R-CALF USA has sent a complaint to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and USDA Inspector General Phyllis Fong, saying a news article indicates Weldon Wynn, vice chair of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB), also has been elected vice chairman of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA).
CBB administers the beef checkoff, and according to the R-CALF release, USFRA receives checkoff funding and is seeking a 2013 grant in the amount of $216,958 from the checkoff.
"If our information is correct, this is an outrageous conflict of interest," R-CALF USA wrote in its complaint. The complaint states it would be unconscionable for USDA to tolerate a CBB appointee that serves in a fiduciary capacity for an organization that is a recipient of Beef Checkoff Program funds, and it “would be equally unconscionable if USDA does not provide even rudimentary oversight over the Beef Checkoff Program to ensure that such a blatant conflict of interest does not occur.”