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This is the fourth major revision of Lyman S. Hulbert's Legal Phases of Farmer Cooperatives, originally published in October 1922 by the United States Department of Agriculture as Department Bulletin No. 1106. It provided the first extensive discussion of legal problems in the organization and operation of cooperatives. The bulletin was first revised in October 1929 and reissued under original number 1106. A major revision was issued in May 1942 as Farm Credit Administration Bulletin No. 50. Raymond J. Mischler prepared a subsequent revision known as FCS Bulletin 10, dated January 1958.
The current revision is primarily the work of Morrison Neely, who, until his death in 1974, was legal counsel for Farmer Cooperative Service as part of his duties with USDA's Office of General Counsel. Mr. Neely was assisted by the FCS staff and Mr. Hulbert, now in private practice, who prepared the antitrust section. FCS is also indebted to Elizabeth M. Kemper, who completed several requirements after Mr. Neeley's death.
The last 50 years have seen a substantial growth of cooperatives among agricultural producers. At the same time, there has been a marked development in the statute law and judicial precedents, establishing and clarifying the legal status of farmer cooperatives. This bulletin has been a significant contributor to this development.
One of the functions of Farmer Cooperative Service under the Cooperative Marketing Act of 1926 (7 U.S.C. 451 et seq.) is “To conduct studies of the ***legal*** phases of cooperation, and publish the results thereof." Since the 1958 revision of the bulletin, there have been many new developments. The Federal income tax statutes relating to the tax treatment of cooperatives and their patrons were rewritten in 1962 and further amendments to these laws were adopted in 1966 and 1969. Other legislation has also been enacted and many cases have been decided affecting the legal aspects of farmer cooperatives. Accordingly, this revision has been
made in furtherance of the responsibility of Farmer Cooperative Service under the law. The new matter for the most part has been woven into the 1958 version of the bulletin without disturbing its basic format which has had such a wide favorable reception and use by those responsible for providing legal advice to farmer cooperatives.
Although this bulletin is published by Farmer Cooperative Service, it should be regarded as representing the conclusions, opinions, and findings of the author.
FCS Information 100
Cooperative pooling and operations
Statutes affecting cooperatives
Benefits derived from cooperatives
Organizing a farmer cooperative
Liability of association for promotion expenses
Limitation on indebtedness ...
Subscriber, stock, capital stock
Stock and nonstock associations ..
Restrictions as to transfer of stock
Reorganization of associations .
Conflicting personal interests
Obligations and liabilities of directors.
Additional liabilities imposed by statute.
Removal of directors, officers, and agents .
Quorum for meetings of members .
Bankruptcies and receiverships....
When may cooperative marketing contracts
Kinds of cooperative marketing contracts
When marketing contracts become effective
Duration of marketing contracts
Contracts obtained by force or fraud
When title to products passes to the association
Restrictions on association's right to sell
Transfers in attempts to avoid contracts..
Sherman Anti-Trust Act and "rule of reason".
Published material pertaining to antitrust laws...
Cooperatives liable for acts of agents
Taxes-State, local and general ..
Distinctive characteristics of cooperatives
Taxation of “exempt" cooperatives under 1951
Taxation of nonexempt cooperatives
Taxability of patronage refunds to patrons-
Subchapter T and related provisions of the Code.
Requirements for 521 status .....
Application for 521 status and tax returns.
Audits and revocation of status
Members and producers
Capital stock .....
Dividends on stock ..