R-CALF USA formally launched a national petition drive that requests a nationwide referendum on the termination of the Beef Promotion Research Order, commonly known as the Beef Checkoff Program.
With approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the petition was launched electronically and is now available for electronic signatures.
The petition calls on the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a referendum for an up or down vote on the termination of the Beef Checkoff Program. Current law provides authority to the Secretary to conduct a referendum if requested by at least 10 percent of the number of cattle producers in the United States.
The petition states that at least 88,269 eligible U.S. cattle producers are needed to sign the petition.
Eligible cattle producers can sign the petition from now until July 1, 2021, the date that the time period to collect signatures expires.
Only eligible cattle producers may sign the petition and they are defined as:
- Any cattle producer regardless of age who has owned, sold or purchased cattle from July 2, 2020 – July 1, 2021 is eligible to sign the petition.
- Any person younger than 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian co-sign the petition.
- A person who signs the petition on behalf of a corporation or other entity must be authorized to do so. No proxy signature is permitted.
- Any individual member of a group, who is an eligible person separate from the group, may request a referendum separately.
The groups that launched the petition include the South Dakota Livestock Markets Association, 25 individual livestock auction yards, Organization for Competitive Markets, South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, Independent Beef Association of North Dakota, Independent Cattlemen of Wyoming, Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska, Dakota Rural Action, Colorado Independent Cattle Growers Association, along with other county organizations and individuals.
Northern Ag Network