DES MOINES – After a referendum was passed Dec. 8 by the Iowa Dept. of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the state plans to reinstate a 50 cent-per-head beef checkoff, effective March 1, 2017.

Preliminary results of the Nov. 30 vote, which was a result of a petition that was filed by the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, with signatures from more than 500 Iowa cattle producers, were 56 percent to 44 percent in favor of reinstating the checkoff. State agriculture officials must certify the results of the referendum, according to a statement, and while the checkoff will be mandatory, producers will be afforded refunds if interested.

The state checkoff decision has no effect on the federal beef checkoff of $1 per head. The state assessment is earmarked for beef-specific marketing, research, image enhancement, trade expansion and educational efforts.