USDA Seeks Input on New Beef Promotion OrderWASHINGTON– The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service is seeking input from the public to guide its development of a new industry-funded promotion, research and information order (also known as a "checkoff program") for beef and beef products. The new order would be in addition to the existing beef checkoff program, providing American beef producers with more resources for the marketing of their products and research to help strengthen the country's beef industry.
"Beef industry representatives agree that this important program needs more resources. USDA is stepping up at a critical juncture to help achieve the industry's goal," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "With this action we can boost research investments, increase beef exports, and encourage folks here at home to support American beef producers." Beef industry leaders agree that the current fee of $1 per-head-of-cattle per producer is too little.
The $1 assessment has remained the same since 1985 when Congress first created the beef checkoff program, and the amount can only be changed through Congressional action. This assessment provides resources for marketing to promote beef sales, research, and many other benefits for producers.
An additional supplemental program like the one USDA is proposing would enhance available resources, which would help the beef industry address important issues including improving and enhancing nutritional and consumer information through initiatives such as consumer advertising, education, research and new-product development.
Additional resources could help increase demand for beef both domestically and internationally, thus benefitting cattle producers and the domestic beef industry. USDA is acting to help beef producers continue to enjoy these benefits—and strengthen them—in a way that works for all producers.
Interested individuals and organizations are invited to provide their views concerning provisions that would be included in the new order. A referendum on an order established under the 1996 Act would be conducted within three years after assessments begin to determine whether beef producers favor the program and if it should continue.
A second referendum would be held within seven years of the start of the program. Interested parties have until Dec.10, 2014, to submit comments on issues below-- Details of the notice of inquiry will appear in the Nov. 10, 2014, Federal Register. Comments may be submitted online at www.regulations.gov or sent to Beef Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Research and Promotion Division, Room 2096-S; Livestock, Poultry and Seed Program; AMS, USDA, STOP 0249; 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.; Washington, D.C. 20250-0249; telephone number (202) 720-5705.