The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced Dec. 9 the passage of the referendum to reinstate the 50 cents per head Iowa beef checkoff that was held November 30. The preliminary results show a positive vote of 56% to 44% in favor of reinstating the referendum. A simple majority was needed for passage.
The Department has until December 30 to certify the referendum results. Collection of the checkoff will begin March 1, 2017.
The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association (ICA) was responsible for changes to Iowa code 181 regarding the state checkoff, and also delivered a petition with 500 signatures of cattle producers interested in a referendum to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.
ICA’s board of volunteer leaders gathered input from members across the state before initiating the process to reinstate the state assessment. The feedback indicated five priority use options for state checkoff funds and the Iowa code governing the state beef checkoff now includes those priorities, which are:
- Marketing & promoting Iowa’s beef and beef products
- Enhancing Iowa’s beef industry image
- Production research
- Expanding international trade relationships
- Providing producer, consumer, and youth educational opportunities
“We are very pleased with the results of the referendum. Reinstating our state checkoff has been a priority mission for the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association over the last year and we've been encouraged at each step in the process by the input and support of producers around the state,” said Dr. Phil Reemtsma, veterinarian and president of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.
The Iowa beef checkoff will be mandatory, but refunds will be available to interested producers. The federal beef checkoff of $1 per head remains in place and would not be affected by the Iowa vote.
The federal beef checkoff is administered by a board of directors representing Iowa cattle producers. The state beef checkoff will be administered by the 10 member executive committee who will serve on both boards of directors for the Iowa Beef Industry Council.
“We look forward to the opportunity with additional funding to build beef demand both domestically and globally. We work on behalf of Iowa’s cattle producers for the long-term sustained growth of the Iowa beef industry,” said Scott Heater, chairman of the Iowa Beef Industry Council.