Seven organizations belonging to the Beef Checkoff Enhancement Working Group have signed a revised memorandum of understanding (MOU) that identifies improvements to be sought in the national beef checkoff. The groups are the American Farm Bureau Federation, American National CattleWomen, Livestock Marketing Association, Meat Import Council of America, NCBA, National Livestock Producers Association and the National Milk Producers Federation.

Components of the MOU include increasing the current checkoff assessment rate from $1.00 to $2.00 per head. This will require a change in the current checkoff act and order. Within a year of the new legislation being signed into law, a referendum of beef producers and importers will be conducted. If a majority of checkoff payers vote in favor of the question, the assessment rate will be increased.

Assessments would continue to be collected by state beef councils, which will have the authority to retain 50% of the assessment. A refund of the second dollar, but not the original $1.00-per-head, will be available.

Every five years, the U.S. secretary of agriculture will open a 30-day comment period for checkoff payers to request a referendum on the continuation of the checkoff and/or a change in the assessment rate. If 10% or more request a referendum, a timely vote will be conducted. A simple majority will determine the outcome.

The new Joint Nominating Committee will include members of the Beef Board, Federation of State Beef Councils and other national organizations representing checkoff payers. This group will recommend candidates to serve on the Beef Promotion Operating Committee.

Language in the MOU also specifies the Beef Board will annually provide all interested and eligible contractors with information and training on the contracting process.
Source: KLA