Iowa Beef Checkoff Petition Complete

cattle feedlot cow cows beef manure_extensionAmes, Iowa — More than 500 cattle producers from northwest Iowa, and across the state, have signed a petition for a referendum to reinstate the Iowa beef checkoff.

According to the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, the state checkoff was in effect prior to the creation of the federal beef checkoff in 1986. The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association members and leaders say they are interested in reinstating the checkoff, as a way to further invest in Iowa’s beef industry.

While the federal checkoff has remained steady at $1/head since 1986, several states have instituted state checkoffs, according to the Cattlemen’s Association. The federal checkoff funds, which are subject to federal government rules, are used to promote and research beef.  Cattle producers say the state checkoff would be assessed at $.50 on each head of Iowa cattle sold. The money could be used more flexibly than the federal checkoff, although its uses are limited to those outlined in Iowa Code Chapter 181.

ICA officials say if the referendum passes, specific decisions on the administration of the funds would be made by the Iowa Beef Industry Council officer team, which includes five elected cattle producers, the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University, a representative from the Livestock Market Association, and two ICA producer members. The funds would be administered by the Iowa Beef Industry Council.

A petition to vote on the state beef checkoff was delivered to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship on September 2. The petition contains over 500 signatures of cattle producers in the state of Iowa who are interested in a referendum, according to the ICA.

ICA officials tell us the referendum will take place later this fall. Producers will be able to request an absentee ballot from the Iowa Department of Agriculture beginning on October 10th. Absentee ballots must be returned during the month of November, or producers may visit their county extension offices on Wednesday, November 30 to vote in person, according to the ICA.

If the referendum passes, collection will begin March 1, 2017. The Iowa beef checkoff will be mandatory, but refunds will be available to interested producers.

For more information, visit the Iowa Cattlemen Association website by clicking here.

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