USCA submits comments on proposed changes to checkoff redirection assessments

Farm Forum

WASHINGTON – The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) recently submitted comments on the proposed rule, “Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information; Beef Promotion and Research; Amendments To Allow Redirection of State Assessments to the National Program; Technical Amendments”. USCA’s comments focused on the redirection of beef checkoff assessments.

USCA questions specific sections of the proposed rule, most notably the state-by-state approach and its ultimate impact on producers’ ability to request redirection of their assessments to state vs. national programs. A producer must have the ability to direct their assessments; as currently written, the proposed rule could hamper this action.

The proposed rule also includes cumbersome paperwork and arbitrary deadlines that will continue to burden the checkoff program. The regulation, if approved as written, would apply a submission deadline on any redirect requests made. Producers would be mandated to submit redirect requests by the 15th of the month after cattle are sold. This places an undue burden on producers, state beef councils, and the national checkoff program. USCA proposed a simple remedy to this clause, suggesting a simple form be developed, allowing producers to submit redirect requests on an annual basis.

USCA Vice President Kenny Graner commented on the proposed rule, “USCA continues to support the national beef checkoff program. However, necessary enhancements must be made to ensure producers’ dollars are being allocated appropriately. Several of the components in this proposed rule will only continue to hamper the checkoff program. Producers must be able to dictate where their dollars are used and this proposed regulation falls short of achieving that goal.”

“USCA looks forward to continuing the conversation on this important topic and has asked for further review and revisions to the proposed rule.”