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Ag Groups Reject Anti-checkoff Legislation

Agriculture checkoff groups jointly announced opposition to legislation they say attacks commodity checkoff programs. An Amendment by Representative Victoria Spartz, a Republican from Indiana, would prohibit USDA from using any tax dollars to administer commodity Checkoff programs.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, American Soybean Association, National Pork Producers Council, and National Milk Producers Federation, along with the Indiana Beef Cattle Association, jointly voiced opposition to the effort. NCBA Policy Division Vice Chair Tim Schwab, an Indiana cattle producer, says, “Representative Spartz’s amendment targets programs like the Beef Checkoff and is a direct attack on America’s farmers and ranchers.” The groups say the legislation is “frivolous” as “no taxpayer dollars are being used to administer Checkoff programs.”

USDA oversees 22 commodity Checkoff programs that boost demand for products like beef, eggs, lamb, cotton, blueberries, honey, mangos, peanuts, mushrooms, watermelons, dairy, cotton, popcorn, and even Christmas trees. Farmers and ranchers invest in these programs, and that funding supports agricultural research and promotional efforts.

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