USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said Tuesday that the USDA will move forward with soliciting input on a second beef checkoff to bring more money into the beef industry.
Vilsack last month said a second checkoff would be considered because industry groups could not reach an agreement on several issues within the current checkoff.
"The only point of agreement by all the groups that I've talked to about this … is 'we need more money in the system'," Vilsack said. " I've got the power to create an avenue for additional money, I'm going to use that power unless the industry says … we've come to an understanding, this is how we would like it done."
Vilsack said if the industry doesn't come to agreement, the next step will be issuing a Federal Register notice, which is likely to come this month. Following the comment period and the development of a proposal, a second checkoff could be instituted sometime during 2015.
"We've got to go through a series of administrative steps – takes a while," Vilsack said. "But I'm very intent on getting this done."
According to Vilsack, the second checkoff will be in place a couple years, then be back up for a referendum. In the meantime, it will bring funds into the industry, he said.
"We might learn a little something about what works, what doesn' t work," Vilsack said.