Agricultural products are produced in Minnesota by many individual farmers, ranchers, and handlers scattered throughout the state. The efficient production and marketing of agricultural products by farmers, ranchers, and handlers is of vital concern to their welfare and to the general economy of Minnesota. The marketing and bargaining position of individual farmers, ranchers, and handlers will be adversely affected unless they are free to join together voluntarily in cooperative organizations as authorized by law. Interference with this right is contrary to the public interest, adversely affects the free and orderly flow of goods in interstate and foreign commerce, and affects the welfare of the people of Minnesota. It is, therefore, declared to be the policy of this state and the purpose of this chapter to establish standards of fair practices required of handlers and producers in their dealings in agricultural products and to encourage settlement of disputes between handlers and producers of agricultural products.