A proposed rule from the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) would revise the eligibility standards for organizations seeking contracts through the Beef Checkoff. National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson recently submitted comments in response to proposed rule that would expand the contracting authority as established under the Beef Promotion and Research Order.
“NFU has supported efforts that will increase the credibility, transparency, and accountability of the checkoff so that all producers have a say in how their money is spent, and this rule change is in keeping with that goal,” said Johnson. “Farmers Union members passed a special order of business at our recent convention that outlines several changes that need to be made to the checkoff’s administration. The special order states that no organization should receive contracts for more than 50 percent of the total checkoff dollars on an annual basis.”
The proposed amendment will change the current date requirement in the order so that organizations that have been active and operating for at least two years could be eligible to contract with the BPOC for the implementation and conduct of beef checkoff programs.
“This is the first of many positive steps that need to be taken to continue to strengthen producer confidence in the checkoff program and expand organizational diversity,” said Johnson. “There have been several organizations developed since 1985 that represent cattlemen across this country and they should have the same access to request checkoff dollars as everyone else.”
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.