Proposal to Increase Beef Check off Dollars in North Dakota - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Proposal to Increase Beef Check off Dollars in North Dakota

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Since 1985 for every animal a ranchers sells--they pay $1 to the Beef Check off program.
Those dollars are used to increase consumer demand through promotion, research and advertisements. 
The Stockman's Association would like to double that dollar amount, but some ranchers disagree.
Ag Reporter Sarah Gustin has the story.

It's a tune and slogan you have come to know.
The North Dakota Stockmen's Association is bringing forth a proposal that would double the amount ranchers are currently paying into the program during the next legislative session.
(Julie Ellingson / NDSA Exec. Director) "What our vision would be that 2 dollar per head would be exchanged at the time those animals move through the marketing channel. But the new dollar would be refundable. It provides the opportunity for people to add to the pool of resources so we can do more promotion and education of the beef product."
Ellingson says with fewer cattle being sold in the nation, attacks by animal activists, and educating more consumers than ever before the check off needs more dollars to work with.
(Julie Ellingson / NDSA Exec. Director)"Advertising costs more, research costs more, there is less cattle in the United States, so there is less cattle changing hands." 
In the proposal there's the option of having that $1 extra dollar refunded for those who don't like the idea of funding the check off with extra money.
But for the Independent Beef Association of North Dakota, that's not good enough.
(Kenny Graner / IBAND President ) "It's still going to be a refundable program, but first you are being mandated to let them take it out of the check. A true, voluntary program is when you opt in. currently if producers want to increase the beef check off they can do so already today. They can double down on the check off is they so choose so, they can just write out the check and send it to the beef commission." 
Graner says rather than throw more dollars at the check off, he would like to see it become more efficient, rather than increasing what he calls a "cow tax."
(Kenny Graner / IBAND President ) "It's a thirty year old program and we are looking at revamping, restructuring the whole program. After the period of time, there needs to be some efficiencies put into the program." 
Lawmakers will decide in the 2015 session.

To learn more about the proposal you can visit these cattle associations' web sites at I-Band.org or ndstockmen.org

 

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