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USCA supports Beef Checkoff Modernization legislation

00:00AM Sep 30, 2008

Today Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced the Beef Checkoff Modernization Act in the U.S. Senate, according to a press release from the U.S. Cattlemen's Association (USCA) which supports the legislation. 

Senator Tester's bill will amend the Beef Act to allow the promotion of beef born and raised exclusively in the U.S., allow the establishment of an importers qualified beef council to promote non-domestic beef, and it will establish new referendum requirements that will give producers more control over the program.

Specifically, the bill directs at least 30% of funds derived from beef checkoff assessments be made available for the promotion and marketing of products derived from cattle exclusively born and raised in the U.S. and also directs that a certain percentage of funds be authorized for use by the importers qualified beef council to promote products derived from cattle not born and raised in the U.S. Further, the bill calls for a periodic producer referendum on the beef checkoff, beginning in 2010, to determine whether cattle producers favor termination or suspension of the program. The bill also provides for any future changes to the program to be voted on by referendum and approved by a majority of producers, including any increase in the assessment.