FROM: INDEPENDENT CATTLEMEN OF NEBRASKA, Box 241, Hyannis, NE 69350
Media Contact: Mary Mulligan (402) 967-3464; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 20, 2006
ICON REPRESENTATIVE DISAPPOINTED WITH OUTCOME OF CHECKOFF TASK FORCE
ICON Director and R-CALF USA Checkoff Committee Chairman, Jim Hanna,
participated in the recently-concluded Beef Checkoff Improvement Task
Force meetings in Kansas City. I was disappointed that the Task
Force seemed to have a singular focus, that being to raise the Checkoff
assessment to $2.00.
We knew going in
that NCBA and its affiliate members represented a majority on the Task
Force, and that getting serious consideration of our ideas was going
to be difficult at best, said Hanna.
The Task Force offered
four basic recommendations for its members to take back to their respective
organizations. Those were:
- Raise the assessment
- Change the referendum
process to require the USDA to survey producers every 5 years. If this
survey process indicated support amounting to 10% of producers, then
a referendum would be held within one year.
- Change the contracting
requirements to allow national organizations that came into existence
after 1986 to be eligible to compete for Checkoff contracts.
- Encourage the Federation
of State Beef Councils to enhance its identity.
and ICON) supported the changes in the referendum process and contracting
requirements, even though they were not exactly what we had hoped for,
commented Hanna. We strongly opposed raising the assessment, as
we felt other major structural changes needed to be addressed before
we gave an increase any consideration. We also voted against the proposed
enhancements to the Federation as these were cosmetic changes only and
were being used to pad the proposed increase in the assessment.
He continued, We
brought a number of issues to the table that we felt were important
to independent producers. Those were:
- Requiring the Federation
to become independent of the NCBA and allowing the Cattlemens
Beef Board to contract directly with vendors
- A MANDATORY periodic
- Using a portion
of Checkoff funds to promote products from cattle that were born
and raised in the U.S.
- Continuation of
discussions concerning expanding the assessment to fresh beef and beef
- Assurances that
no one organization represents a majority on the CBB or the Operating
Owning to the fact
that most of these concepts would either counter NCBA policy or reduce
their influence over the Checkoff, the Task Force gave them little notice.
It is important
to note that any major changes to the Act and Order, regardless of who
recommends them, will require Congressional action, approval by the
USDA, and finally, a vote by producers. It will be a long process---
in all likelihood, 2-3 years--- and at the end, you the producer, will
ultimately decide if you want an increase in the assessment level.
CATTLEMEN OF NEBRASKA
as a windmill. Always working for the independent producer."