North Dakota group opposes state checkoff increase

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An attempt by the North Dakota Stockmen's Association to double the checkoff for beef promotion and education in the state is facing pushback from another association within the state.

The proposed increase would double the checkoff from one dollar to two. Ranchers in the state would be able to opt for a refund of the second dollar. The proposition would move the checkoff rate higher for the first time in 30 years. Half of the $2 fee on every cattle sold would remain in the state while the other half would go to the national beef checkoff program.

The Associated Press reports Independent Beef Association of North Dakota President Kenny Graner believes a checkoff fee should be raised nationally, rather than on a state-by-state basis. Graner says the decision should be made by cattle producers, rather than moving the decision through the legislative process.

Seven states have raised the checkoff, North Dakota would be the eighth if the proposition passes. Two other states have rejected a similar proposal according to IBAND.

North Dakota Stockmen's Association must prove an increase is necessary in order to as the 2015 Legislature to raise the checkoff fee by a dollar. Checkoff funds have been affected by the decline in national cattle inventory and inflation gradually raising expenses over the past three decades.

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Mid West  |  January, 20, 2014 at 11:18 AM

With no thanks to the years of Beef Checkoff, cattle numbers are reducing in the USA and the amount of beef to feed the nation is not being produced, therefore, less promotion funds are necessary. When 18% of beef consumed in the USA was imported last year there needs to be encouragement for producers to produce more USA beef rather than promotion to have citizens to eat more beef. A $2 tax every time a critter changes hands is not an encouragement to producers. Once again our governing cattle organizations get their job security ahead of the real needs of producers.

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