The Checkoff Task Force recommendations would help to increase understanding of the checkoff and should give producers a better understanding of the program while making it more inclusive. The adjustment of the checkoff rate is obviously needed with inflation and expenses, a dollar is simply inadequate. However, the recommended change to $2 would require a referendum vote, and the question will be will the industry act on these recommendations. R-CALF USA opposed the recommendation to increase the checkoff increase which passed 11-4.
Referendums are expensive for the industry and take up a lot of resources that need to be directed elsewhere. The 10% signature requirement is essential to eliminating a never ending string of referendum. That said, the $1 checkoff fee has been inadequate for quite some time, and the $2 will be inadequate at some point in the future as well. If the industry is (and it hasn't done anything in this direction yet) going to hold a referendum on raising the checkoff fee to $2/head, then they should do it so that referendums will not need to be held in the future.
Instead of voting for $2 head, we should be asked to vote on a new formula for deriving the checkoff fee that would take into account cattle prices, inflation and the like. An adjusted fee basis such as this would make it so the collection fee would not have to be readjusted on a regulated basis. The only controversial recommendation will be the increase in the checkoff.
-- Troy Marshall