WASHINGTON – Organizations that have represented the cattle industry for at least two years would be eligible to contract for Beef Checkoff programs under a new rule from the US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) submitted comments in favor of the new rule on March 14. Currently, only organizations active and ongoing since 1985 are allowed to contract with the checkoff.

“NCBA supports an open and transparent checkoff program that is producer driven. This proposed rule would simply enhance this quest,” said J.D. Alexander, NCBA president. “We support a competitive checkoff contracting system that ensures producers are getting the absolute best return on their investment. We believe a multitude of ideas coming from several different organizations will enhance creativity and innovation regarding techniques to build and defend beef demand. Along with ideas, contractors must come to the table with the know-how and the resources to transform ideas into reality.”

Comments on the proposed rule must be submitted to the Federal Register by May 1, 2012.