Group supports CBB executive committee in vote of total separation from NCBA
BILLINGS, MT – R-CALF USA has signed on to a joint letter with nine other groups in support of the recent vote by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) executive committee to keep the Federation of State Beef Councils separate from any policy organization, specifically the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).
“We support any action by USDA (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture) that would lead to the separation of NCBA from the Federation of State Beef Councils (Federation)…We believe this recent move by this (CBB) executive board may very well be a deciding factor in the survival of the Beef Checkoff and ultimately the profitability and viability of these producers,” the joint letter states in part.
Cattle producers pay $1 per each head of cattle they sell into the National Beef Checkoff Program. In most state programs, 50 percent of that dollar goes to the state beef council where the producer lives and the other 50 percent goes to the CBB, which is then contracted out to various entities for the marketing of and promotion of beef. NCBA is the largest contractor organization. The various state beef councils make up the Federation.
“According to the Beef Promotion and Research Order of 1985 Section 1260.112 the Federation of State Beef Councils was implemented by, and transitioned to, NCBA as a successor organization to the Beef Industry Council of the National Livestock & Meat Board, the joint letter also states. “This then would affirm that there is no policy firewall between the policy side of NCBA and the State Beef Councils. Therefore since the Federation is actually under the rule of a policy organization (NCBA) all indications are that it is in violation of the Beef Promotion and Research Act, Section 2904 (10). In turn our State Beef Councils do not have a nonpartisan independent voice with which to voice producer concerns to the (CBB) Operating Committee.”
“More than 97 percent of cattle producers belong to organizations not affiliated with NCBA, and of that amount, about 72 percent are exclusively represented only by their state beef councils and the Federation, so that means that 72 percent of the cattle producers in the country would not have an equal voice in the governance of their Checkoff program if the Federation continues under the dominance of NCBA,” said R-CALF USA Region XII Director Joel Gill, who also chairs the group’s checkoff committee.
“We support the Checkoff and the prospects of it, but we expect some changes so our members have solid representation that they know will benefit the actual producers out there who are paying the Checkoff,” said R-CALF USA President/Region VI Director Max Thornsberry. “It’s not 1988 any more. There’s got to be some changes. We have some differences with NCBA, and we don’t want NCBA to be the CBB’s and the Federation’s only source of information. If genuine producers aren’t allowed to participate in the process, you will continue to see opposition to any increase in their Checkoff assessment.”
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the June 19, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News