Comments on checkoff changes are due Sept. 13 |

Comments on checkoff changes are due Sept. 13

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has proposed changes to both the beef and soybean checkoff programs that would allow producers, under certain circumstances, to request that their assessments paid to a qualified state board or council be redirected to the national program.

The beef and soybean programs authorize the collection of assessments from cattle and soybean producers. In most cases, assessments are collected by a qualified state board or council – either Qualified State Beef Councils or Qualified State Soybean Boards – that retain a portion of the assessments. The state boards and councils forward the remainder of the assessments to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board or United Soybean Board, which administer the national programs. Some states have laws that allow state assessments, but some do not.

Therefore, AMS is adding a provision to these two promotion and research orders to allow beef and soybean producers to redirect assessments to the national program in certain cases, also ensuring that producers pay the full assessment as required by the beef or soybean legislation. For producers to be able to request that their assessments be redirected from the state organization to the national program, they must be in a state meeting one of the two circumstances:

There is no state law requiring assessments to a state board or council; or

There is a state law requiring assessments, but the state law allows for refunds.

In addition, technical amendments would be made to the Beef Order to update information.

Details of the proposed changes published in the July 15, 2016, Federal Register. Comments must be summited by Sept. 13, 2016, and may be submitted online at, (here,) or sent to Kevin Studer, Agricultural Marketing Specialist; Research and Promotion Division, Room 2608-S; Livestock, Poultry and Seed Program; AMS, USDA, STOP 0249; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW.; Washington, D.C. 20250-0249; telephone number (202) 253-2380; fax (202) 720-1125. Copies of the proposed rule and additional information are available from the same address. F


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