The US Department of Agriculture has proposed decreasing membership on the board to 100 members from 103 members. USDA said domestic cattle producer representation on the board decreased to 94 from 96 members, and importer representation declined to six from seven members. The changes are effective with nominations for 2014 for appointments effective in early 2015, USDA noted.
A state or unit is must have an inventory of 500,000 head of cattle to be represented on the board. Members also are entitled to an additional member for each additional 1 million head of cattle.
USDA examined cattle inventories, cattle, beef and beef product import data. USDA said the data called for Texas to lose two seats. But ranchers in Texas have begun rebuilding cattle herds, so cattle numbers will only warrant the loss of one seat by the time the revised board membership takes effect in 2015, USDA said.
Federal law requires USDA to change the board's size according to shifts in cattle inventory levels. The last board reapportionment was in 2011.