I received a rash of emails this week regarding the checkoff piece I wrote in last week’s edition of BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly ("Thoughts On The Checkoff Fiasco”). Certainly, there’s a lot of frustration in the country that things have been allowed to degenerate to such a level. The politicization of the checkoff and it becoming the major battle ground for internal industry political power games is the exact opposite of what was intended for the program.
I haven’t gone into detail about the unethical and secret spying of phone calls and the breaches of trust because hopefully they will be dealt within the OIG investigations taking place. And while the principal players still have their jobs, others have lost theirs as a result of indiscretions, so it’s not too difficult to figure out which leaders were engaged in activities more reminiscent of Watergate than what we’d expect in this industry.
Without question, if we’re ever going to rebuild trust and move forward, certain people will have to move on. And, I’m confident that producers will take the necessary steps to ensure the viability of the checkoff for the long term.
We all want the checkoff to focus on building demand, and we all want the industry to move forward with minimal damage. Perhaps it’s wrong on my part for not airing all the dirty laundry, but producers will fix things for the good of the industry, and it probably doesn’t serve anyone to get too far ahead of the process.