Announcement: (From R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America Press
For Immediate Release Contact: Shae Dodson, Communications Coordinator
January 27, 2006 Phone: 406-672-8969; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
ICON DIRECTOR JIM HANNA TO CHAIR R-CALF'S NEW CHECKOFF COMMITTEE
Beef Checkoff Committee Established; Resolutions Head to Members for
(DENVER) During its recent annual convention in Denver, R-CALF
USA held an inaugural Beef Checkoff Committee meeting, a concept created
by R-CALF USA Co-Founder, Region I Director and Former President Leo
McDonnell, as well as R-CALF USA President and Region V Director Chuck
Both gentlemen realized R-CALF members had concerns about the
Checkoff and wanted the organization to become more involved in the
process, said Jim Hanna, R-CALF USA Beef Checkoff Committee Chair.
Both leaders stressed, however, that in no way was this an attempt
to derail the beef promotion process, but rather a format R-CALF could
use to advocate for positive changes.
We started with a clean slate, continued Hanna, a longtime
R-CALF USA member and Nebraska rancher. We had tremendous interest
and participation from the members during the convention, and in the
end, I felt we came away with a couple of very good resolutions.
Members will vote on the proposed resolutions during this years
mail-in ballot, and the proposals contain three major themes:
To encourage R-CALF USA affiliate organizations and their members to
become active in the process used to select members of the Cattlemens
Beef Board (CBB) and state beef councils, and to encourage those individuals
to actively seek positions at both levels.
To make appropriate changes to the Beef Promotion Act and Order that
would allow Beef Checkoff dollars collected from U.S. cattle producers
to be used to promote products derived from cattle that are exclusively
born, raised and processed in the United States.
To establish a referendum process that could effect changes to the
Act and Order including:
the initiation of a required periodic referendum;
the assurance that all national cattle organizations have adequate representation
on the CBB and are able to participate in approved projects;
the ability to promote branded products;
the ability for a larger portion of funds to be used on in-state
the ability for more recently formed cattle-producer organizations to
bid on Beef Checkoff contracts.
I want to stress that none of these ideas advocate for R-CALF
to receive Checkoff dollars, Hanna said. Our membership
and leadership insisted that any organization, including ours, that
lobby for specific policy purposes should not be a primary contractor
for Checkoff funds.
We recognize the importance of beef promotion and look forward
to working with the CBB to create an even stronger program, Hanna
continued. We need to move away from finding things we cant
do, and toward finding ways to do more things that benefit U.S. cattle
Kiker said he has known since the first R-CALF USA convention he attended
that member producers were not opposed to the Beef Checkoff.
Weve built a dialogue with the Cattlemens Beef Board
staff, and this year they attended the R-CALF convention, Kiker
said. We had an open forum with those gentlemen, and it went extremely
well, resulting in the two resolutions that will go before our membership
for a vote.
And while R-CALF has no interest whatsoever in contracting with
the Checkoff, we do want our members who pay Checkoff dollars to feel
like theyre engaged and have a vested interest in the Checkoff
process, emphasized Kiker.