The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) and R-CALF USA are asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to stop Oklahoma’s Beef Checkoff vote. The two groups filed an application for original jurisdiction requesting the court enter a declaratory judgement and prohibit the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry from certifying the Oklahoma beef checkoff program referendum.
The legal wrangling is an effort to prevent a secondary $1 per head, refundable beef checkoff in Oklahoma. Mail-in voting began on Oct. 2, and in-person voting will be Nov. 1 at county extension offices.
In a press release, OCM claimed irregularities in the petition drive prior to the vote, and called the vote unconstitutional.
OCM and R-CALF have long-opposed the national Beef Checkoff.
Last week 19 members of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association issued a statement calling on “out-of-state” groups to stop “meddling” in the Oklahoma checkoff vote.
Oklahoma is attempting to establish a producer-funded state-level promotion, marketing, research and education program for beef and beef products. To do so, producers are asked to vote on a state-wide assessment of $1 per head when an animal changes ownership, all of which is refundable on request. That $1 assessment would be in addition to the $1 national beef checkoff program already in place.