USDA to solicit comments on second beef checkoff

Industry News – AM

USDA to solicit comments on second beef checkoff

By Tom Johnston on 10/29/2014

USDA said it will move ahead with its plan to create a separate beef checkoff in the absence of consensus from the industry as to how to overhaul the existing program.

The agency will file a notice in the Federal Register sometime in early November seeking comments on its proposal, a USDA spokesman confirmed after Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was quoted as saying in an interview with The Progressive Farmer. He also was quoted as saying again he’d continue on this path until the industry reaches consensus on an alternative way forward.

Vilsack said earlier this month he’d create the parallel program if industry members couldn’t reach consensus on the existing checkoff’s reforms.

Cattlemen’s groups nationwide responded with a letter urging the secretary to back off, arguing that USDA’s program would give the government too much control.