State Beef Checkoff Petition Drive RollingTue, 13 Oct 2015 16:20:41 CDT
The obstacles to getting the U.S. beef checkoff increased at the federal level are huge. The underlying act and order would have to be opened by Congress and supporters of the current beef checkoff are fearful that could actually jeopardize the checkoff funds the beef industry currently has. A lot of states with large cattle populations are now looking at creating a secondary state beef checkoff to supplement those federal dollars. The state of Texas has set up a secondary checkoff which has been operating for the past year. Oklahoma has been looking to do something similar. Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association Executive Vice President Michael Kelsey said the drive to get signatures is underway and going well.
"Boy, we've just had extreme acceptance and a lot of support for that," Kelsey said. "Now we have a long way to go. We've got to get 5,500 signatures and that's a big mountain, but we think we can get it done. We're going to work hard to do that this fall."
The signature drive has been aided by the support of several general farm organizations, livestock markets and even the Oklahoma Junior Cattlemen's Association (OJCA). Kelsey said having a secondary checkoff would impact all of the state's cattle producers, regardless of age. If you sell cattle and pay the checkoff, then you are eligible to sign the petition and are eligible to vote on the proposal. Kelsey said it's an important lesson for the state's future cattle producers.
"If you think about it, they are going to be ones that are going to be producing beef 20 years from now and so it's important they get involved," Kelsey said.
Texas had about 6,000 cattle producers vote in the state secondary beef checkoff referendum. With half as many beef producers, Oklahoma will be challenged to get almost that many cattle producers to sign a petition. In order to get a vote on a state secondary beef checkoff sometime in the late spring of 2016.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Kelsey on the Beef Buzz feature. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz.
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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