Domestic cattle producer representation on the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB), which oversees the distribution of check off funds, will decrease from 103 to 100 members beginning in 2003. Importer representation will increase by one member to a total of eight members. Over all membership on the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board will decrease from 110 to 108 members. The revised representation will be effective with nominations in 2002 for appointments effective early in the year 2003.

The changes are due to fluctuations in cattle inventories since the last board reapportionment in 1999. This decrease is based on requirements of the 1986 Beef Promotion and Research Order, authorized by the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985. The order provides for a board review of geographic distribution of U.S. cattle inventories and the volume of imported cattle, beef and beef products at least every three years

A state or unit must have an inventory of 500,000 head of cattle to be represented on the board and is entitled to an additional member for each additional 1,000,000 head of cattle. The board used an average of USDA's Jan. 1 cattle inventory for 1999, 2000 and 2001 to determine representation.

Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, New York and Wisconsin will each lose one member, while New Mexico and Wyoming would each gain one member.

In addition, South Carolina, which no longer has sufficient cattle inventory to qualify for a position on the board independently, will be merged with Georgia, a contiguous state that is authorized to have one member, to form a Southeast unit. The combined cattle inventory for South Carolina and Georgia will entitle the Southeast unit to two members.

Details of the changes were published in the March 14 issue of the Federal Register. Copies of the final rule and additional information are available from Marlene M. Betts, acting chief, Marketing Programs Branch, USDA AMS Livestock and Seed Program, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Stop 0251, Washington, DC 20250-0251; or by calling 202/720-1115.