Viewpoint of Former USDA AMS Official turned meat packer executive on beef checkoff

North American Meat Association

November 10, 2014

Beef Promotion, Research, and Information Order

Research and Promotion Division

Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA

Room 2096-S, STOP 0249

1400 Independence Avenue SW

Washington, DC 20250-0249

The Notice of Proposed Rule Making, published today in the Federal Register, by the

Agricultural Marketing Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, requests

comments on a new Beef Promotion, Research, and Information Order, pursuant to the authority

provided in the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996. The Notice is

seeking comments following recommendations made to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack by a

Cross Industry Working Group (CIWG) and some unidentified organizations that have

approached the Secretary.

NAMA represents meatpackers and processors who are not contemplated as paying participants

in the new Checkoff. However, these same packers and processors are cooperators with the

existing Checkoff program, and are very much engaged in both research and marketing activities

within the scope of this program. In addition, many of our members are cattle producers or


In making this proposal, we respectfully request to be provided by USDA their views about the

efficiency, or more likely the inefficiency, of managing two programs designed to do the same

thing – namely to provide funding for research and promotion of beef. Also, did the proponents

consider the potential challenges of coordinating projects, and if so what were their findings?

While we commend Secretary Vilsack for recognizing the need for additional funding, it would

be appropriate to be able to show that a second program would be a more cost-effective and

better focused approach than would be working with Congress to increase the funds through the

current program. NAMA respectfully requests further information from the Department with

respect to these initial comments so that we may more fully respond within the rather short

timeframe for comments. Thank you very much.


Barry Carpenter