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CBB Recommends Separating Federation and NCBA

Contact: Melissa Jackson, 308-697-3486;

The Federation of State Beef Councils would continue to be a strong checkoff entity but would be free from the influence of any policy organization if it were a separate entity from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). That’s the conclusion of a recommendation from the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) Executive Committee this week.

Acting on concerns expressed by industry organizations and the expectations of the Federation included in U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s May 17 letter to NCBA, the CBB Executive Committee on June 22 unanimously approved a motion recommending separation of the Federation and NCBA. The motion states:

“The Federation should be a strong, independent, checkoff entity. The Federation should be separate from any policy organization, since all funds for the checkoff come from mandatory assessments of producers and importers. The checkoff is owned by, and responsible to, all producers and importers, and no specific organization. It is not the intent of the Executive Committee that this motion has any effect on the structure of state beef councils.”

“This recommendation by no means undermines the role of the Federation as a full partner in checkoff activities,” said Executive Committee Chairman Tom Jones, a producer in Arkansas. “The Federation division of NCBA does a tremendous job at managing national checkoff programs.

“We are in no way calling into question the quality of work produced, but because of increased input from industry organizations about the structure of the Federation as a division of a membership organization, we believe the Federation of State Beef Councils should exist independently,” Jones continued. “As NCBA looks at restructuring its organization, we believe a stronger Federation should be the cornerstone to any changes.”

The recommendation has been forwarded to NCBA leadership and to USDA for consideration.

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The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States may retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.


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