The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications from state cattle associations or general farm organizations that want to be certified as eligible to nominate beef, dairy or veal producers to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board. Applications are due by March 4, 2015.

The primary considerations in determining the eligibility of associations or organizations to participate in making nominations to the board include: (1) the association or organization's total paid membership is comprised of at least a majority of cattle producers or the association or organization's total paid membership represents at least a majority of the cattle producers in the state; (2) the association or organization represents a substantial number of producers that produce a substantial number of cattle in the state; (3) the association or organization has a history of stability and permanency; and (4) a primary or overriding purpose of the association or organization is to promote the economic welfare of cattle producers.

Any organization or association that wants to be certified to nominate board members must complete an application for certification. The application can be found online by following the “Beef” link at www.ams.usda.gov/researchandpromotion. Upon review of the application, USDA will notify the organization or association whether or not it has been certified. Organizations currently certified to nominate do not need to reapply. Only those organizations that are not currently certified to submit nominations must complete and submit an official application to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

USDA is seeking additional nominating organizations to help ensure that a diverse set of candidates are nominated for all research and promotion boards. USDA encourages board membership that reflects the diversity of the individuals served by its industry. Diversity includes gender, race, disability, length of service, and size and type of operation.

For additional information regarding the certification process, contact Angie Snyder, Deputy Director, Research and Promotion Division, at (202) 680-3714, or via email at Angie.Snyder@ams.usda.gov.

The 100-member board is authorized by the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985. The Secretary selects the appointees nominated by certified organizations representing beef, veal, and dairy producers and importers.

Research and promotion programs are industry-funded, authorized by Congress and date back to 1966. Since then, Congress has authorized the establishment of 22 research and promotion boards. They empower agricultural industries by establishing a framework for them to pool resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotion activities. AMS provides oversight, helping to ensure fiscal responsibility, program efficiency and fair treatment of participating stakeholders.