Second Beef Checkoff Notice Expected this Month

Second Beef Checkoff Notice Expected this Month

USDA says it will be soliciting input on a second beef checkoff if no agreement among beef industry groups is reached

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.

Related: USDA Secretary Suggests Creating Second Beef Checkoff

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.

USDA says it will be soliciting input on a second beef checkoff if no agreement among beef industry groups is reached

"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."

Related: NCBA State Affiliates Oppose USDA's Supplemental Beef Checkoff Plans

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.

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