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USDA Planning to Move Ahead with Second Beef Checkoff

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Meatingplace reports USDA will move ahead with its plans to create a second beef checkoff in the absence of consensus from the industry as to how to overhaul the existing program. USDA is expected to file a notice in the Federal Register in early November seeking public comment on the proposal. Vilsack said earlier this month he’d create the parallel program if industry members couldn’t reach consensus on the existing checkoff’s reforms. Cattlemen’s groups nationwide responded with a letter urging the secretary to back off, arguing that USDA’s program would give the government too much control.

The parallel program Vilsack is planning would likely be funded by an additional $1 per head fee that producers would pay while continuing to pay $1 per head to fund the current checkoff program. However as previously reported, Vilsack is willing to pull back his plan if the industry reaches consensus on a viable way forward.