CATTLE producers at the annual meeting of Nebraska Cattlemen adopted a recommendation that the organization pursue a statewide beef checkoff to supplement the national beef checkoff.
The checkoff would assess producers 50 cents to as much as $2 per head in all cattle selling transactions to fund beef advertising and promotion, consumer information and other programs in Nebraska.
The checkoff would be mandatory, although producers could request a refund.
The national checkoff, established in 1985, is $1 per head, 50 cents of which are returned to collecting states for local programs. The national checkoff does not provide refunds.
However, rancher Dave Hamilton, who chaired the working group that made the recommendation, said inflation has reduced that 1985 dollar to 47 cents, and cow herd liquidation has reduced the U.S. cattle herd by 10 million head.
Reaching today's "dynamic consumer" in Nebraska requires an additional checkoff in the state, he explained.
Nebraska Cattlemen will conduct a number of informational meetings throughout the state, and if there is sufficient support -- which would be determined in a referendum -- it will then seek the necessary legislation.