(a) For the purpose of ascertaining whether the issuance or amendment of regulations establishing a compact over-order price or a commission marketing order, including any provision with respect to milk supply under subsection 9(f), is approved by producers, the commission shall conduct a referendum among producers. The referendum shall be held in a timely manner, as determined by regulation of the commission. The terms and conditions of the proposed order or amendment shall be described by the commission in the ballot used in the conduct of the referendum, but the nature, content, or extent of such description shall not be a basis for attacking the legality of the order or any action relating thereto.

(b) An order or amendment shall be deemed approved by producers if the commission determines that it is approved by at least two-thirds of the voting producers who, during a representative period determined by the commission, have been engaged in the production of milk, the price of which would be regulated under the proposed order or amendment.

(c) For purposes of any referendum, the commission shall consider the approval or disapproval by any cooperative association of producers, qualified under the provisions of the Act of Congress of February 18, 1922, as amended, known as the Capper-Volstead Act, bona fide engaged in marketing milk, or in rendering services for or advancing the interests of producers of such commodity, as the approval or disapproval of the producers who are members or stockholders in, or under contract with, such cooperative association of producers, except as provided in subdivision (1) hereof and subject to the provisions of subdivisions (2) through (5) hereof.

(1) No cooperative which has been formed to act as a common marketing agency for both cooperatives and individual producers shall be qualified to block vote for either.

(2) Any cooperative which is qualified to block vote shall, before submitting its approval or disapproval in any referendum, give prior written notice to each of its members as to whether and how it intends to cast its vote. The notice shall be given in a timely manner as established and in the form prescribed by the commission.

(3) Any producer may obtain a ballot from the commission in order to register approval or disapproval of the proposed order.

(4) A producer who is a member of a cooperative which has provided notice of its intent to approve or not to approve a proposed order, and who obtains a ballot and with such ballot expresses his approval or disapproval of the proposed order, shall notify the commission as to the name of the cooperative of which he or she is a member, and the commission shall remove such producer’s name from the list certified by such cooperative with its corporate vote.

(5) In order to ensure that all milk producers are informed regarding a proposed order, the commission shall notify all milk producers that an order is being considered and that each producer may register his approval or disapproval with the commission either directly or through his or her cooperative.