Robert Ross, R-Yukon

Rep. Robert Ross is encouraging cattle farmers in the area to participate in a public discussion regarding a referendum to increase the beef checkoff from $1 per head to $2 per head.

The public hearing on the issue is 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9, at the Missouri Electric Cooperatives building on the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia. Ross said the meeting offers cattle farmers an opportunity to make their voices heard on an issue that will impact the beef industry in all parts of the state.

“This is an issue I have consistently voted against and one that producers in my area have overwhelmingly opposed,” said Ross, R-Yukon. “I think it’s important that everyone with a vested interest in the beef industry take the time to participate in the discussion so that we can have a decision based on the will of the majority rather than just a few.”

Money generated by the checkoff –– collected each time an animal is sold –– is meant to be used for marketing, education and research designed to increase domestic and international demand for beef. Ross noted that the Dec. 9 hearing will be pivotal in determining if a referendum should be held on the issue. If it is, cattle producers will be required to register in order to vote. If the referendum is held, registration of producers is scheduled to begin on Jan.4, 2016 and close on March 4, 2016. Registration will be available at county Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices and online.

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