THE U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service is proposing to reduce the size of the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion & Research Board by four members to reflect the shift in cattle inventory levels.
In accordance with the Beef Promotion & Research Order authorized by the Beef Promotion & Research Act, the Cattlemen's Beef Board (CBB) must triennially evaluate if the board's membership is proportional to the cattle inventory in each state.
"At least every three years, the board is required to review the geographic distribution of cattle to make sure membership remains proportional to cattle inventories," said Chad Smith, CBB director of compliance. "We use a three-year averaging method to determine the representation from each state or unit. Averaging is used to minimize the effect of drastic fluctuations in cattle numbers over a single year. Cattle inventory calculations are based on USDA's Jan. 1 cattle inventory reports. Import numbers are based on monthly imports of live cattle, beef and veal over that past three years."
A state or unit must have an inventory of 500,000 head of cattle to be represented on the board and is entitled to an additional member for each additional 1 million head of cattle.
In considering reapportionment, CBB reviewed cattle inventories, as well as cattle, beef and beef product import data, for 2010 through 2012.
The board's reapportionment plan announced last week was recommended by the CBB executive committee and ratified by the full board last fall.
Under the proposal, domestic cattle producer representation on the board would decrease from 96 to 93, and importer representation would decrease from seven to six (Map). The reductions are due to changes in cattle inventories since the last board reapportionment in 2011.
"This proposed reapportionment would decrease the number of board seats for Texas, New Mexico and for importers and would reduce the total number of Cattlemen's Beef Board members from 103 to 99," Smith explained.
The revised representation would be effective with nominations in 2014 for appointments effective early in 2015.
In addition, technical amendments would be made to update and correct information in the order and regulations.
Details of the proposed changes can be found in the March 25 Federal Register.