(a) The Farmers' Market Authority is established in the Department of Agriculture and Industries. The authority shall have the powers and duties to establish agricultural markets to prevent waste and to provide marketing facilities where farm products, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, truck crops, and other agricultural commodities, and fish products, including, but not limited to, farm-raised fish, shellfish, and wild fish, may be processed, graded, packaged, displayed, or exhibited in order to encourage the buying and selling of the commodities, and to encourage the public interest, thus promoting good will between the rural and urban sectors of the State of Alabama. The Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Industries, with approval of the Board of Agriculture and Industries, may procure by purchase, lease, rent, gift, or otherwise, necessary market sites in this state on which to conduct farmers' markets.
(b) Notwithstanding Article 3 of Chapter 15 of Title 9, the commissioner, upon the approval of the Governor, may grant, bargain, sell, and convey all its right, title, and interest in any market which it has established and any facility installed in any market or in connection with any market upon terms and conditions as it deems expedient. The commissioner, however, may not execute a deed of conveyance to any market and market facilities, including the land on which it is located, until the department has received payment in full of an amount sufficient to reimburse the department for the expenses incurred in acquiring the land, erecting any buildings thereon, and installing any facilities. No deed of conveyance shall be executed until the grantee agrees to continue to operate the market for the benefit of agricultural producers in the area then being served by the market, as long as this need continues to exist, pursuant to rules of operation as are prescribed by the commissioner and stipulated in the contract and deed of sale.
(c) In the event a market is no longer needed to serve the agricultural community as stipulated by the commissioner, the commissioner, as a means to recoup to the extent possible all moneys expended by the Department of Agriculture and Industries in establishing the market, shall obtain a certified appraisal of the market, advertise for four weeks that the market will be sold at public auction or sealed bid on a certain date, and sell the market at public auction or sealed bid with the commissioner reserving the right to accept or reject any or all bids. No sale shall be executed without the approval of the Governor.
(d) No sale shall be made by the commissioner without a complete and full recitation of the facts and reasons for the sale being spread on the minutes of the Board of Agriculture and Industries and in a certificate signed by the chair certifying to the Governor that the stated facts and reasons are true to the best of his or her knowledge and belief.
(e) All functions of the Farmers’ Market Authority provided in Chapter 5, and all books, records, supplies, funds, equipment, and personnel of the Farmers’ Market Authority existing on August 1, 2013, shall be transferred to the Department of Agriculture and Industries.