The Minnesota Beef Research and Promotion Council (MBRPC) is proposing to increase the amount of the current state beef checkoff by an additional $1 per head on all bovine animals marketed within Minnesota by each producer or feeder. Currently the checkoff for cattle is $1 a head. Dairy cows purchased by a dairy producer specifically for milk production are not subject to the checkoff. Dairy cows and veal calves sold by a dairy producer for the purpose of slaughter are subject to the checkoff.
By law this proposal must be put to a referendum for all interested cattle producers (beef and dairy) in Minnesota.
Cattle producers will be required to pay the increased checkoff amount if it passes. But in order to vote on the referendum itself, producers must request a ballot by Jan. 17.
Following remittance of the checkoff at the point of sale, producers would have the option to request a refund of the $1 per head proposed increase through a process to be determined by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture/MBRPC.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is responsible for conducting the referendum and will be mailing out ballots in early March to all producers that request them by Jan. 17. The deadline to return ballots is March 18. Referendum results will be announced in early April.
The Land Stewardship Project strongly urges all Minnesota cattle producers to request a ballot and vote in the upcoming referendum. There are two ways to request a ballot:
• Call the Minnesota Department of Agriculture at 651-201-6013 and request a ballot.
• For more information on the proposed beef checkoff increase and to request a ballot online go to http://www.mda.state.mn.us/ballots.
Adam Warthesen is an LSP organizer who works on federal farm policy issues. He can be reached at 612-722-6377 or firstname.lastname@example.org.