The long awaited report included four recommendations for strengthening the beef checkoff program. The recommendations are:

  • An opportunity to petition for a referendum. The beef referendum process should be revised to provide producers the opportunity to petition every five years for a referendum on continuing the checkoff. Ten percent of beef producers signing the petition at county offices will trigger the USDA to conduct a vote within a year. This is similar to the soybean referendum model.
  • An adjustment of the checkoff rate. To assure strong demand-building initiatives for the beef industry in the future and to offset 20 years of inflation, adjust the per head checkoff rate to $2. The 50-50 split between state beef councils and Cattlemen's Beef Board would remain the same. The industry will need to approve any checkoff rate change through a referendum.
  • Enhanced understanding of the Federation of State Beef Councils. The Federation of State Beef Councils gives priority to enhancing its identity in order to strengthen beef industry stakeholder understanding of the Federation. Options such as changing its name from The Federation Division to The Beef Checkoff Federation could be considered.
  • Making the checkoff more inclusive. Any reference to the charter date of established national non-profit industry governed organizations be eliminated from definition (1260.113c) in the Beef Promotion and Research Order. This will make the checkoff program more inclusive.
The task force had 18 members representing all of the major industry groups, and the recommendations all passed by at least a 2/3 vote of the Task Force. These recommendations will now be presented to national and state beef organizations.
-- Troy Marshall