Legislation reintroduced last week seeks to reform the beef checkoff program. The Voluntary Check-Off Program Participation Act, reintroduced by Senate Republicans Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky, would “allow producers to vote freely with their pocketbooks regarding whether they are individually satisfied with the checkoff’s performance,” according to R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard. R-CALF applauded the reintroduction of the bill, calling the mandatory checkoff a “cattle tax.” The bill was previously introduced during Congress’ 2017-2018 session and was referred to the Agriculture Committee. Reintroduction will ensure the measures are again considered by the full Congress. Bullard of R-CALF says the bill would bring accountability and transparency to the beef checkoff program. In reintroducing the bill, Senator Lee of Utah stated, “Checkoff programs force farmers to pay into a system that sometimes actively works against their interests.” Lee continued that boards of checkoff programs have also “come under fire for a lack of transparency and for misuse of their funds.”
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting.