R-CALF Praises Introduction of Beef Checkoff Reform Legislation

R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard is applayuding legislation reintroduced last week that 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 Bullard.

In a statement, R-CALF called 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 says the bill would bring accountability and transparency to the beef checkoff program. In reintroducing the bill, Senator Lee 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.”