USCA sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack requesting a full investigation into checkoff.
The U.S. Cattlemen's Association (USCA) says that the resignation of Cattlemen's Beef Board (CBB) Chairman Tom Jones is strong evidence that the USDA and Congress must intervene in the national mandatory beef checkoff before the program suffers irreparable harm.
CBB CEO Tom Ramey resigned his position on June 29. Jones, who was an elected chairman of the CBB in February of this year, resigned on Monday, July 11. CBB vice chairman, Wes Grau, Grady, NM, will serve as chairman until the CBB meeting in Florida on Aug. 4 when the full CBB will determine further action.
"It is unprecedented in the checkoff's history for the CEO and chairman of the CBB to resign their positions almost simultaneously and under pressure from the checkoff's primary contractor. These are extremely unfortunate times for the beef checkoff and they require intervention by the regulating agency," says Jon Wooster, USCA president. "These good leaders have been maligned by the contractor that has committed financial transgressions subjecting the checkoff to a federal audit, subordinated the CBB's authority by committing checkoff funds without the approval of the CBB Executive Committee and, in the process, purposefully excluded CBB staff from negotiations involving checkoff funds. That contractor then launched a calculated attack on CBB leadership seeking their resignations or removal to the detriment of the overall program."
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