Yesterday, on Today’s Topic, we began our visit with Bryan Blinson, Executive Director of the North Carolina Cattlemen’s Association on the allocations of monies collected when a $1 per head assessment was approved in a referendum in late 2009. That collection started just over a year ago, and NC Cattlemen’s wasted no time in getting the youth education underway last summer.
The referendum had several areas of importance for allocation of those funds, and another area is research. Blinson explains:
“One of the things that we’ve been able to do with these additional funds, is fund some research and education projects, and we just have begun to fund those projects. Proposals were put forth by the university and the vet school and the idea is to make sure that we can find some research projects that are very practical, down to Earth, something that our farmers can use right away to help them improve their bottom line.”
Another area where assessment funds are used is issues management. Blinson explains:
“We all know that agriculture seems to be under daily attacks, and we wanted to make sure that we had the resources to get the information out to the greatest extent possible, and one of those ways…things we’re doing there working with respect to issues management, is working with the other commodity groups, the pork folks, the poultry folks, other farm organizations, the different agencies on a animal ag coalition to make sure the public is aware of what we’re doing for them in providing safe, wholesome food and protecting the environment at the same time.”
Blinson explains the overall goal of the assessment:
“The whole idea behind the assessment is to provide resources to improve programs that we have already had in place for years or to add new ones that can help the farmers, the whole idea is to put money back in their pocket. These additional funds give us a chance to participate and advocate for what we’re doing.”
Bryan Blinson, Executive Director of the North Carolina Cattlemen’s Association