Missouri Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce announced Monday his department will not establish a new beef checkoff after about 75 percent of the state’s beef producers voted against it.
The news comes after the director approved a petition to conduct a referendum of Missouri cattle producers, at the request of the Missouri Beef Industry Council and pursuant to state statute, to establish a $1 per head state beef checkoff assessment on Dec. 23, 2015.
On April 4, ballots were mailed to the 8,480 Missouri beef producers who registered during the registration period. Of those, 6,568 valid ballots were returned to the Missouri Department of Agriculture postmarked no later than April 15. The tally: 1,663 producers (25.33 percent) voted for the checkoff and 4,903 producers (74.67 percent) voted against it.
Department staff counted the ballots and Williams Keepers, LLC, a CPA firm in Columbia, reviewed the tabulation of ballots for third-party verification.
Cattle producers were required to register to vote and were able to do so online or by visiting their county USDA-FSA office.
“We are disappointed the proposed Missouri $1 beef checkoff was not approved, because it provided additional resources for Missouri cattle producers to voluntarily work together to improve their industry. Concerns with declining beef prices and the misinformation about beef disseminated by radical animal rights groups will not go away, and we will continue to look for ways to promote Missouri beef and help educate consumers. We appreciate the Missouri Department of Agriculture continuing to conduct referendums in a transparent and professional manner.”
•Missouri Cattlemen’s Association
•Missouri Farm Bureau Federation
•Missouri Dairy Association
•Missouri Dairy Industry Alliance
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