The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced a final decision to decrease membership on the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board from 103 to 100 members. The law authorizing the board requires the board’s size to change with shifts in cattle inventory levels.

This decrease is due to changes in cattle inventories since the last board reapportionment in 2011. Domestic cattle producer representation on the board decreased from 96 to 94, and importer representation decreased from seven to six. The decrease is based on requirements of the Beef Promotion and Research Order, authorized by the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985. The Order provides for a review of geographic distribution of U.S. cattle inventories and the volume of imported cattle, beef, and beef products at least every three years and not more than every two years. Board membership then must be reapportioned accordingly.
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. In considering reapportionment, the board reviewed cattle inventories, as well as cattle, beef, and beef product import data, for 2010 through 2012. The revised representation is effective with nominations in 2014 for appointments effective early in the year 2015.
Originally the data called for a loss of two seats in Texas. However, comments received with the proposed rule brought up an unusual circumstance in Texas. A previous drought in the area led to a reduction in cattle numbers, but increased precipitation has allowed farmers to begin rebuilding their herds. By the time the reapportionment takes effect with the 2015 board Texas cattle numbers will warrant the loss of only one seat.
 
In addition, technical amendments will be made to update and correct information in the Order and regulations.