The Texas Department of Agriculture this week announced Texas beef producers have voted to establish a state-level Beef Checkoff program. The measure was approved by 66.7% of voters.
TDA conducted this referendum upon petition by cattle industry organizations under the authorities designated by the Texas Legislature.
Passage of the referendum establishes a producer-funded program without the use of tax dollars. The Beef Checkoff program will research ways to continue improving Texas beef quality, as well as educate prospective consumers of Texas beef around the world.
Texas beef producers will pay a refundable assessment of no more than $1 per head of cattle they sell. Collection of the assessment will begin on Oct. 1, 2014, and continue until the Beef Promotion and Research Council of Texas notifies cattle collection points to cease collection.
Voting on the measure took place June 2-6, 2014. Beef producers, regardless of age, who owned cattle in Texas between June 6, 2013, and June 6, 2014, were eligible to vote in the election.
After cattle owners voted, a canvassing committee of representatives from TDA and the Texas Secretary of State counted the votes. TDA conducted an eligibility audit of voters, which confirmed the vote results.
"Texas is the largest cattle producing state in the nation, and our beef is among the highest-quality in the world," said Texas Ag Commissioner Todd Staples.
"As Texas ranchers continue to grow and raise the bar to meet consumers' tastes and preferences, it is my hope these funds will be used in a manner to enhance our producers' profitability and sustainability of food production. The Lone Star State is a national leader in agriculture, and I'd like to keep it that way."
Coleman Locke, BPRCT chairman, also supported the measure.
"Our future success depends on our ability to meet the needs of consumers and reach those individuals with the facts about the quality product we produce, which is exactly what this program will accomplish," he commented. "I look forward to working with those who supported and opposed this election to earn their confidence in their investment."
Source: Texas Department of Ag