Cattlemen tell Vilsack to back off on checkoff

Cattlemen tell Vilsack to back off on checkoff

By Tom Johnston on 10/15/2014

State cattlemen’s associations and the National Beef Cattlemen’s Association on Tuesday wrote a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack asking him not to create a separate beef checkoff program that they say would introduce excessive government control and lack coordination.

Vilsack told cattlemen earlier this month that he would use authority under 1996 farm legislation to institute a program parallel to the existing Beef Checkoff program if they could not reach consensus on reforms.

In the letter, the groups contend that the existing program assures grassroots involvement through state beef councils, among other points.

“State beef council involvement through collection of the dollar, representation on the Beef Promotion Operating Committee and on program-recommending joint checkoff program committees is crucial to our principles,” the letter states.

Read the entire letter here.