NCBA President-Elect Jennifer Houston Predicts Vindication as Lawsuit Against Checkoff ProgressesThu, 17 Jan 2019 17:20:06 CST
The populist beef industry group, R-CALF USA, continues its litigation against the United States Department of Agriculture and the Montana Beef Council. They were successful a couple of years ago in getting a preliminary injunction against the Montana Beef Council that has required the organization to send all of the collected dollars to the Beef Board and then get their part of the dollar that was submitted by producers to give a written ‘okay’ for the state council to utilize it. R-CALF, this last year, was able to expand that injunction to 14 additional states that at this point, don’t actually have to send all the money to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board - but will be included in the court case when it eventually goes to trial. Jennifer Houston is president-elect of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and contends that R-CALF’s true intentions behind this legal action, are directed at NCBA. At the end of the day, though, she believes all will be vindicated.
“In legal terms, we’re early in the process. We do feel certain when the actual facts of the case come out - we’ll get a good decision,” Houston said. “We stand with our state beef councils. That’s the way the order was written. That’s the way farmers and ranchers wanted it back in 1986 and I think that is still the way they want it.”
Houston alleges that R-CALF is really after NCBA and its involvement with the Beef Checkoff, because of the merger of the National Cattlemen’s Association and the National Livestock & Meat Board (which was the home of the Beef Checkoff at the time) some years back. Houston was actually around at the time when that merger happened, serving on the NLMB’s board. Many years have passed since that merger took place and today, she still believes it was the right thing to do.
“I still think it is a decision that gets the best bang for the buck for our producers. Now that (the Checkoff) is housed under the umbrella of NCBA as a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, we still have a staff and a firewall between policy and Checkoff dollars - and we’re the only organization that has been devoted to what the act and order wanted,” she said. “So, we’re really proud of what we’re doing as a contractor of the Beef Checkoff. We take a lot of flack for it, but I feel very confident that we are doing a great job for the people that pay the Checkoff.”
Listen to Houston speak about this issue more in depth with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, on today’s Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is 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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