Beef Checkoff MOU Being Presented to MembersMon, 26 Jan 2015 12:28:03 CST
Progress continues to be made on improving the nation's beef checkoff. For the past three years, eight groups haven been a part of the Beef Checkoff Working Group, including the National Livestock Producers Association (NLPA). Scott Stuart is the President and Chief Executive Officer of NLPA. He also serves as chair of the Beef Checkoff Working Group. This group has been trying to come up with common group to improve or enhance the current beef checkoff that was established in the 1980's that established a $1 per head assessment on all cattle in the U.S. and all beef imported in the nation.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays interviewed Stuart. Click on the LISTENBAR below to listen to this Beef Buzz feature.
According to Stuart, the need to increase the checkoff assessment from $1 per head to at least $2 per head is tremendous. He said it looks like agricultural groups are getting closer in agreeing on that. There is currently a Memorandum of Understanding that the eight groups have agreed to take back to their respected organizations for consideration this winter.
"During these winter meetings, when most all of the organizations have either their conventions or certainly board meetings, then they can take a look at it indepth, discuss it and if there any areas that they have some discomfort with or want to change, then all that information will be brought back to group and we will be meeting in mid March to assimilate all that information, hear all the reports back from the groups," Stuart said.
Last week NLPA had their mid year board meeting and discussed the MOU from the Beef Checkoff Working Group. Stuart said the NLPA board voted unanimously to support the MOU.
Developing this agreement is three years in the making and Stuart acknowledges this has been a slow process and frustrating at times for all concerned. He understands the frustration of U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, but he said the proposal by the Secretary this last fall to create a second, separate checkoff, produced some real heartburn among some of the groups involved in the working group. Stuart said when the Secretary introduced a secondary checkoff through the 1996 Act, many of the groups had some discomfort in how it was structured.
"The key element to making the beef checkoff successful as it has been, is the grass-roots support and control of the checkoff," Stuart said.
When Ag Secretary Vilsack introduced his proposal, Stuart said the Beef Checkoff Working Group made the decision to continue meeting and working toward a solution because they were so close in finalizing their agreement.
"With the hope the Secretary and obviously others then in Congress would take a look at and say you know this is something the beef industry supports and we need to take a good hard look at this and if it warrants an amendment of the '85 Act, then let's get it done and let's help the beef industry," Stuart said.
Click here to listen to the full interview.
Click here to review the entire MOU now being considered by eight different beef industry groups.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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