Beef checkoff vote is Nov. 20

Posted on Nov 10, 2014
Leaders of the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association attended last month’s meeting of the KFB Board of Directors to provide information about the upcoming beef checkoff referendum. A vote on whether Kentucky cattle producers may be assessed $1 per head for a state beef checkoff program is scheduled for November 20. All producers involved in the marketing or sale of cattle in Kentucky are eligible to vote from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. at county extension offices.

Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association Executive Director Dave Maples addressed the KFB Board as KCA President Steve Downs awaited his turn.
Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association Executive Director Dave Maples addressed the KFB Board as KCA President Steve Downs awaited his turn.

The referendum will ask Kentucky cattle producers: “Shall the producersof bovine animals assess themselves an additional ONE DOLLAR ($1.00) per head sold, and use the funds so collected by the Kentucky Beef Promotion Council to finance a program to promote and stimulate by research, market development, and education, the use and sale, domestic and foreign, of bovine animal products?”

Currently, producers are accessed $1 per head for the national program, of which 50 cents is returned to Kentucky. Therefore, the referendum is about increasing the checkoff fee in Kentucky to $2 per head.

KCA Executive Director Dave Maples told the KFB leaders that the additional dollar would generate around $1.4 million and would be the first checkoff increase in 27 years. KCA has not developed specific plans for spending the additional revenue, but anticipates expanding many of its programs and initiating more cooperative projects, he explained.

Maples stressed that all of the funds would go for Kentucky programs, and not the national program. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has proposed another $1 national checkoff program in addition to the current one, but the idea has drawn opposition. (There is no state law that would require the additional $1 Kentucky checkoff to be rescinded if the national assessment is raised)

KCA President Steve Downs, a Marion County cattleman, called the state checkoff “a good insurance policy to have for us.”

To vote by absentee ballot, a request form must be completed and sent to the commissioner of agriculture at least 10 days in advance of the referendum date. The request form may be obtained from any Extension office, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, or the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association. Completed request forms should be sent to Steve Kelly, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, 105 Corporate Dr., Frankfort, KY 40601.

The department will tabulate the votes and announce the results. If producers vote in favor of the state checkoff, it will become effective April 1, 2015.

As is the case for commodity checkoff programs, upon a written request producers can obtain a refund within 30 days of the date on which the assessment is collected.

KFB does not take positions on specific checkoff referendums, but has policy calling for referendums and refund options on all checkoff programs.

Tagged Post Topics Include: cattle, Check-off, Dave Maples, Education, Kentucky Cattleman's Association, Marion County, Market Development, Steve Downs, Steve Kelly, Tom Vilsack, USDA