In Comments to Secretary Vilsack- AFR Sees No Need for Second and Separate Beef CheckoffThu, 11 Dec 2014 04:05:43 CST
The following comments were submitted to the US government on Wednesday by the American Farmers and Ranchers organization, the last day that input was being accepted by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in regards to a second and separate Beef Checkoff he believes is needed by the US cattle industry. They were supplied to the Oklahoma Farm Report by the President of the AFR, Terry Detrick:
"On behalf of over 130,000 members in the State of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma American Farmers and Ranchers (AFR) submits the following comments regarding the Beef Check-Off as derived from our grassroots membership.
1) AFR does not support the implementation of an additional Check-Off Program such as the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996.
2) AFR favors one Beef Check-Off program controlled by beef producers who have been nominated by qualified livestock production entities and appointed by the USDA Secretary of Agriculture similar to the current selection methods.
3) The USDA appointees will make up the National Check-Off Board similar to the current CBB and be governed by a slate of executive officers elected by this national board of producers.
4) Livestock ‘handlers’ including but not limited to importers and exporters will pay the updated check-off and be granted ex-officio status on the overall board and serve in an advisory capacity only.
5) Appointees within a state will elect executive leadership officers and be allowed local control over a portion of the check-off funds.
6) AFR favors only one check-off and that it be a $2 check-off consisting of $1 that is non-refundable and $1 that may be refunded upon formal request by the producer.
7) AFR favors the right to referendum requiring 10% of eligible producers requesting such.
8) AFR favors an adequate portion of the check-off dollars being allocated to enable the administration of research, education, and market development initiatives. The contracting for such should be accomplished through appropriately elected executive leadership and implementation of a committee structure that mandates the best possible accountability and efficiency while being subject to USDA audit at all times and with mandatory annual audits.
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