Beef Checkoff Transparency Key to Avoiding Fraud
Kansas Cattlemen's Association, Junction City, KS - The investigation of embezzlement of $2.6 million, over a seven-year period, by a former Oklahoma Beef Council employee, warrants additional considerations and review of the Beef Checkoff program in its entirety. Regardless of reports released by the Cattlemen's Beef Board of phenomenal support of the Beef Checkoff by cattlemen, dissension grows in the ranks due to a lack of transparency of how the contributions are utilized, weak USDA oversight, and lack of producer control.
Kansas Cattlemen's Association (KCA) has long called for reform of the Beef Checkoff with respect to transparency, structure, and oversight. The Beef Checkoff has provided numerous benefits of branding and beef promotion, Beef Quality Assurance, and extensive product development research. KCA supports the worthwhile projects which help to move demand forward for our product, but reminds that it is critical to have control and oversight of these programs to ensure fiscal responsibility and maximum return for the investment.
"When cattle producer contributions are used for anything other than beef promotion, research, and administration, they are used contrary to their purpose. KCA applauds the Oklahoma Beef Council for working to bolster its accounting systems and internal controls, and hiring a third-party accounting firm to add more oversight. We urge all other organizations across the country charged with managing Beef Checkoff contributions to improve internal controls. In addition, they need to provide detailed accounting to the ranching community of how their hard-earned money is being disbursed," stated Tyler Dupy, KCA Executive Director.
The Kansas Cattlemen's Association is committed to restoring profits, self-esteem, freedom, fair trade, trust, and community pride back to the farms, ranches, and rural communities across Kansas and the nation. KCA seeks to ensure Beef Checkoff contributions are used legitimately and efficiently to promote USA Beef as it is: safe, wholesome, nutritious, and delicious protein.