“The proposal for a second checkoff program was designed to help the industry achieve its goal,” a USDA spokesman said in a statement. “However, as the appropriations bill Congress passed last week directed the Department not to implement a second beef checkoff program, USDA will no longer pursue that solution. USDA encourages the beef industry to work together to determine ways to secure more resources for the beef checkoff program so that it can continue to support cattle ranchers around the country.”
The $1 per-head of cattle per producer has remained unchanged since 1985, and only Congress can change the amount.
Vilsack had argued that creating a new, separate and supplemental beef checkoff program would bring more resources into the beef industry. But cattle associations vowed to oppose a second checkoff. More than 40 state cattlemen's associations signed on to a letter sent to Vilsack urging him to stop any efforts to establish a second checkoff.