Kansas Cattlemen Provides Input on New Beef Checkoff
Kansas Cattlemen’s Association (KCA) is pleased that USDA sought input from the public and industry stakeholders to guide its development of a new industry-funded promotion, research and information order. Within its comments, KCA took the opportunity to express the importance of reform within the beef checkoff program. The current beef checkoff program has a number of flaws and loopholes that allow lobbying groups to infiltrate program resources. KCA emphasized the importance of fixing those loopholes and creating integrity within a new checkoff program.
KCA has spent more than eight years working to reform the current beef checkoff system. Since 2006, KCA has met several times with representatives from the Kansas Beef Council to address concerns within the state system, including its lack of transparency, how the Board is appointed, and its lack if independency as a division of the lobbying group, the Kansas Livestock Association.
Answering specific questions from the USDA in regards to potential reform, KCA continued its quest to ensure that any beef checkoff board be independent of any policy group. KCA also stressed the importance of promoting USA beef and ensuring that checkoff assessments are refundable.
“We are going to follow through with ensuring the beef checkoff funds are not misused, they are not routed to subsidize organizations that lobby against the very people that pay into it, and we want to ensure that independent producers are in control of the program,” stated KCA Executive Director Tyler Dupy.
KCA will continue to be engaged with this process. As the largest independent cattle producer organization in Kansas, KCA will maintain communication with USDA and other industry groups. As well, KCA will continue to be the leading organization that provides factual information about checkoff reform to producers across the state.