US cattlemen’s associations say ‘no’ to supplemental beef checkoff

By Georgi Gyton

- Last updated on GMT

The NCBA is not keen on the federal government having additional powers
The NCBA is not keen on the federal government having additional powers

Related tags Tom vilsack Beef

Forty-five US state cattlemen’s associations have sent a joint letter to agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack, calling for proposals for a supplemental beef checkoff to be abandoned.

The associations, representing more than 170,000 cattle breeders, producers and feeders have urged him not to issue an order for the checkoff, under the 1996 General Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act, as it strives to keep its grassroots ties.

Bob McCan, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), said there was clear concern throughout the beef industry.

"Our state affiliates sent a clear message to the Secretary that they do not want a supplemental checkoff under the 1996 Act,"​ he said.

"NCBA stands firmly behind our grassroots producer organisations and we will do everything we can to support their efforts. The checkoff belongs to cattlemen, not to the USDA or any administration."

The NCBA said the Act assured no protection to state beef councils and gave increased powers to federal government.

"The beef checkoff is a non-political, non-partisan structure, designed by cattle producers to increase and support beef demand,"​ said McCan.

"The Beef Checkoff serves all beef producers, nationwide, and the recent efforts by Secretary Vilsack do not serve the interests of producers, they only serve to politicise and polarise the industry."

The Beef Checkoff Program – a producer-funded marketing and research program – was enacted in 1985. It is designed to increase domestic and/or international demand for beef.

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