The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service is proposing to expand the contracting authority for the Beef Promotion and Research Program. 

The Beef Promotion and Research Act (Act) requires that the Beef Promotion Operating Committee (BPOC) enter into contracts with established national non-profit industry-governed organizations. The Beef Promotion and Research Order (Order) adds an additional requirement that the organization or its successor must have been active and ongoing prior to 1986.
 
With the goal of enhancing the overall success and support of the Beef Checkoff Program, several beef industry organizations met recently and agreed that it was necessary to expand the contracting authority established under the Act and Order to uphold the integrity of the Beef Checkoff Program.
 
Section 1260.113 (c) of the Order provides that only national non-profit industry-governed organizations that were active and ongoing before the enactment of the Act are eligible to contract with the BPOC. The proposed rule would eliminate the date requirement so that organizations otherwise qualified but created since 1986 could be eligible to contract with the BPOC to provide Beef Checkoff programs.
 
Detail of the proposed changes will appear in the March 2, 2012 Federal Register. Comments are due by May 1, 2012. Comments may be submitted online at www.regulations.gov, or sent to Kenneth R. Payne, Director; Marketing Programs Division, Room 2628-S; Livestock and Seed Program, AMS, USDA; STOP 0251; 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.; Washington, D.C. 20250-0251; telephone number (202) 720-1115; fax (202) 720-1125. Copies of the proposed rule and additional information are available from the same address.