultural products moving in foreign commerce under the jurisdiction of a multinational entity.
Fees and penalties collected under subparagraph (A) shall be deposited into the account that incurred the cost of providing the mediation or arbitration service.
Fees and penalties collected under subparagraph (A) shall be available to the Secretary without further Act of appropriation and shall remain available until expended to pay the expenses of the Secretary for providing mediation and arbitration services under this paragraph.
No person shall be required by the Secretary to use the mediation and arbitration services provided under this paragraph.
To conduct and cooperate in consumer education for the more effective utilization and greater consumption of agricultural products: Provided, That no money appropriated under the authority of this Act shall be used to pay for newspaper or periodical advertising space or radio time in carrying out the purposes of this section and subsection (e).
To collect and disseminate marketing information, including adequate outlook information on a market-area basis, for the purpose of anticipating and meeting consumer requirements, aiding in the maintenance of farm income, and bringing about a balance between production and utilization of agricultural products.
To determine the needs and develop or assist in the development of plans for efficient facilities and methods of operating such facilities for the proper assembly, processing, transportation, storage, distribution, and handling of agricultural products.
To assist in improving transportation services and facilities and in obtaining equitable and reasonable transportation rates and services and adequate transportation facilities for agricultural products and farm supplies by making complaint or petition to the Surface Transportation Board, the Federal Maritime Commission, or other Federal or State transportation regulatory body, or the Secretary of Transportation, with respect to rates, charges, tariffs, practices, and services, or by working directly with individual carriers or groups of carriers.
To collect, tabulate, and disseminate statistics on marketing agricultural products, including, but not restricted to statistics on market supplies, storage stocks, quantity, quality, and condition of such products in various positions in the marketing channel, utilization of such products, and shipments and unloads thereof.
To develop and promulgate, for the use and at the request of any Federal agency or State, procurement standards and specifications for agricultural products, and submit such standards and specifications to such agency or State for use or adoption for procurement purposes.
To conduct, assist, encourage, and promote research, investigation, and experimentation to determine the most efficient and practical means, methods, and processes for the handling, storing, preserving, protecting, processing, and distributing of agricultural commodities to the end that such commodities may be marketed in an orderly manner and to the best interest of the producers thereof.
To conduct such other research and services and to perform such other activities as will facilitate the marketing, distribution, processing, and utilization of agricultural products through commercial channels.