Petition Drive Continues for Oklahoma Producers to Consider Beef Checkoff FeeMon, 11 Jan 2016 18:59:08 CST
There are few opportunities for the U.S. beef industry to increase the nation’s beef checkoff. It may not be until the next Farm Bill is considered in the next two to three years before a fee increase could be considered. As a result, several states are looking at establishing a secondary beef checkoff as the best opportunity to get additional resources for beef promotion, education and research. Texas has already established and implemented a secondary beef checkoff and Oklahoma has begun the process to get a secondary checkoff. Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association Executive Vice President Michael Kelsey said they are working to collect signatures to call for an actual referendum sometime this year. Right now there are a lot of petitions distributed throughout the state. He said they are starting collect those petitions, so OCA can gauge the progress of the signature drive.
“We’ve got a good database of signatures in place,” Kelsey said. “I don’t know that we have the 5,000 that we need yet. I think we are getting much, much closer than where we were even a month ago.”
Beef producers still have an opportunity to sign the petition. The petition is available through the OCA website, plus it was published in the “Cowman” publication the last two months. Beef producers are encouraged to sign the petition and mail it to the OCA office.
“We’re excited, we think we’ve got some momentum,” Kelsey said. “We think for sure this year, we’re going to get this done and have an opportunity for a referendum.”
The secondary state beef checkoff would supplement to the nation’s beef checkoff. The maximum state assessment will be $1 per head at the change of ownership. The state assessment, as required by state statute, is refundable. Kelsey said the secondary checkoff would be controlled by Oklahoma and this would allow for more checkoff resources to stay within the state of Oklahoma.
In the future, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry will hold a public hearing to determine if the signatures have meet the requirements. That will determine if OCA is qualified to initiate a referendum. If that happens, then Oklahoma cattle producers will be directed to go to a county extension office to vote on the referendum.
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.
To read more about an Oklahoma Beef Checkoff, click here.
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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