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Industry groups meet to form beef checkoff taskforce

Agriculture.com Staff 05/30/2006 @ 10:46am

A broad coalition of beef industry leaders plan to study the strengths and weaknesses of the beef checkoff, according to a press release by the Industry-Wide Beef Checkoff Task Force.

Following a recent meeting, a 17-member group established their mission: "to review, study and recommend enhancements to the Beef Act and Order for the purpose of strengthening the Checkoff for the common good of the beef industry." In its first meeting, members identified key issues facing the checkoff and analyzed both strengths and weaknesses of the current checkoff system.

The Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) was one of the groups in attendance. Nancy Robinson, LMA vice president for government and industry affairs, told Agriculture Online the meeting served as a brainstorming session. "Whether a periodic vote on the beef checkoff is needed was one issue mentioned as a possible goal for this taskforce," Robinson said. "But there were many items mentioned."

A unanimous opinion of the Task Force at the meeting was that the current checkoff has succeeded in helping build beef demand and assisted in moving product. New product development efforts and work to change consumer perception of beef's healthful properties was recognized by the group. In addition, the significant contributions and program coordination of state beef councils was acknowledged.

The Task Force will embark on an information-gathering process before meeting again at the end of July.

Eleven national organizations are represented on the Task Force, as are six states. The independent group was created at the request of the Federation of State Beef Councils, various beef organizations and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. It will conduct its efforts through October.

National organizations represented on the Task Force are American Farm Bureau Federation, American Veal Association, American Meat Institute, Livestock Marketing Association, Meat Importers Council of America, National Cattlemen's Beef Association (Livestock Marketing Council), National Livestock Producers Association, National Meat Association, National Milk Producers Federation, National Farmers Union and R-CALF USA.

The six state representatives on the Task Force are from California, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, Tennessee and Texas.

A broad coalition of beef industry leaders plan to study the strengths and weaknesses of the beef checkoff, according to a press release by the Industry-Wide Beef Checkoff Task Force.

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